GAME 9:   @ Catholic 20, Saint James 15

STJ           8       0       0       7         15

CAT          8       6       0       6         20


CAT  (1)   2:11   Ford 10 run                                           (Croy run)      0 -  8
STJ   (1)   1:56   Allen 82 kickoff return        (Byrd pass from Allen)     8 -  8
CAT  (2)   9:18   Croy 5 pass from Tatum                        (run failed)    8 - 14
STJ   (4)   8:22   George 4 run                                (Robertson kick)    15 - 14
CAT  (4)   2:40   Ford 2 run                                            (run failed)    15 - 20

October 21, 1988   Catholic Field.   Game Conditions:   Heavy rain earlier, clearing, cooling rapidly  Game temperature:  56  Wind:  Variable

Saint James came from behind twice to tie and even take a late lead, but Catholic answered with a sustained fourth quarter drive to wrap up their first state football playoff appearance in twelve years, as the Knights clinched an area runner-up spot with a 20 - 15 win over the Trojans.

The Knights, led by backup quarterback Keith Tatum as J.R. Richardson was out with an injury, moved down the field on their first possession, but a holding penalty stalled the drive.  On fourth down and 20 from midfield, wide receiver Matt Croy completed a pass which came up only one yard short of the necessary first down yardage.  The Trojans picked up one first down after the loss of downs turnover, but two consecutive fumbles Saint James was fortunate to recover lost a total of thirteen yards.  However, P.J. Robertson boomed a 51 yard punt with the brisk breeze to the Knight 20.  The Knights mixed runs by Charlie Ford and passes by just about anyone in the backfield who wanted to toss it.  Tatum completed a 25 yard pass to Donny Herndon for a first down at the Trojan 16, and three plays later Ford took the handoff for a 10 yard touchdown.  With a less than adequate place kicker, in their own words, the Knights opted for 2, and Croy took the pitch on a wide receiver toss for a two point conversion and an 8 - 0 Catholic lead.

For only seconds.  Jay Allen scooped up the kickoff at his own 18 and simply tore down the Saint James sidelines untouched thanks to some excellent blocking, and 15 seconds and 82 yards later the Trojans had a touchdown.  At the time, this was the second longest kickoff return in Trojan history, surpassed only by an earlier season return by Jeff George against Alabama Christian for 89 yards.  Allen, in place of the injured Wade Hartley, regrouped and tossed a two point conversion pass to Billy Byrd to tie the score up at 8 late in the first quarter.

Catholic embarked on a 10 play drive, bolstered by another big run by Ford and a 15 yard face mask penalty.  On third down from the Trojan five, Tatum tossed a touchdown pass to Croy to retake the lead for the Knights.  This time, a run attempt was stopped, and the score was 14 - 8, still early in the second quarter.

After another nice kickoff return, this one by George, Saint James held the ball for the next thirteen plays.  Will Parker ran for two first downs, and Clifford Long caught a 22 yard pass from Allen for another, moving the ball to the Knights 15.  However, after a sack, an incompletion, and a short pass, Saint James lined up for a 36 yard field goal attempt, but the snap was bobbled and the kick was not attempted.   Catholic took over, and was forced to punt, but the Trojans muffed the return and the Knights recovered at the Trojan 23 with 2 minutes remaining until halftime.  A 12 yard pass on first down halved the distance, but the Saint James defense tightened, forcing a field goal attempt by Catholic.  The kick barely reached the endzone, well short.   The Trojans took over with less than a minute remaining and nearly turned the ball over again on another fumble before running the first half clock out within a touchdown.

Catholic deferred its wind advantage until the fourth quarter, and opted for a short kickoff to start the second half to prevent a repeat of Allen's earlier return.  With good field position, Allen completed a pass to George, but the ball was stripped and the Knights recovered at midfield.  From there, Catholic was moving, but Allen stepped in and intercepted a Tatum pass, returning it to the Trojan 23.  Saint James was forced to punt, but did so well with the wind advantage, and a bizarre dead ball clipping penalty on the return moved the ball well back into Knight territory.  Catholic punted, a respectable 29 yards into the wind, and the Trojans took over with 3 minutes left in the third quarter.  From their own 40, the Trojans took 6 plays to move into Catholic's end of the field before the end of the quarter.   Allen overcame a sack with two consecutive nine yard completions.  Later, an Allen run gave Saint James a first down at the Catholic 14.  Allen then carried for 10 yards, and handed off to George for the final four and a tying touchdown.  Robertson came in, and drilled the extra point despite the wind, giving the Trojans a perhaps surprising 15 - 14 lead with just over 8 minutes remaining in the game.

A line drive kickoff which fortunately, for Catholic, rolled just into the endzone before the Trojans were closing on it, gave the Knights the ball on the 20.  From there, Tatum and Ford and Herndon alternated runs for 11 plays in a row.  Ford's 30 yard run from the Trojan 47 was the big play preceding his two yard touchdown run with 2:40 remaining in the game.  However, he could not convert the two pointer, and the Trojans were within a touchdown of a win.

Catholic finally got some distance and coverage on a kickoff, and Saint James was lucky to recover a fumble at their own 34 to start what would likely be their final drive of the game, and the Trojans went to strictly passes.  An incompletion, a 6 yarder to Long, a 14 yarder to George, and an 11 yarder to Nave had the Trojans down to the Catholic 35 with 68 seconds remaining.  However, three incompletions and an illegal procedure penalty moved the ball back, and on a desperate fourth down and 15, Allen's pass intended for Nave was intercepted by Herndon, and Catholic simply ran out the clock and ran into the locker room celebrating their clinched playoff berth.


SAINT JAMES   RUSHING   33 attempts  35 yards   1 TD  (1.06 yards per carry)

                          34   Parker        13 / 48            28   George         8 / 17  (1 TD)      11   Allen             5 /   2
                          33   Long           6 / - 10           19   Robertson    1 /- 22

                          PASSING    11 completions  18 attempts  1 INT   112 yards  0 TDs  (2 sacks of, 9 yards)

                          11   Allen          11 - 18 - 1    112 yards


                          28   George        4 / 43             33   Long            3 / 37                  84   Nave             3 / 26
                          34   Parker         1 /   6

                          TOTAL YARDS:  147

                          KICKS:  XP  1 / 1                                         FG  0 / 0
                          2 POINT CONVERSIONS:   1 / 1
                          KICKOFFS:  3 (53,51,EZ)                             PUNTS:  3  (51,41,35)
                          KO RETURNS:  4 (82TD,22,7,24)                 PUNT RETURNS:   2 (-6f,2)
                          INTERCEPTION RETURNS:  1  (12)
                          FIRST DOWNS:   12  (9 rushing, 3 passing)
                          FUMBLES:  6, lost 3
                          TURNOVER MARGIN:   - 3
                          PENALTIES:  2 / 20 yards
                          TIME OF POSSESSION:  22:55

CATHOLIC        RUSHING   48 attempts  210 yards   2 TDs   (4.38 yards per carry)
                          PASSING      8 completions 19 attempts 1 INT  109 yards  1 TD  (no sacks of)
                          TOTAL YARDS:   319

                          KICKS:  XP  0 / 0                                        FG  0 / 1
                          2 POINT CONVERSIONS:  1 / 3
                          KICKOFFS:  4 (42,54,28,50)                        PUNTS:  1  (34)
                          KO RETURNS:  2  (9,19)                             PUNT RETURNS:  1  (2)
                          INTERCEPTION RETURNS:  1  (30
                          FIRST DOWNS:  15  (10 rushing, 5 passing)
                          FUMBLES:  3, lost 0
                          PENALTIES:  2 / 25 yards
                          TIME OF POSSESSION:  25:05