St. Mary’s sails past Austin Prep

Calvin Johnson’s 65-yard touchdown run helped the Spartans get started on a high note Saturday night. (Item file photo)

LYNN — The Austin Prep football team knew it had a tough task Saturday night at Manning Field. The Cougars would have to play flawless football for four quarters and find a way to shut down St. Mary’s talented offensive crew. It took the Spartans just two plays and 15 seconds to show AP how tough their task was really going to be.

St. Mary’s received the opening kick and on the first set offensive play of the game, Spartan quarterback Calvin Johnson broke a big one, the first score for the home team on their way to a 36-6 win. The home team improves to 7-0, while the Cougars (0-7) are still looking for their first win of the season.

On the first play, Johnson kept the ball and rolled to his right, blasted by his teammates on the St. Mary’s sideline, then deked to the left, cutting back toward the middle of the field and running it in for a 65-yard score at 10:45.

The Spartan defense got Johnson and his offense the ball right back, and then the senior from Lynn found Patrick Henry from 16 yards out and it was up to a 14-0 St. Mary’s lead.

Austin Prep put a scare into the home team on the ensuing kickoff after the Henry touchdown. The Cougars’ Michael Joyce corralled the kick at the AP 13-yard line and flew down the near sideline to make it 14-6, just 19 seconds after the Spartan’s second touchdown.

That and a nice interception by Jake Thain, after teammate Dylan Cann tipped it, were the only highlights for the visitors, as St. Mary’s scored the final 24 points of the game.

James Brumfield scored on a 20-yard run in the second quarter, Johnson busted a 24-yarder for his second score of the game in the third quarter, and Brumfield wrapped it up with a 77-yard scoring run to close out the third.

Austin Prep head coach Bill Maradei, who has been running the show at the Reading school for 39 years said he hasn’t really seen many teams that are as talented on both sides of the ball as his Saturday night opponents.

“It’s impressive, that team, they certainly have the personnel over there, on offense and defense, coach (Matt Durgin) certainly does a great job with those guys, and after tonight, we’re definitely St. Mary’s football fans, we hope they go all the way,” Maradei said. “It is what it is, we’re 0-7, they’re 7-0, my kids worked, they played hard all game, those guys are just a very, very good football team over there, my hat is off to them.”

The winning coach said he’s happy to be unbeaten at this point of the season, but the team has a lot of work to do, offensively and defensively as they head into the end of October and on into November.

“We’ve done some good things, certainly to get where we are, we’ve put the effort in, but we have to keep working. Keep putting the effort in, and not be satisfied with what we’ve done so far,” Durgin said. “I really think that we can get better on both sides of the ball moving forward, so that’s what we’ll be working, getting better each week for the rest of the season.”

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