Mount St. Joseph of Maryland was a great host to the St. Joseph football team and its fans, except for when the two teams met on the gridiron on Oct. 10.
The Gaels shut out the Wildcats, 29-0, snapping St. Joseph’s three-game winning streak. The Wildcats fell to 3-2 on the year.
It was the second consecutive season the Wildcats traveled out of state for a game. St Joseph beat Steubenville (Ohio) last season.
“It was a great experience, but we did not play the way we should be playing,” St. Joseph coach Paul Sacco said. “It was a great environment, nothing like Steubenville. It was a nice facility, classy program, great football players and the coaches were very hospitable. The fans were great.”
He added: “It was a great weekend for the parents, but we need to find a way to get back on track. The entire team. We had many opportunities, but we are still making mistakes that at this time of the season, we should not be making.”
St. Joseph botched the opening kick, giving the home team the ball inside the 15-yard line, however, the Wildcats defense answered the call and kept the game scoreless with a goal-line stand. The Wildcats then drove into Gaels’ territory, but a botched snap forced them into a punt, which pinned the Baltimore-area team deep in its own end.
Despite being in the shadow of its own end zone, Mount St. Joseph struck first, as quarterback Bryan Costabile found Jayden Blue on a post route for a 99-yard touchdown.
“We had them pinned them in on the 1-yard line,” Sacco said. “All the momentum was in our favor, but we blew a coverage.”
He added: “That changed the complexion of the game.”
The Wildcats’ offense couldn’t get going, which was especially true when A’Laam Horne reinjured his ankle early in the second quarter. The senior back gained 42 yards on seven carries before leaving the game. His loss was also felt in the defensive backfield.
Costabile added two more scores in the first half, finding Christian Heyward for two of his three scores for a 20-0 lead. Heyward scored again in the third quarter, and the Gaels added a safety in the fourth quarter.
St. Joseph will try to get back on the winning track at home against Atlantic City on Oct. 17. The Vikings are coming off a win over Vineland, their first of the season.
At the time of publication, Horne’s availability was still unknown.
“We should be doing a better overall job as a team,” Sacco said. “We need a lot of people to step up right now.”