CSCS powers to 27-9 win over St. Mary's

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Photo - St. Mary’s head coach Archie Malloy talks to his team during practice Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, at Grace Center.  (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
St. Mary’s head coach Archie Malloy talks to his team during practice Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, at Grace Center. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

An eventful, dramatic final drive helped Colorado Springs Christian School clinch a 27-9 victory over St. Mary’s.

The win pushes CSCS’ Lions to a 4-1 record. St. Mary’s Pirates fall to 0-5.

When the drive started at the CSCS 20-yard line with eight minutes left Friday, the Lions had been struggling after jumping to a 20-3 halftime lead. The struggling ended on the long drive, which ended with a 2-yard run by Gabe Danzik.

“That last drive, I really liked,” CSCS coach Jay Kersey said. “We ran the ball. We ran the clock. That’s what we want to do. Control the clock. Control the game.”

There was one play on the drive Kersey did not like. St. Mary’s linebacker Mason Pepper read CSCS quarterback Jordan Greager’s eyes and cut in front of a pass at the CSCS 30-yard line. The ball was in Pepper’s hands, and no one was between him and the goal line.

Pepper could not quite hold on.

“That could have been a game-changer,” Kersey said.

Pepper’s near interception was right in front of St. Mary’s coach Archie Malloy.

“He read it perfectly,” Malloy said. “He got himself in great position, but you know what, the ball hits the ground, and we move on.”

St. Mary’s is winless but has come close this season against Manitou Springs and Rocky Ford. Malloy was encouraged by his team’s performance in the second half after the Pirates fell behind.

“Nobody is going to feel sorry for you in the game of football or the game of life,” Malloy said. “It’s our job to push through. I saw a team that could have folded and decided this was over. But they came back out there in the proverbial ring and threw some punches.”

CSCS scored on its first drive after a 33-yard punt return by Caleb Stockton gave the Lions superb field position at the Pirates' 20-yard line. A play later, Joe Dunn scored on a 12-yard pass/lateral from Greager.

St. Mary’s answered after recovering a fumble. The Pirates drove to the CSCS 12, where the drive stalled. Gabe Calhoun kicked a 19-yard field goal to cut the lead to 6-3.

A 36-yard run by Danzik set up the Lions' next score, an 8-yard run by Greager.

The Lions pushed their lead to 20-3 by scoring with 12 seconds left in the second quarter. On a fourth down from inside the 1, Greager dived into the end zone.