Friday, Sept. 16, 2011Posted: 11:45 p.m.
By Mike Clark
Charles Elmore likes a challenge and thats just what he got on Friday night.
First, the St. Rita senior had to break a few tackles to gain a key first down on a fake punt. Then he had to defend Brother Rice star Martez Walker on a deep pass with the game on the line.
Elmore came through again, picking off a pass in the end zone in the final minute to seal a 21-17 Catholic League Blue win for No. 10 St. Rita over No. 23 Brother Rice on the road.
I do this for them, Elmore said of his teammates. I wasnt going to let the game be in my hands and let them down.
He didnt. First Elmore ran 14 yards to the Mustangs 48 for a first down on the fake punt on the final play of the third quarter with St. Rita down 10-7.
We were reeling a little bit offensively, St. Rita coach Todd Kuska said. We needed a boost. If it doesnt work, were in a lot of trouble.
But it did. And nine plays later, Mike Zunica plowed over from a yard out to put the Mustangs up 14-10 with 8:02 left.
Brother Rice (3-1, 0-1) came right back with a 10-play scoring drive, going ahead 17-14 on Andrew Walkers 2-yard touchdown run with 3:23 to play. But St. Rita (3-1, 1-0) responded, taking a 21-17 lead on Scott Thomas 33-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay with 1:55 remaining.
Man, I had to go get it, said Golladay, who had seven catches for 140 yards, including five for 128 after halftime.
But Rice wasnt done. The Crusaders marched to the St. Rita 11 with 31.8 seconds left when Elmore came through again, picking off Pat Parrillis pass intended for Martez Walker in the end zone.
It was a phenomenal game, Rice coach Steve Nye said. It was kids in the fourth quarter making plays. They just made the last play.
I played Martez since grammar school, Elmore said. There in that position I wanted to guard him. I love taking the challenge.
St. Rita took a 7-0 lead on its first possession, scoring on Thomas 11-yard pass to Mike Zunica with 6:45 left in the first quarter.
The Crusaders, who went three-and-out on their first three drives, scored on both of their second-quarter possessions to go ahead 10-7. Martez Walker broke free for a 42-yard score on a counter play with 8:44 left in the second period. Rice then went on a 15-play drive that lasted 7 minutes, 42 seconds, capping it with Brian Kanes 27-yard field goal five seconds before halftime.
Thomas was 11 of 25 passing for 159 yards. The Mustangs were held to 26 yards on 19 rushes.
Parrilli was 19 of 26 passing for 190 yards. Andrew Walker had 81 yards on 18 carries and Martez Walker added 49 yards on 10 rushes.