In a season finale, which at one point looked liked it could be for the MIAA A Conference football title, No. 2 Archbishop Spalding secured the league’s runner-up status, Friday night at home, with an impressive 55-20 rout of No. 6 Mount St. Joseph.
Playing in his final game for the Cavaliers, senior quarterback Evan Fochtman had a big night, passing for 221 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 90 yards and two more scores. It was typical of most of the games enjoyed by the dual-threat star in 2016.
The two teams entertained the large crowd at Whittles Field by combining for 34 first quarter points, with host Spalding staking a 20-14 lead after the opening 12 minutes. Spalding (9-2 overall, 5-1 MIAA A) stretched that lead to 27-14 at the half before outscoring the Gaels 28-6 in the second half to win going away.
Not only was the first quarter filled with points, it was saturated with big plays. Fochtman got things rolling with a 65-yard touchdown pass to Jayden Umbarger, but the Gaels (7-4, 3-3 MIAA A) responded in kind when Christian Carter connected with Gary Agurs for 69-yard TD pass and a 7-7 tie.
It took Spalding less than 30 seconds to go back on top with a 45-yard touchdown run by Julius Chestnut and just another 13 seconds to stretch their lead to 20-7 when Logic Hudgens picked off a Carter pass and returned it for another Spalding score.
Late in the opening quarter, the Gaels pulled within one score on a 4-yard touchdown run by Sam James, but Footman got that back with an 8-yard TD scramble in the opening minute of the second quarter.
Spalding broke the game wide open in the third quarter with a 10-yard touchdown run by Chestnut and a 5-yard scoring pass from Fochtman to Corey Gaines, as the Cavs led 41-14.
Later in the third, James scored his second touchdown of the night for St. Joe, on a 22-yard run, before Fochtman capped his big night, in the fourth quarter, with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Nick Vermillion and a 5-yard touchdown run.
Chestnut led Spalding with 137 yards rushing, while Umbarger and Jamari Jones each had four receptions. In addition to his two touchdowns, St. Joe’s James led all rushers with 145 yards, while Carroll passed for 181 yards. Agurs had four catches for 89 yards for the Gaels, while Keyshawn Hailey made five grabs and Matthew McDonald had four for St. Joe.
NO. 2 ARCHBISHOP SPALDING 55, NO. 6 MOUNT ST. JOSEPH 20
MSJ 14 0 6 0 — 20
AS 20 7 14 14 — 55
AS – Umbarger 65 pass from Fochtman (Price kick)
MSJ – Agurs 68 pass from Carter (Austin kick)
AS – Chestnut 45 run (Price kick)
AS – Hudgens interception return (kick blocked)
MSJ – James 4 run (Austin kick)
AS – Fochtman 8 run (Price kick)
AS – Chestnut 10 run (Price kick)
AS – Gaines 5 pass from Fochtman (Price kick)
MSJ – James 22 run (run failed)
AS – Vermillion 19 pass from Fochtman (Price kick)
AS – Fochtman 5 run (Price kick)