St. John rallies past West St. Mary, 41-0
The St. John Eagle defense virtually shut down the West St. Mary in first-half action, but head coach Coby Minton worried about a missing element at halftime.
The SJHS defense allowed its foes only four yards in the first half, but the Eagle offense mustered only a 6-0 lead by intermission.
A different story unfolded in the second half. The offense erupted for three touchdowns in the third quarter and two more in the fourth to propel a 41-0 non-district win in Week 4 action Sept. 22 at Andrew Canova Green Devil Stadium.
The offense’s lack of fire during much of the first half worried head coach Coby Minton, who said the offensive attack needs full intensity all four quarters, particularly as the Eagles approach the District 7-1A gauntlet.
“We had to challenge them at the half because we felt we left a lot of points out there by not finishing drives, and you can’t do that against good teams,” he said. “Luckily, we were able to overcome that tonight, but that’s not always going to be the case.”
Senior quarterback Maddox Bennett and running back Andrew Kleinpeter – also an upperclassman – each ran for two touchdowns, while Bennett notched one scoring pass to propel the Eagles.
Bennett’s connected with Amad Wilson on a 13-yard TD pass in the second quarter, but an extra-point kick failed.
Kleinpeter’s runs of five yards and one yard ignited the spark on the Eagle offense. He led the Eagle ground attack with 23 carries for 139 yards, including a 20-yard run.
SJHS also got help from Ellis Braud, whose fumble recovery in the end zone gave the Eagles touchdown No. 3 of the third stanza.
Bennett kept the offensive fire burning in the fourth when he scored on a 1-yard sneak and 8-yard sprint.
He carried 14 times for 93 yards, including a 31-yard scamper. He also completed seven of 16 passes for 72 yards.
Nathan Blanchard booted the PAT on both Bennett touchdowns and Kleinpeter’s one-yarder in the third.
The dominance by the defense continued what has been a major component in St. John’s strong start this season.
“They played great, and that’s the third week in a row they’ve looked that good,” Minton said. “Any time they show up and play well, they’re going to give us a big chance to be successful.”