The road to the state playoffs got a little longer for St. Pius on Friday night. The Golden Lions lost to Grady 7-6 at home in a game that gave Grady the lead in Region 5-AAA, Division A. Both teams entered the game undefeated in the subregion.
St. Pius hurt itself with too many mistakes on offense—a blocked field goal in the second quarter; a fumble at the Grady 20 on the final play of the third quarter; and an interception with four minutes remaining in the game.
Grady capitalized on Trey White’s errant throw by proceeding to run out the clock. The game ended with the Grey Knights at the St. Pius 7.
“We made too many mistakes to beat a great Grady team,” St. Pius coach Paul Standard said. “We played with a lot of heart and desire and we gave ourselves chances to score. We just didn’t follow through.”
The loss leaves St. Pius at 6-2 and 4-1 in the subregion. If the Golden Lions beat Washington on Oct. 29, it will secure the No. 2 seed in the subregion and face the No. 3 team from 5-AAA Division B on Nov. 5 with a state playoff berth on the line. The win secured a state playoff berth for Grady (7-1, 5-0).
St. Pius’ defense kept it in the game, allowing only one big play that proved costly. Trailing 3-0 in the second quarter, Grady took the lead for good on a 70-yard touchdown run by Marcus Caffey with 3:38 remaining before halftime. Caffey rushed for 151 yards and Hodrick Lowe added 111 yards on the ground.
Geno Smith came up with two interceptions for the Golden Lions. St. Pius could not turn either turnover into points.
Blair Stuart, who had kicked a 26-yard field goal in the first half for St. Pius, kicked a 41-yarder with 8:31 remaining to cut the lead to 7-6. The Golden Lions’ only other scoring threat ended with a fumble at the Grady 20 at the end of the third quarter.
White was the biggest offensive weapon for St. Pius. The junior rushed for 126 yards.