Boys’ Latin School held off a furious John Carroll School comeback, claiming a 21-20 decision in a MIAA B Conference football contest in Bel Air Friday evening. 

“All night we were hustling back and forth and we were just trying to be relentless,” Boys Latin coach Ritchie Schell. “This team [John Carroll] is always giving us pains the last few years.”

J.T. Morton’s blocked extra-point and Evan Ellwanger’s interception in the final minute was the difference for the Lakers (4-2 overall, 3-0 MIAA B), who captured their first victory over John Carroll since 2011. The Lakers remain tied for first in the B league with 18th-ranked St. Vincent Pallotti, which routed St. Paul’s School Friday evening in Laurel. 

The Lake Avenue school led 21-7 in the second half against the defending MIAA B champ Patriots (1-5, 1-1 MIAA B), who got the next two scores, the latter a 40-yard pass from junior Qadir Ismail to Nico Rice with 3:31 left in regulation, making it 21-20. After the score, John Carroll was flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty, pushing the extra-point attempt back 15 yards.

Morton, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound freshman, blocked Patriots’ kicker Matt Battaglia’s extra-point attempt. John Carroll attempted an onside kick which was recovered by the Lakers at the Patriots’ 46.

Boys’ Latin got to the ball to John Carroll’s 25 before it was stopped on 4th down, giving the Patriots one final shot with 57 seconds remaining. The Lakers’ pass rush brought down Ismail for a 13-yard loss before Ellwanger’s interception sealed the victory.

Ismail got the Patriots on the board with 36-yard touchdown for an early 7-0 first quarter. Boys’ Latin quarterback Brenden Crouse, back from a knee injury, got the Lakers’ offense moving in the second quarter.

Crouse connected with Dajuan Felder Jr. for a 25-yard pass in the right corner of the endzone, tying he game. Ellwanger capped the Lakers’ next possession with a 6-yard touchdown run.

The Lake Avenue school mounted a 10-play drive with junior Devon Brewer finishing it with a 4-yard scamper. Crouse highlighted the series with strikes to John Pugh and Nick Lizana for 19 and 17 yards, respectively.

“Our offensive line had a great day, they kept pushing and creating holes and we just followed their lead,” Brewer said. “We just kept fighting and were able to come away with a win.”

The Patriots, who rallied from a 18-point second half to beat St. Paul’s in their league opener a couple of weeks ago, mounted another comeback. Ismail zipped the ball to Avery Jones on a slant route and trotted into the end zone for an 88-yard touchdown reception.

Ismail kept plugging away on the ground with a few scrambles. He created another opportunity with his legs, connecting with Rice for a touchdown, slicing Boys’ Latin’s lead to a point.

The Patriots got an unsportsmanlike flag, and Battaglia’s extra-point attempt was blocked. Ellwanger’s interception ended John Carroll’s comeback hopes.

“We’re young team and we made young mistakes,” John Carroll coach Keith Rawlings. “We have a lot of great playmakers, but we got to stop making mistakes.”

With three leagues remaining, Boys’ Latin appears headed to a postseason berth. The Lakers travel to Severn School next Saturday afternoon.

“It was an exciting game, we just kept fighting, and all of the hard work paid off,” Crouse said. “If we keep running the ball and play well on defense, we can keep this winning streak going.”

“We had a good week of practice and we are being a little bit more serious,” Schnell said. “We got some kids that are really good players and they are learning how to win.”

Boys’ Latin School 21, John Carroll School 20 

Boys’ Latin 0 14 7 0 – 21

John Carroll 7 0 7 6 – 20

First quarter

John Carroll: Qadir Ismail 36 run (Matt Battaglia kick)

Second quarter

Boys Latin: Dajuan Felder 25 pass from Brenden Crouse (Sam Grace kick)

Boys Latin: Evan Ellwanger 6 run (Grace kick)

Third quarter

Boys Latin: Devon Brewer 4 run (Grace kick)

John Carroll: Avery Jones 88 pass from Ismail (Battaglia kick)

Fourth quarter

John Carroll: Niko Rice 40 pass from Ismail (kick blocked