Patriots end 29-game losing streak with 14-11 win
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 13:14

Patapsco coach Thomas Raybon reacts after the Patriots beat Baltimore Maritime Academy to end a 29-game losing streak. photo by Bill Gates

Owls lose statistical battle, win game 21-6

by Bill Gates

    Patapsco had a punt blocked, gave up a safety, lost three fumbles and threw two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown and should have been a back-breaker.
    The Patriots also did something they hadn’t done for three years: win a football game.
    Patapsco came from behind twice to defeat Baltimore Maritime Academy 14-11 on Friday at CCBC Dundalk.
    “Lighting bolts hit us, but we came back ready to play,” said Patapsco running back Carl Young, who scored both Patriots touchdowns on two one-yard runs. “Now we don’t have to read about the losing streak anymore.”
    Forget 0-29. At this moment, the Patriots are 1-0.
    “When you get hit by a lightning bolt, you’ve got to recover from the shock,” said Patapsco coach Thomas Raybon, referring to bad breaks and mistakes. “We stress to the players, we’re going to get hit, but we have to bounce back.”
    On the first play of the fourth quarter, with Patapsco leading 8-5, Young went back to pass, got wrapped up by a defender and tried to fling a desperation pass downfield.
    Predictably, it was intercepted and returned 50 yards for a Baltimore Maritime touchdown.
    That wasn’t a lightning bolt; that was a message from Fate that you’re going to lose 30 in a row.
    “I had to put [the interception] out of my head,” said Young, who wasn’t even supposed to be playing quarterback. “I understood I messed up, and coach Raybon told me to put it out of my head.  
    Patapsco got a long kickoff return from Lamount Gordon to start its ensuing drive at the Baltimore Maritime 45-yard line.
    Young carried the ball six times for 24 yards on the eight-play drive, scoring on a quarterback sneak from third and goal on the Mariner one-yard line.
    Gordon helped set up the score with a 15-yard run on third and two from the Mariner 37.
    There was still 7:44 remaining in the game, and Baltimore Maritime started its drive at midfield.
    A 34-yard pass completion moved the Mariners to the Patapsco 18-yard line, but Lyndale Bethea eventually stopped the drive with an interception inside the Patriot five-yard line with 5:16 left to play.
    Patapsco ran out the clock with 10 straight running plays for its first win since beating Lans-downe 7-0 in the 2009 season opener.
    Bethea’s interception was the fourth of the game for the Patapsco defense. Joe Luckert stopped Baltimore Maritime’s first drive with an interception inside the Patriot 10-yard line, Gordon made an interception at the Patapsco one-yard line, and Nelson Lopez snagged one at the Mariner 16.
    Gordon returned his interception the length of the field for a touchdown, but was ruled down at the Patapsco one-yard line due to an inadvertent whistle.
    Two plays later, David Classen was tackled in the end zone for a safety to give Baltimore Maritime a 5-0 lead.
    “There might have been times when we looked up into the sky and asked, ‘where’s our break?’,” Raybon said. “But now we know we can fight back from it.”
    Patapsco took its first lead since it led Baltimore Maritime 6-0 in last year’s season opener on its first possession of the second half.
    The Patriots drove 71 yards in 10 plays, getting carries for seven, 17 (plus 15 yards for a late hit), 13 and six yards from Young before he scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak.  
    Wes Perrie caught the conversion pass from Classen for an 8-5 lead.
    Young rushed for 111 yards on 28 carries and Gordon had 56 yards on 10 carries.
    The Patapsco defense held the Mariners to 136 total yards and kept the visitors out of the end zone.
    “Our defense came out hitting people today,” Raybon said. “Our coaches knew what to do, and we executed.”
 
Owls come back to beat Towson
    By every statistic but one, Towson dominated Dundalk during the season opener Friday night at CCBC Dundalk.
    The Generals ran over twice as many plays and more than doubled the Owls’ time of possession, gained more yards, had twice as many first downs as the Owls and half as many penalties.
    And Dundalk cruised to a 21-6 win.
    “Our guys faced adversity and overcame it,” first-year Dundalk coach Sean Sandora said. “Instead of bending, we stepped up. This was a team win.”
    Dundalk scored on its first two possessions to take a 14-0 lead and the game appeared to be on the verge of a blowout.
    But the Owls stalled thanks to an interception and penalty trouble. One penalty erased a long touchdown, another took back a long punt return and another led to a punt.
    Meanwhile, Towson was grinding, grinding, grinding with time-consuming drives that never quite reached the end zone.
    The Generals ran the ball 57 times for 260 yards, and held possession for 32:41 of the game’s 48 minutes.
    The Owls had 17 running plays; what would have been a good quarter for them in recent seasons.
    Dundalk’s defense finally slipped a bit in the fourth quarter, when Towson drove 66 yards in 14 plays to cut its deficit to 14-6 with 3:42 remaining.
    The Generals converted three third downs and one fourth down on the drive.
    “Towson ran that counter criss-cross very well,” Sandora said. “My hat’s off to them.”
    That left the game in doubt for 21 seconds. After Dundalk recovered the onside kick, Luah Talo ran a sweep right, cut back to the left side and sprinted 61 yards for the clinching touchdown.
    Talo also caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Devon Ingram on the Owls’ first possession. He led Dundalk in rushing with 104 yards – on three carries.   
    The Owls demonstrated their new passing offense on that first drive. On first down from the Dundalk 20, Ingram hit Daequar Blue for 22 yards and Dorian Marshall for 32 yards.
    After Wylie Brown ran twice for 10 yards, Ingram found Talo in the corner of the end zone, and Talo came down with the ball despite being tangled with a General defender.
    Dundalk started its next possession at its 41-yard line after Tyree Johnson recovered a Towson fumble.
    A 27-yard run by Talo moved the ball to the General 32, and Dalonte Jennings eventually scored on a 16-yard run.
    Josh Runk kicked all three extra points.
    Dundalk rushed for 159 yards on 17 carries, and Ingram completed four of seven passes for 81 yards.
    Sparrows Point defeated visiting Digital Harbor 29-18 on Friday. No other details were available at press time.