River Hill and St. Paul’s meet in football tuneup

by Derek Toney

St. Paul’s School and River Hill continued their 2018 football preparations with a scrimmage Friday afternoon at Mitchell Stadium’s Tullai Field in Brooklandville.

The Hawks from Howard County won their league championship last season, the 10th under Brian Van Deusen. The former Atholton standout has won four state titles at the Clarksville school and is one of four coaches to guide Maryland to victory over Pennsylvania in the Big 33 Classic.

Van Deusen, who relied on 21 seniors to post a perfect regular season in 2017, has just eight this season with only two starting on defense. The veteran coach believes his offensive and defensive lines will be much improved.

St. Paul’s is looking to improve on last year’s 4-5 mark under Scott Ripley. The Crusaders lost three games by a total of six points.

Ripley, who will lead Maryland in the 2019 Big 33 Classic, has one of the area’s up-and-coming quarterback prospects in junior Leo Kelly. Seniors Princeton Douglas (running back) and Gabe Green (wide receiver) are also back for what could be an explosive offense.

Chad Vasquenza (linebacker) Miles Moore (defensive line), Jack Paar (linebacker), and defensive backs Alex Sulin and Everett McDuffie will anchor the Crusaders’ defense.

The Crusaders will host City College in a non-league match to start their regular season next Friday afternoon. River Hill will take on HoCo rival Hammond in its debut Friday evening at home.