STAB football falls to Bishop Sullivan in state semifinal

The run St. Anne’s-Belfield made in the second half of 2013 was incredible. But it came to an end with the Saints’ second loss this season at the hands of Bishop Sullivan, this time in the VISAA Division II semifinals.

The Saints fell 45-23 to the top-seeded Crusaders, ending a five-game winning streak that came on the heels of a 14-game losing streak that stretched back to the beginning of 2012.

After losing to Bishop Sullivan 49-22 back in September and never really having a shot as the Crusaders piled up a 22-0 lead in the first quarter, STAB showed just how big of a step forward they took Friday, keeping the Crusaders on the ropes early with a 10-0 lead. By halftime, the game was still deadlocked, sitting at 16-16.

Bishop Sullivan pulled away at the half with the offense getting into gear as highly-regarded wide receiver recruit Jamil Kamara torched the Saints for 173 yards and two touchdowns on eight catches. A couple of Pierce Turner touchdowns on the ground for Bishop Sullivan helped turn the tide for the Crusaders too.

Kamara’s second half touchdown from 14 yards out with 7:07 to play was the final nail in the coffin as it squelched any hope for a STAB rally with the Crusaders up by 29 points.

Kamara’s quarterback, Blake Larussa, a junior, went 19 for 31 for 333 yards, though he did throw a trio of interceptions, all into the waiting arms of STAB sophomore Jalen Harrison.

Harrison had a tremendous night, accounting for three touchdowns in addition to those interceptions, one a 52-yard throw to John Woodson and another couple of catches of his own, one for 23 yards and another from 35 yards out.

The Saints hurt themselves too often though, and coughed the ball up three times. That was enough to swing the momentum to the Crusaders who had to overcome more than 100 yards in penalties.

STAB struggled to get anything going on the ground and as has been the case this year, the Saints floundered without the run game.

STAB’s season ends at 5-5, capping a turnaround season from last year’s 0-10 nightmare. With just a handful of seniors on the roster, and all the squad’s skill position players back in the fold next year, it might just be the beginning for the Saints.