With just two days of practice, Saints win their football opener, 20-11, over Curley

Having lost its scheduled season-opener, last week to a false-positive COVID test, the St. Mary’s football team finally got on the field in 2020, as the hosted Archbishop Curley, Saturday afternoon, and the Saints made the wait worth it with a 20-11 victory.

The St. Mary’s defense set the tone, handcuffing a Curley (1-1) offense that scored 31 points in a victory at John Carroll last week, and putting the first points of the day on the scoreboard with a first quarter safety, recorded by a Brady Russell end-zone sack of Friars’ quarterback Kofi Kwaw. Kwaw also surrendered a first quarter interception the Saints’ Sean Berzins, but the Friars eventually built some momentum and got on the scoreboard, early in the second quarter with a 32-yard field goal by freshman Chris Pond.

Trailing 3-2 at the half and its top two quarterbacks out with injuries, St. Mary’s turned to senior Ki’Sean Gray-Dantzler, who finished with 128 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Gray-Dantzler toted the ball on every play of a 75-yard drive, including a 1-yard run touchdown run push St. Mary’s in front, 8-3. A Kwaw fumble, recovered by the Saints’ Matt Liszewski led to another touchdown drive and a 14-3 lead. Punter, turned third-strong quarterback Bobby Keane completed a 20-yard TD pass to Nick Kaufman for the score.

Curley responded with a 73-yard kickoff return by Denzel Evans, which setup a short drive and 1-yard touchdown run by the Friars’ Ronald Clark. Curley added a two-point conversion as the puled within three at 14-11.

St. Mary’s added some breathing room with another long drive, capped by Gray-Dantzler’s second touchdown run and the Saints’ defense closed it out from there.