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Panthers go ahead early, cruise late to beat Kennedy

By Jared Green
Monday October 21, 2002

The St. Mary’s High football team kicked off their Bay Shore Athletic League season with a 37-14 stomping of Kennedy (Richmond) High on Saturday, getting three rushing touchdowns from Fred Hives in their easiest win of the year. 

Hives ran for a game-high 87 yards and Steve Murphy scored touchdowns on a 55-yard screen pass and a 23-yard run. Murphy started the game at tailback, giving way to sophomore Scott Tully at quarterback for the first time this season. Murphy was nursing a thigh bruise suffered against Oakland Tech High last weekend. 

St. Mary’s (2-3-1 overall, 1-0 BSAL) dominated the game until the final minutes, taking a 37-0 lead into the fourth quarter before fatigue and turnovers led to two Kennedy (0-6, 0-1) touchdowns. Tully threw for 135 yards, all in the first half, on 5-of-11 passing, making a case for head coach Jay Lawson to leave the versatile Murphy at tailback for the rest of the season.  

Hives, switching between fullback and tailback, scored on runs of four and five yards in the first quarter to give St. Mary’s a 14-0 lead. On St. Mary’s first drive of the second quarter Murphy took a screen pass from Tully and got some nice downfield blocks, going 55 yards untouched down the left sideline. The Panthers finished the first half with a safety, thanks to a punt snap over Miles head that ended up in the end zone, where St. Mary’s defensive end Nick Osborn dragged Miles to the ground. Osborn had 2.5 sacks in the game and harrassed Miles on nearly every passing play. 

Both St. Mary’s touchdowns in the second half came after Kennedy turnovers. Middle linebacker Matt Hurley picked off a pass and returned it to the 20-yard line. Four plays later Hives scored on a two-yard plunge to open the second-half scoring. Kennedy’s Joe Jones fumbled on the next play from scrimmage, and the Panthers needed just two plays to score their final touchdown, with Murphy juking his way to a 23-yard score. 

Tully’s only interception of the game came with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, with Kennedy’s Mike Dunbar snagging the ball near midfield and fumbling it right into teammate Joe Jones’ hands. Jones returned the ball to the St. Mary’s 10-yard line, and quarterback Aaron Miles scored on a naked bootleg for Kennedy’s first score of the game. 

Hives fumbled on the next St. Mary’s drive and Miles threw to Antonio Norman for gains of 18 and 22 yards, the latter for a touchdown. Kennedy’s Jamahl Mackey was ejected for spearing a player on the ground on the ensuing kickoff.