O’FALLON, Mo. • The start was far from perfect, but the St. Dominic Crusaders remain perfect after their 32-8 win over AAA Large conference rival St. Mary’s.
A total of eighteen minutes had elapsed -- in which five penalties were handed out -- before conference’s most potent offense was able to score.
“We worked at it. They (St. Mary’s) were doing a good job defensively taking away a lot of the run game on us, did a really outstanding job on the run game, and then we just got it open a little bit, and Corrigan found the right guys,” St. Dominic coach Jim Cook said.
The Crusaders (6-0, 3-0) came into the game against the Dragons (4-2, 1-2) averaging 40.6 points per game and had only scored twice on a passing play all year long.
Escaping the battle up front, the first touchdown of the game came via the passing attack on a 6-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Sean Corrigan with 6:01 left in the first half.
“On defense, I just was in the right spot at the right time, and I just used my wheels,” Corrigan said. “And on offense, O-Line, wide receivers did their jobs, put it in the end zone.”
Corrigan finished the game with three touchdowns for the Crusaders. Corrigan scored on the ground, the 6-yard touchdown pass and intercepted a St. Mary’s pass and ran it back for a touchdown.
Senior running back Jake Wilmes scored the other two touchdowns for the Crusaders on the ground.
The passing game was opened up for either team after their characteristic ground-and-pound strategy ate the clock and dominated the first quarter in which both teams held each other scoreless.
The Dragons and Crusaders, with only one loss between them entering the game, have won on the wings of their run game, but the passing game of both teams became an unfamiliar friend.
Before the end of the first half the Dragons already had doubled their season total of one pass completion and had 16 yards through the air.
“St. Dominic was playing well against the run, and we knew we were going to have to mix it up a little bit more, and it didn’t work out as well as we hoped,” St. Mary’s coach Jake Parent said.
Dragons senior quarterback Kevin Hennessy completed a season-high eight passes for 101 yards, including a 30-yard pass early in the fourth quarter during the team’s only scoring drive of the game.
The passing game was effective for St. Mary’s, while senior running back Brandon Polito carried the ball 16 times for 62 yards, and Hennessy ran 12 times for 47 yards.
However, late in the game both teams became bogged down by costly penalties, including a roughing the passer penalty on the Dragons in the third quarter that put St. Dominic in better scoring position.
The Crusaders would cash in on that penalty, going 19-0 to start the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t play up to our abilities, and when you play a good team like St. Dominic, they’re going to take advantage of your mistakes, and I told our team we could play better, and we’re going to play better this year,” Parent said.
St. Dominic’s win over the Dragons follows its win over AAA Large favorite Borgia the previous week, while St. Mary’s was coming off a one point win over Duchesne.
St. Dominic will play next at Duchesne. St. Mary’s will host DuBourg.