St. John's/Prospect Hall 0
It was difficult to decide which part of visiting Pallotti's 36-0 victory over St. John's/Prospect Hall was more impressive last night at McCurdy Field in Frederick: The Panthers' smallish offensive line continually opened holes for a pair of 100-yard rushers, but Pallotti's defense was just as good, if not better. It limited record-setting quarterback Keith Ricca to 177 yards passing, less than half his total from last week.
Pallotti's players thought their defensive effort was most special, but Coach Jack Mead was equally pleased with both sides of the ball in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference game.
Ricca "is guy everybody is writing about, he's going to break the Maryland passing record; and he's an outstanding quarterback, but we're taking another step this year," Mead said. "We're more physical and more athletic. I'm most proud of the way our offensive line has been playing this year. We're so small but we're so tough."
Perhaps making the Laurel school's accomplishment a little more remarkable is that standout Tim Jennings did not play at all on defense and was in for about only half of the team's offensive snaps because of a sprained right knee that he suffered in the preseason.
It did not seem to make much difference on either offense or defense. Running backs Trevin Parrish and Harold Morton rushed for 138 and 107 yards, respectively, and quarterback Kevin Olive added a 21-yard touchdown pass to Matt Williams to open the scoring.
On defense, Pallotti (3-0, 1-0) held Ricca in check. Ricca is third in state history with 6,089 career passing yards and last season set state single-season records for passing yardage and touchdown passes. But with top wide receiver Max Morris out for most of the game after suffering a hip pointer in the opening series, Ricca struggled and did not have a completion of more than 16 yards. He completed 19 of 34 attempts with one interception.
"It's one of the best quarterbacks in Maryland," Parrish said. "To shut them out 36-0, that's real impressive for us."
Offensively, Pallotti kept the ball on the ground, piling up 307 yards rushing behind an offensive line whose starters on average are 5 feet 11 and 185 pounds -- including sophomore guard Matt Fridell, who is listed at 5-7, 150 and goes by the nickname Rudy.
"We have a small offensive line, but we're so quick and we're in that weight room," said Parrish, who scored on a 35-yard run in the first quarter and a one-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Said Vikings Coach John Ricca, whose team is 1-1, 0-1: "They dominated us and kicked our butts every way possible. But I'm not sure that our performance was not the worst in the history of football. I have to take some of the blame. I didn't have them ready to play. But we just stood up and let smaller guys kick our butts. . . . It's embarrassing when you're 50 pounds heavier a man."