Gonzaga 34, St. John's 14
That Douglas Dutch of Gonzaga scored four touchdowns yesterday was not so surprising, considering his speed and skill. What was stunning, however, was the manner in which the junior wide receiver-defensive back went about getting into the end zone.
Dutch caught two touchdown passes -- one on a trick play -- and returned a kickoff and a fumble for scores as the sixth-ranked Eagles defeated St. John's, 34-14, in the 75th anniversary of their first meeting before an overflow crowd of approximately 6,000 at Blair High in Silver Spring.
With the victory, Gonzaga (7-0, 4-0) wrapped up an undefeated regular season and clinched the top seeding in next week's improvised, eight-team Washington Catholic Athletic Conference tournament in which each team will play three games. In the opening round, Gonzaga will host Paul VI Catholic (1-6, 0-4) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. St. John's (3-4, 2-2) will host McNamara (4-3, 2-2) on Saturday at 1.
"I've never done that before," said the 6-foot-2, 182-pound Dutch, who is also a standout basketball player for the Eagles. "That's about as well as I've ever played. . . . I got tired of the way things were going, so I decided to do something about it."
Playing in front of hundreds of former players from both schools, some from as far back as the 1940's, St. John's gave its fans something to cheer about early -- the Cadets turned a Gonzaga fumble on the game's first play from scrimmage into a 6-0 lead after Cliff Pearson scored on a 12-yard run.
But Dutch returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards -- untouched -- to put the Eagles ahead, 7-6. The teams exchanged first-half touchdowns and played to a 14-14 tie until midway through the fourth quarter. That is when Dutch decided that he had had enough.
Dutch scooped up a fumbled option toss from St. John's quarterback Bobby Lalli and streaked 77 yards down the sideline to put Gonzaga ahead 21-14 with 8 minutes 20 seconds left. Two minutes later, Gonzaga ended any doubts with a double-pass play, which began with quarterback John Reardon throwing a screen pass to tight end Joe Haynos, who heaved a deep pass to Dutch. Dutch made an over-the-shoulder grab and raced 74 yards for a touchdown to give Gonzaga a 27-14 edge. He capped his memorable day with a 44-yard touchdown reception with four minutes remaining.
Gonzaga's defense, which was playing without senior linebacker Kory Gedin (knee), also deserves much of the credit. After yielding two quick scores, the unit, behind the play of Brendan Callahan, Pat McConnell, Azim Ross and others, held the Cadets scoreless for the final 30:45.
"It came down to the kids relaxing, settling down and deciding they wanted to win this game," Gonzaga Coach Kenny Lucas said. "Beating St. John's is always big, and doing it in front of all these fans, families and alumni made it really special."