St. Vincent High School's varsity football team, known for its high-voltage offense, had to resort to a tenacious defense to hold off Cloverdale's muscular Eagles, 21-14, Saturday afternoon at Yarbrough Field.
Cloverdale's EagLes gave St. Vincent's Mustangs all they wanted or could handle on a warm summer afternoon. The Mustangs led, 14-6, at the half, and their defense shut the Eagles out over the final two periods.
However, a dramatic 97-yard fumble recovery return by the Eagles' Junior Campos turned the game around and forced the Mustangs to battle grimly to hold on for their second victory in three games.
Led by linebackers Michael Carroll and sophomore Sean Healy, the Mustangs were equal to the task.
Before it even got to the final dogged minutes, Carroll had come up wih a huge defensive play. With St. Vincent clinging to a 7-6 lead late in the second quarter, Carroll picked off a Josh Holder pass at midfield.
St. Vincent immediately drove in the opposite direction, going 41 yards to score on a 15-yard run by George Sammon.
Carroll had a hugh game, with 12 tackles, including 4 1/2 for loss, to go with his interception. He was particularly noticeable with several big plays as St. Vincent held on in the game's final stages. Healy was also impressive with seven tackles.
Cloberdale shocked St. Vincent at the game's outset, going 47 yards with apparent ease in its first possession.
The touchdown came on a 15-yard pass from Holden to Campos. It was one of only three passes the senior quarterback completed against the continually improving St. Vincent secondary.
The snap on the PAT kick try was fumbled, leaving Cloverdale with a 6-0 lead.