Although he wears jersey number zero, junior Keyshawn Mister put up some pretty big numbers for No. 12 Concordia Prep’s football team against fifth-ranked McDonogh on Thursday afternoon in Towson.

With his position listed as “athlete” on the roster, Mister proved why he deserves that designation by the versatility he displayed while helping the Saints upset No. 5 McDonogh. He threw a 54-yard touchdown pass and ran 93 yards for another score in the convincing 26-7 verdict.

Junior Keshawn Mister tossed a 54-yard touchdown pass and ran 93 yards for another score in No. 12 Concordia Prep’s 26-7 victory over fifth-ranked McDonogh on Thursday afternoon in Towson. (Nelson Coffin)

The defending MIAA B Conference champs, who fell in overtime to Gilman two weeks ago before pummeling Pikesville, 48-0, last week, faced a deficit midway through the first quarter after the Eagles (1-2) rattled off a six-play, 39-yard scoring drive on their first possession.

Junior running back Chase Green’s fourth-down 15-yard sweep kept the momentum going before freshman quarterback Braeden Palazzo connected with junior wide-out Santino Sanchez on a 14-yard pass play for a 7-0 lead with 6:57 left in the first quarter following junior kicker Sam Arbaugh’s extra-point conversion.

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Concordia Prep wasted no time pulling out a trick play just 23 seconds later when Mister took a pitch from senior quarterback Jordan Brooks and lofted a 54-yard pass to senior wide-out Josh Derry to pull Concordia Prep to within 7-6.

The score held until the Saints produced a 50-yard, seven-play sequence that bruising senior running back Jaeden Alston finished with a hard-nosed 12-yard rumble through the teeth of McDonogh’s defense and into the end zone. The ever-present Mister ran in the conversion points to up the advantage to 14-7 with 6:17 left in the third period.

Concordia Prep widened its margin with 2:14 left in the quarter when Brooks’ perfect 58-yard slant to the speedy Derry went all the way to make it, 20-7.

A 20-yard jet sweep by Sanchez on McDonogh’s ensuing 10-play possession helped the Eagles reach the Saints’ 3-yard line with plenty of time to make a game of it until the drive stalled when junior linebacker Cam Gross and freshman defensive end Destin Mitchell hurried Palazzo into a fourth-down incompletion.

McDonogh quarterback Braeden Palazzo (9) looks to throw as he is being pressured by a Concordia Prep's Cam Gross.

On the next play after the turnover on downs, what Mister called a run-pass option and what Concordia Prep coach Joe Battaglia described as a mid-line option, worked to perfection.

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Mister took a direct snap, ran quickly through the line, cut sharply to his left and motored 93 yards down the sideline for the game’s final score with 8:46 remaining in regulation.

That jaunt was the decisive blow, considering that the Eagles were close to making it a one-score game before the drive stalled.

Concordia Prep's Keshawn Mister (0) breaks into open space on his way to a 93-yard touchdown run. (John Bowers)

However, at the very least, they could have kept the Saints deep in their own territory with a defensive stop that never happened.

Simply put, Mister’s bolt was too much to overcome.

”It’s what we work on in practice,” said Mister, who scored twice in the loss to Gilman. “I was reading the defense and I went to see what I could get, and I got what I wanted.”

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Battaglia said that he learned the play while coaching under Ken Niumatalolo at the Naval Academy.

Battaglia also said that, despite facing an early deficit, he was not that concerned.

”We felt that we could play with them,” he added. “We were confident in our toughness.”

Fortunately for the Saints, the loss to Gilman did not have a hangover.

”We didn’t put too much into losing to Gilman,” Battaglia said. “We were confident we could get back.”

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McDonogh coach Hakeem Sule said that he saw some positive things from his team.

”At times we looked pretty good,” he said. “But we have to learn how to finish. We can look good for a half, but we need to put together a full football game.”


McD 7 0 0 0 — 7

CP 6 0 14 6 — 26

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1st Quarter

McD-Santino Sanchez 14 pass from Braeden Palazzo (Sam Arbaugh kick)

CP-Josh Derry 54 pass from Keyshawn Mister (pass failed)

3rd Quarter

CP-Jaeden Alston 12 run (Keyshawn Mister run)

CP-Josh Derry 58 pass from Jordan Brooks (pass failed)

4th Quarter

CP-Keyshawn Mister 93 run (pass failed)