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St. John's-PH shuts out St. James

October 12, 2003|by CHRIS CARTER and TRAVIS KING

ST. JAMES - On a day when the usually explosive St. John's at Prospect Hall offense hit a few bumps, the Vikings' defense carried the load.

St. John's shut out St. James 30-0, avenging its only loss of the season last year.

"We didn't play terribly well on offense today," said Vikings head coach John Ricca, "but I'm not going to apologize for any win."

The defense held St. James (0-5) to just 46 yards of total offense and sacked quarterback Nick Holtz seven times, including three by Mike McCurdy. St. John's (4-2) forced three-and-out drives on five of the Saints' first six possessions, giving the Vikings good field position on several drives.

While the defense controlled the tempo of the game, the offense still showed signs of the team which boasts one of the better aerial attacks in the area. Keith Ricca, the area's leading passer, hooked up with Max Morris for touchdowns of 4 and 25 yards. Ricca completed 20 of 35 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns and Morris hauled in 10 balls for 121 yards.

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On the Vikings' opening possession, they marched 53 yards on four plays for a score, a 4-yard pass from Ricca to Morris. Randall Smedley ran in the two-point converstion to make it 8-0.

After a bad snap on a punt gave St. John's the ball on the Saints' 15-yard line in the second quarter, the Vikings needed just two plays to punch it in, as Ricca tossed a 5-yard touchdown to Rob Haynos. Another two-point conversion gave the Vikings a 16-0 lead with just less than two minutes to play before halftime.

St. James squandered an opportunity to put points on the board after it drove to the Vikings 26 yard-line. The drive stalled and the Saints were forced to attempt a field goal, but another bad snap turned the ball over to St. John's to close the half.

The Vikings opened the second half with another impressive drive, covering 70 yards on 12 plays that ended with Smedley sweeping right 10 yards and diving into the end zone to pad the St. John's lead. Ricca passed to Haynos for the conversion.

The Vikings added another touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter when Morris took a quick screen 25 yards for a touchdown for the final score of the game.

St. John's rolled up 356 yards on offense, gaining 20 first downs, and was forced to punt just once.

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