It was a perfect ending for Ritchie Schell.
Boys’ Latin defeated St. Paul’s, 42-24, in the annual regular-season ending rivalry contest at Towson University’s Unitas Stadium.
The Lakers used a stingy defense and a big-play offense that scored the final 22 points, bringing a close to Schell’s 22-season run as coach. The Lakers finished the season 4-5 overall and 2-3 in MIAA B Conference play
“It feels good,” said BL senior wide receiver Tyler Owings. “You could tell this game really meant a lot to him. It was really emotional for him. It means a lot to the fans, it means a lot to the school, and it means a lot to us.”
Trailing 24-20 late in the third, the Lakers used two second half touchdowns by senior running back Damond Malloy to pull ahead 35-24 midway through the fourth quarter. Junior Mason Proutt scored a late touchdown to provide the final margin.
Owings and senior quarterback Jackson Field sparked the rally with several big plays, including a 12-yard touchdown strike in the second quarter.
“Depending on the defense they’re playing, we just look at each other and we know what we’re going to do,” Field. “We had it working tonight, and it really showed on the scoreboard.”
Boys Latin and St. Paul’s combined for six first-half touchdowns, and the Crusaders enjoyed a 21-20 halftime lead. St. Paul’s got a field goal to advance the lead to 24-20 in the third quarter.
The rest of the contest belonged to the Lakers, who trailed, 43-25-1, all-time in the series.
“Too many missed opportunities,” said St. Paul’s coach Troy Gibson. “There were a lot of tipped passes we just couldn’t get our hands on.”
Gibson, in his first season after serving as offensive coordinator under Kyle Schmitt at Archbishop Spalding, was encouraged by St. Paul’s effort Friday.
“These guys played their butts off. We have great kids and a great community,” said Gibson, who went 2-7, 0-5 in MIAA B play this season. “I’m excited about our future at St. Paul’s.”
Gibson tipped his hat to the out-going Schell, whose 13-9 record against the Crusaders account for more than half of BL’s all-time wins in the series.
“Coach Schell is amazing. He gets to walk away with a 1-0 record against me,” said Gibson. “That’s going to stick with me for a long time.”
At halftime, a 10-minute video with current and former players, coaches and administrators giving well-wishes and congratulations to Schell played on the Unitas Stadium scoreboard.
Schell finished 126-86 at Boys’ Latin with three MIAA championships. His tenure at the Roland Parkprivate school is the second-longest in MIAA football history.
“It does mean a lot to go out with a win. St Paul’s is a good football team,” said Schell. “We knew if we played the way we’re capable of, we had a good chance to win. They’re our arch-rivals, so it does mean a lot.”