St. John's is back.

Maybe not at the level of the school's powerhouse teams of the early 1970s, but St. John's edged Mount St. Joseph's, one of Baltimore's better teams, 8-7, in a nonleague game yesterday to raise its record to 2-0. Tom Mullikin's two-point conversion run provided the winning margin.

It was the first home victory since 1985 for the Cadets, who had a 1-8-1 record last year.

Poor field position, several unforced errors and a few bad bounces found the Cadets trailing, 7-0, at halftime, despite outplaying the Gaels (1-1).

Mount St. Joseph's scored its touchdown with 9:56 remaining in the second quarter when running back Damon Brooks fumbled into the St. John's end zone and Joe Woodson pounced on it.

"I told our players that we were playing better than Mount St. Joe's and not to hang their heads," said first-year coach John Ricca. "We knew we had to keep playing hard and make our own breaks. We got good field position in the second half and then things started to go our way."

Derrick Heggans of St. John's gained only 11 yards on five carries in the first half as Mount St. Joseph's controlled play between the tackles, but his first carry in the third quarter was far more successful. Emerging from a pileup at the line of scrimmage, he cut right to elude two would-be tacklers and then went down the right sideline for a 70-yard touchdown.

St. John's lined up for a conversion kick, but holder Mullikin (also his team's quarterback) took the snap and outraced three Gaels to the right corner of the end zone.Mount St. Joseph's (1-1) 0 7 0 0 7 St. John's (2-0) 0 0 8 0 8

MSJ -- Woodson recovers fumble in end zone (Bernadzikowski kick)

SJ -- Heggans 70 run (Mullikin run)