Easy pickins

McCormack's four INTs helps Saints to pick off win over RMA

McCormack's four INTs helps Saints to pick off win over RMA

September 26, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

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    ST. JAMES -- With a precarious one-point halftime lead and its leading rusher out of the game, the potential outcome for Saint James might have been as cloudy as the skies.

    Junior Kevin McCormack, a Hagerstown resident, was Johnny-on-the-spot for the Saints -- not once, twice or thrice, but four times -- as he picked off passes to help the Saints produce a 27-13 victory over Randolph Macon Academy in the home opener on Saturday afternoon.

    McCormack, inserted defensively late in the second period, helped the Saints offset the loss of Dylan Zimmerman, who was cut down five yards deep in the end zone after scoring his second touchdown with 4:08 left in the half for a 14-7 lead.

    Zimmerman left the game after rushing for 84 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries with what appeared to be a serious left knee injury. However, the diagnosis was a strained hamstring.


"It was a cheap shot in the end zone," said Saint James coach Chris Milmoe. "They had some kids that couldn't be controlled."

Numbers speak in that area. The Yellow Jackets had six turnovers and were assessed 17 penalties for a whopping 137 yards.

"But with Zimmerman out, it showed that we've been working other players into the system," said Milmoe. "More kids are getting more reps. You do that not with the idea of someone going down, but to develop depth."

Mike Townes took over the bulk of the work and rolled up 96 hard-earned yards on 28 carries.

The Yellow Jackets (1-2) answered the Zimmerman score with an 86-yard run by Nate Earp, who outran the Saints' secondary down the middle of the field. Zach Wooten bolted through the line to block the conversion kick to preserve Saint James' 14-13 lead at the half.

"I thought that block was a big play mentally because they didn't tie us," said Milmoe.

Then, McCormack entered and rang the defensive bell four times.

Pick One: He intercepted Mark Martin to end a Yellow Jackets drive that reached the Saints 31 with 58 seconds left in the half.

Pick Two: McCormack halted the Yellow Jackets' first possession of the second half with an interception and return to the RMA 38.

Pick Three: McCormack stepped in front of Martin's pass at the Saints 27 near the end of the third period to twart another comeback attempt.

Pick Four: After Saint James turned the ball over on downs at the Jackets 24, McCormack intercepted Martin's pass on the first play. Martin played the entire game, going both ways, including special teams.

"I guess I just kind of came out of nowhere," said McCormack. "Their quarterback got flushed out and would always lock on to one receiver and I was able to read his eyes pretty good."

McCormack helped offensively, too. He hauled in a 26-yard pass from Jamie Peterson after his second interception to the 1 to set up Townes' 2-yard score for a 21-13 lead.

"I really wanted that score, but it set up a score," said McCormack. "It was like a hitch-n-go route."

Saint James' lead reached to 27-13 after Ben Schindel pounced on another fumble by Martin at the RMA 16. Seven plays later, Peterson punched it in from the 1 on fourth-and-goal play with 3:18 left in the third quarter.

"(McCormack) is the kind of kid that gets overlooked but is all go in him and no quit," Milmoe said.

The Saints won despite being outgained 315-251 by RMA.

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