Four turnovers were turned into touchdowns for the DeSales High School football team in a 28-16 victory over visiting St. Charles on Sept. 28 in the CCL-Silver Division opener.
It was the 36th consecutive loss in the series by the Cardinals, who last defeated the Stallions 14-6 in 1976.
“I was excited about the mental focus we had in this game,” said DeSales senior J.T. Blubaugh, who rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. “We had been getting killed all year with penalties and turnovers, but our mental focus was great tonight.”
The teams each had two fumbles in the first quarter, but the Stallions (3-3) converted one on the opening kickoff into a score on Blubaugh’s 3-yard run with 9 minutes, 49 seconds left in the period. St. Charles (4-2) answered with a 59-yard touchdown run by Evan Brown 19 seconds later to tie the game.
John Colosimo gave the Cardinals a 10-7 lead with a 33-yard field goal early in the second before Blubaugh had a 9-yard scoring run with 4:18 left in the half.
St. Charles drove to the Stallions’ 2 in the final seconds of the half, but Sean Fitzmartin was stopped just shy of the goal line as time expired.
“I thought (Fitzmartin) stretched the ball over the goal line and he was in, and we should have gone into locker room with a (17-14) lead,” St. Charles coach Jeff Pharion said. “Our kids played hard, but the better team tonight won the game. They did what they needed to win.”
Tyler West recovered a fumbled punt return by St. Charles at the Cardinals’ 31, setting up a 32-yard touchdown pass from DeSales quarterback Alex Perrine to Oliver Grimard with 7:02 left in the third.
Defensive back LeShaun Sanders had an interception and fumble recovery for DeSales in the third quarter. Fitzmartin tried to score from the DeSales’ 4 but fumbled the ball at the 1 and Sanders recovered in the end zone for a touchback with 1:20 left in the third.
An 80-yard drive concluded with Sayyid Kanu catching a 7-yard pass from Perrine with 5:56 left to play for a 28-10 DeSales lead.
“We started to move the ball in the second half and take time off of the clock,” said Perrine, who had 61 yards rushing on 14 carries. “We knew what we needed to do.”
Fitzmartin rushed for 140 yards on 22 carries, including a 22-yard scoring run with 5:04 to play, cutting the deficit to 28-16. But Ryan Bailey was intercepted by Kanu with 1:19 to play to seal DeSales’ victory.
Perrine was 4-for-8 passing for 57 yards and two touchdowns. West rushed for 47 yards on nine carries.
Bailey was 7-for-12 passing for 59 yards and two interceptions.
D -- Blubaugh 3 run (Acquista kick)
SC -- Brown 59 run (Colosimo kick)
S -- Colosimo 33 FG
D -- Blubaugh 9 run (Acquista kick)
D -- Grimard 32 pass from Perrine (Acquista kick)
D -- Kanu 7 pass from Perrine (Acquista kick)
SC -- Fitzmartin 22 run (pass failed)