Model constructs win over St. James

September 12, 1998|By MARK KELLER

ST. JAMES - Under the circumstances, Chick Meehan's decision to go for a two-point conversion with his St. James team trailing by one point was actually a non-decision.

Meehan's quarterback, Billy Keyes, is also his long snapper. So when Keyes went down with cramps after Chris Acker's touchdown, the Saints had little choice but to go for two.

But Brandon Boger's pass fell incomplete, and Model School for the Deaf held on for a 27-26 win over the Saints Saturday afternoon.

"I really didn't have to make the decision because Billy was out," Meehan said. "We probably would have tried the kick, but I'm not sure. I might have made the same decision."


Acker's score, his second of the game, came on a 30-yard double pass from Larry Scott with 7 minutes, 53 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Saints (1-1) got the ball back one minute later when Acker picked off a pass from Model's Patrick O'Doherty, and a personal foul penalty gave the Saints the ball at the Model 37-yard line.

But St. James was forced to punt after its drive went nowhere. With 4:27 left and the ball at its own 20, Model (2-0) worked to run out the clock.

And in order to do that, O'Doherty did what he had done for much of the day - hand the ball to James Bunch. Bunch hammered St. James' interior line, carrying the ball 29 times for 252 yards, including 54 on the final drive. In all, Model ran the ball 52 times for 404 yards.

"Obviously, we have trouble stopping the run from tackle to tackle," Meehan said. "We're not that strong up front. We're very young and inexperienced. But that's just the way it is."

The Saints' inexperience also showed at a critical moment in the third quarter. After Bunch scored his third touchdown to tie the score at 20-20, St. James struck right back. Two long runs by Haleem White got the Saints inside the Model 10, and a quick burst by Boger was stopped just short of the goal line.

Twice on second-and-goal, the Saints were called for illegal procedure, moving them outside the 10. On third down, Keyes was picked off by Matt Miller to end the threat.

"We've got two new offensive players there, two inexperienced guys. And that's what happens," Meehan said. "You know, you're mad 'cause you lose. But you can't be upset with the kids because they played so hard.

"(Model) is so much better than the team we beat last week (Maryland School for the Deaf). This would have been a great win," Meehan added.

Boger finished with 112 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. White had 123 yards and a score. Keyes was 9 of 19 for 104 yards and a touchdown.

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