Saints and Panthers, the last two unbeaten teams in MIAA B football, will clash for first place next Friday

The stage is now set for the top two football teams in the MIAA B Conference, thus far this fall — No. 12 St. Mary’s and No. 14 St. Vincent Pallotti — to square off in a head-to-head battle, next Friday in Laurel, which could determine the top seed for next month’s league playoffs.

Two-time defending champion St. Mary’s won its fourth straight game and improved to 4-0 in conference play, Friday, with a 28-0 home win over league newcomer Concordia Prep, while Pallotti went on the road and produced a 28-7 win over Archbishop Curley with its defense leading the way.

St. Mary’s followed a familiar script with senior Alex Wicks and Ki’Sean Gray-Dantzler leading a game-controlling rushing attack. Wicks ran 18 times for 87 yards and two scores and Gray-Dantzler added 75 yards on 17 attempts, as the Saints pounded 183 yards on the ground.

Quarterback Chris Golini only put the ball in the air seven times, but completed five of them for 150 yards and a pair of touchdown passes.

Concordia has now lost to straight after beginning the season 4-0. The Saints are 2-2 in league play and still in contention for a playoff spot.

At Curley, where St. Mary’s won one week ago, Pallotti struggled with offensive penalties throughout the first half, but the Panthers’ defense helped the cause with two scores, as Tyler Faison returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game and the Panthers got a safety in the final minute of the second quarter, to go to the intermission with a 8-0 lead.

Pallotti’s offense finally broke through in the second half, scoring three times to pull away for the victory. The Panthers are now 6-1 overall and 5-0 in the B Conference.

Pallotti will host St. Mary’s next Friday night (7 p.m.) at Fairland Regional Park in Laurel.

Curley, like Concordia, began the season 4-0, but now finds itself in a two-game losing the slide. The Friars and Saints are tied with Boys’ Latin, all at 2-2, for fourth place in the conference. Currently, John Carroll is in third place at 3-1.

Unlike past years where only the top two teams in the league qualified for the championship game, the top four teams will now play in the MIAA B semifinals. The conference now has nine teams with the addition of Concordia and Annapolis Area Christian Schoolthis fall.