Frogs leap over Saints, 42-39

October 22, 1998

St James QB Billy KeyesBy MIKE WOLFF / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

ST. JAMES - In the world of sports, there usually is no such thing as a moral victory, but the St. James football team definitely earned one on Thursday when it lost a close game to the Maret Frogs, 42-39.

The Saints played one of their strongest games of the season as they erased a 21-6 halftime deficit to take a 32-28 lead.

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"That's the spirit of St. James," Maret head coach Nick Markoff said, "I've been playing (St. James coach Chick Meehan) for 20 years and his team doesn't quit until the final whistle and that's what happened today."


Unfortunately for the Saints, they were unable to hold the four-point lead, as Maret battled back with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

"I told them after we fell behind that this was going to be the most important quarter of football they will play all year," Markoff said, "It's going to be a real gut check. If we lose, well, then shame on them."

The Frogs responded and won their first Mid-Atlantic Conference game of the season.

Maret combined strong running with a solid passing attack on two drives in the fourth quarter to earn the win. Senior quarterback Phil Kowalczyk twice ran the ball in from the 1 to put the game away for the Frogs.

Maret (2-6, 1-2) came out of the gate with a bang when they scored on their opening possession on a one-yard touchdown run by Justin Hall.

"We really wanted to win this game," Hall said, "We played the hardest we played all season. We just couldn't stand another loss."

Hall, who is nicknamed "Ironhead," rushed for 224 yards on 32 carries andpicked up big yards when his team needed him the most.

The break at halftime seemed to change the momentum in the Saints' favor. They scored 26 of the first 33 points of the second half to take their first lead of the game.

St. James (1-7, 0-2) was able to put together a solid passing game as quarterback Billy Keyes hooked up with receivers Chris Acker and Larry Scott.

Keyes was 14 of 20 for 236 yards and five touchdowns, helped by his receivers' ability to outjump the Maret secondary. Scott scored four TDs and had 120 yards receiving.

"I thought we came back really well," Meehan said, "We should have won the game but we didn't. The kids played hard and we made some big plays in the second half. We just couldn't stop them when we needed to."

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