By: Tadi Abedje
St. Albans’ varsity football team took on the Paul VI Panthers from Fairfax, Virginia, on their home field. It was a non-conference game for the Bulldogs. The game was played on their home turf at Steuart Field. St. Albans came into the game with a 1-3 record and averaged 21.8 points per game. However, it was a contest the Bulldogs would like to forget as they struggled in a 49-6 loss.
During the Panthers’ opening drive, they converted first downs on their first two plays by running backs Mo Hammond and Billy Saffin. A couple of plays later, Saffin would score the first touchdown of the game to make it 7-0.
On the Bulldogs’ first possession, quarterback Nick Beatrice threw an interception to cornerback Devon Zavacky. The Panthers would capitalize off the turnover and turn it into a Mo Hammond touchdown to go up 14-0.
In the second quarter, the miscues would continue as Beatrice threw another interception to cornerback C.J. Baskerville, who returned it to the house to give the Panthers a commanding 21-0 lead.
During the next drive, Beatrice almost lost the football on a botched snap but recovered it. But St. Albans couldn’t move the ball. One the Panthers took possession, Mo Hammond ran up the middle untouched for a touchdown, increasing the Panthers’ lead to 28-0.
Furthermore, Panthers’ receiver Avery Ford caught a long touchdown pass to increase the lead to 35-0. And just when you thought the Panthers would close out the half with a 35-0 lead, running back Charley O’Connor ran up the middle on third-and-short and collected another touchdown for the Panthers.
Moreover, St. Albans continued to struggle in the second half. Beatrice threw his third interception to defensive back Billy Saffin. With that miscue, it would turn into another Mo Hammond touchdown for the Panthers to make it 49-0.
In the fourth quarter, Beatrice was pulled from the game. And Kyle Parizek was his replacement. He would lead them down the field deep into Panther territory. The drive ended with a Jackson Escoto touchdown run.
Indeed, Beatrice was off target on his throws all day and under duress. “We were just making a lot of mistakes offensively and defensively. Just didn’t play a very good game on either side of the ball. But I take a lot of responsibility on myself. I didn’t throw the ball well today,” he said.
Gary Schnell, the Bulldogs’ head coach, added on to Beatrice’s sentiments. “We didn’t block and tackle very well. At the end of the day, that’s the bottom line. We just got to keep working to be more physical and finishing blocks and tackles. I think we’ll go a long way. The coach would also say that they will work on physicality and eliminating mental errors during the off week.
After the bye, St. Albans will play against Episcopal High School on October 12th in Alexandria, VA.