High School HS Football

St. John’s couldn’t handle IMG Academy’s second half surge in 35-20 loss

The Cadets dropped its second straight game to a nationally ranked opponent.

Photo from USA Today High School Sports

St. John’s College High School dropped its second straight game to a nationally ranked opponent, as they fell to IMG Academy 35-20 on Saturday afternoon.

Defense and penalties ruled the first half, as both teams had a hard time generating any momentum on offense due to strong defensive plays and yellow flags being thrown all over the field.

The Cadets struck first when senior quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Jamar Curtis to put them up 7-0 in the second quarter.

The Ascenders responded by blocking St. John’s punt attempt, which led to junior Erickson Buck recovering the ball in the endzone to tie the game.

St. John’s had a opportunity to take the lead, but the team’s field goal during the final seconds of the first half was short.

Maiava put St. John’s in scoring position early in the third quarter when he escaped pressure and ran 45-yards to get into IMG territory. Junior running back Colby McDonald found a gap in IMG’s defense and ran 10-yards for a touchdown that put the Cadets up 14-7.

IMG quarterback Dj Boney connected with receiver Dekel Crowdus for a touchdown, which tied the game at 14. The Ascenders defense forced a three and out then running back Kaytron Allen scored to give his team a 21-14 lead.

St. John’s cut the deficit to 21-20 when Maiava scrambled out the pocket and dive into the endzone for a touchdown. On the next offensive drive, Maiava threw an interception to IMG linebacker Grant Miller. Miller returned the ball for a touchdown to give IMG a 28-20 lead in the fourth quarter.

Allen sealed the game when he rushed for his second touchdown with less than four minutes remaining in the game.

St. John’s is now 2-3 and its schedule doesn’t get easier, as the Cadets will take on Mater Dei at Catholic University on Friday evening. That game will be televised on ESPN.

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