Already having one league loss on its record, John Carroll knew Friday night’s home football game with No. 19 Boys’ Latin was a “must win” if the Patriots hoped to be in position to reach the MIAA B Conference football championship game next month.
It took four overtimes and nearly four hours to accomplish, but John Carroll got the win it sought, a 47-40 decision over the Lakers, in a B Conference classic.
The game, especially during the second half and throughout overtime, was an emotional roller coaster with several momentum swings. In the end, it was a 10-yard touchdown run by senior Jerome Brown and one final goal-line stand by the JC defense which vaulted the Patriots (4-3, 2-1) into the win column.
After Boys’ Latin’s Dominic Maggio and John Carroll’s Steve Cutchin traded field goals in the third overtime, to leave the game tied, 40-40, John Carroll took possession to start the fourth OT. Brown, who rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns in the contest, in addition to hauling in a 55-yard touchdown reception, got to the edge and fought his way into the end zone, before Cutchin added the extra-point to put pressure on the Lakers to score a TD.
The game then came down to a fourth down pass inside the John Carroll 10. BL quarterback Logan Wisnauskas delivered a throw to Sam Bowen but the play was broken up by a a big hit from Ky’el Hemby and Nolan Clawson, setting off an emotional celebration by a large Senior Night crowd.
The game was filled with dramatic swings, especially in the second half.
John Carroll, which rallied from a 14-10 deficit at the half, built a 24-14 lead on a pair of short touchdown runs by Malik Tyne. The Lakers (5-2, 2-1), however, fought back to regain a 27-24 lead on the arm of Wisnauskas, who had four TD passes in the game. As the pendulum swung back-and-forth, the Patriots pushed back in front, 30-27, when Luke Rinehart turned a short pass from quarterback Christian Scott into a 43-yard touchdown reception. The Lakers then countered with a 19-yard field goal from Maggio, with just seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, to setup the overtime.
Neither team scored in the first overtime, before each scored a touchdown in the second round to remain deadlocked at 37.
The result leaves a crowded field still battling for the top spots in the conference and a place in the league title game. No. 13 Archbishop Curley, which will host St. Mary’s on Saturday, holds first place with a 2-0 league record, with John Carroll, Boys’ Latin and St. Paul’s all tied for second at 2-1.
St. Paul’s, which won at Severn on Friday and defeated John Carroll earlier this year, still has St. Mary’s and BL on its schedule, as the Crusaders attempt to return to the championship game and defend the crown they have won in each of the last two seasons.
Boys’ Latin will meet Curley next week, while John Carroll will host Severn next Friday before closing its regular season at Curley on Halloween night. The potential order and tie-break possibilities are too numerous to consider at this point and everything will come down to the final weekend.