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PREP FOOTBALL : Angelus League : St. Paul Beats Servite for Its Fourth Straight Victory

November 08, 1986|PAUL McLEOD | Times Staff Writer

St. Paul High School continued its midseason turnaround Friday night with a 35-21 Angelus League victory over Servite on Cranham Field at Santa Fe Springs.

The victory, St. Paul's fourth straight after a 2-3 start, assured the Swordsmen of a playoff spot for the second consecutive season under second-year Coach Rick Ready, a former assistant at the University of Miami (Ohio).

The victory set up a showdown for the league title next week against Bishop Amat, which also won Friday.

Servite (2-2, 6-3) plays rival Mater Dei Thursday night.

St. Paul's Mondo Costello scored three times, including the game's first two touchdowns, which gave the Swordsmen a 14-0 lead. Costello rushed for 162 yards, caught 3 passes for 46 yards and returned a kickoff 20 yards.

Costello's six-yard touchdown run gave St. Paul a 7-0 lead with 9:06 played in the first quarter. Nine and a half minutes later he caught an 11-yard pass from quarterback Jeff Willis for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. He helped put the game out of reach after Servite rallied to within one when he scored on a pass play with 2:30 left.

Servite's offense sputtered most of the game. Sophomore running back Derek Brown gained 25 yards in the first half, although he finished the game with 98 yards rushing. Still, the Friars stayed in the game thanks to three interceptions and a fumble recovery to open the second half that led to a Friar score. The play the was a catalyst that eventually cut St. Paul's 22-7 halftime lead to a single point, 22-21, with 11:55 to play.

But Willis put St. Paul in command, hitting 7 of his last 10 passes and Costello got the big yardage several times on key third down situations.

Willis completed 18 of 25 passes for 199 yards. Costello ran for 162 yards on 27 carries.

Servite quarterback Jason Messersmith completed 6 of 14 passes for 65 yards. Eddie Brown, who finished with just 36 yards on 10 carries, scored on two 1-yard runs.

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