St. Paul’s wanted to make a statement.
After winning outright district championships or at least sharing honors for a decade, the Wolves got lost in the pack last year.
But during their first game of this District 6-5A season, the outcome was decidedly in St. Paul’s favor.
St. Paul’s crushed Northshore 48-7 in the District 6-5A opener at Hunter Stadium in Covington. It was a sweet homecoming for the many St. Paul’s fans who gathered Friday for that celebration.
Sophomore running back Corey Williamson rushed for 111 yards and caught a 62-yard pass for a touchdown. That score, which came in the first quarter, was one of his four touchdowns against Northshore. He also ran for scores of 30, 20, and 11 yards.
“I think we did (make a statement),” Williamson said. “This was important because it was the start of district and you want to start district well.”
St. Paul’s took an early lead when, with 10:14 remaining in the first quarter, Williamson rushed up the middle for a 30-yard touchdown. Austin Means kicked the PAT and the Wolves seized an early lead.
The home team padded its lead later in the first quarter when quarterback Kenny Sears found Williamson open in the flat. The catch-and-run resulted in the 62-yard touchdown, that after the PAT, gave St. Paul’s a 14-0 lead.
Northshore answered with a 22-yard pass from Walter Harris III to Randy Caire for a touchdown. With the following PAT, the score was then 14-7. St Paul’s came right back with a 22-yard pass from Sears to Chris Coyne. The connection, in the right side of the end zone, put the Wolves in firm command at 21-7
The Wolves tacked on an extra score late in the second quarter when Williamson ran to the end zone from 20 yards out. The PAT by Means made the score 28-7, as the Wolves eased into halftime.
Williamson had 151 yards of offense in the first half. Sears finished the game 12 of 21 for 198 yards and two touchdowns.
Northshore took the ball to start the second half, but only moved 6 yards until things became problematic. Christian Roberts broke out of a scrum that resulted in a fumble, and he raced 26 yards for a touchdown. The PAT failed, but St. Paul’s had a 34-7 lead it could nurse for the remainder of the game.
The interception return by senior linebacker Wyatt Heap with 8:52 left in the third only further cemented the Wolves’ win. Heap had two picks against the Panthers. Williamson added his fourth score later in the third quarter from 11 yards out.
Heap said his touchdown return was his first at St. Paul’s. He said coaches challenged the defense at halftime to continue the pressure on Northshore.
“It feels good,” Heap said of the score and the victory. “It’s nice to go the sidelines and get that attention.”
St. Paul’s coach Kenny Sears said the difference was the defense.
“We did challenge them at halftime and they responded,” Sears said. They did a fantastic job and showed a lot of character.”
We got on them, and they came back and played hard.”