St. John the Baptist has found itself in a series of tight games early this season. For a while Sunday afternoon, it looked as if the 2,150 in attendance would be treated to the same type of dramatics on homecoming.
Cardinal Spellman quarterback Kyle Benjamin scored on an 8-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to bring his team to within eight points, but it was all St. John the Baptist after that in a 36-6 victory over Spellman in a CHSFL game.
On SJB's possession after the Cardinal Spellman touchdown, Christian Turri fielded the kickoff and ran left before quickly handing off to Bryan Sinclair, who took off right and went 85 yards untouched to the end zone. It was just one of a few big plays that the Cougars used to show off their team speed.
"We worked on it during the week -- I wanted to do it and the kids wanted to do it, especially on homecoming," Cougars coach Keith Schweers said about the reverse. "We broke it out and I don't think it could have worked any better than that."
It was Turri's turn to shine in the second half. He fielded the opening kickoff on one bounce and sprinted straight through the Cardinal Spellman coverage for an 83-yard touchdown. He made it look just as easy later in the third quarter when he took a handoff and ran 51 yards to the end zone.
"Because the O-line was doing their job and opening up holes, we were able to manage big runs and big hits quickly," Schweers said. "We were able to come downhill at times and because everybody was doing their job, we were able to get those big plays."
The three big touchdowns gave St. John the Baptist (3-1) an overwhelming lead over Cardinal Spellman (0-4) -- and the ability to enjoy the homecoming game after last year's disappointing loss to St. Peter's.
"It feels great," Turri said. "Last year, we came out here and had a tough loss on homecoming so we felt like we needed to redeem ourselves -- we didn't want to be the senior class that lost again."