‘Ground and pound’ powers Patriots’ win
Gay rushes for 214 yards, 4 TDs as Old Mill erases early deficit, stays unbeaten
Old Mill didn’t pull out any surprises when it faced Arundel on Friday night. The Patriots made it clear they were going to run the ball, and they did so effectively.
Sirus Gay ran for 214 yards on 33 carries and scored four touchdowns to lead No. 5 Old Mill to a 42-21 victory over No. 14 Arundel.
Old Mill (4-0) won its 22nd straight game in the regular season since falling to the Wildcats on Sept. 12, 2014.
Gay, running primarily up the middle, scored on three 1-yard runs and added a late 73-yard carry that put the game away for the Patriots, who rushed for 284 yards.
“Ground and pound,” Gay said. “[The offensive line] get the blocks, and I need to make it happen for them.”
The Patriots scored all six of their touchdowns on the ground, with Blaise Fisher scoring from a yard out and Tynell Teasley adding a 3-yard score.
“I had a pretty high respect for their secondary, so I wanted to see if we could run the ball early on,” Old Mill coach Chad McCormick said. “We were able to, and that was a great job by our front five and our fullbacks and tight ends getting hats on hats and blocking all night.”
Arundel (3-1) took a short-lived 7-6 lead late in the first quarter, but the Patriots scored the next 29 points and took a commanding 35-7 lead midway through the third quarter.
“I was hoping we could run the ball, and we were effective,” McCormick said. “We sputtered a little bit in the second half and put our defense in some spots, but overall those guys played really well.”
Trailing 28-7 late in the first half, Arundel drove deep into Old Mill territory and was poised to cut into the lead heading to halftime, plus the Wildcats were set to get the second-half kick. After a completion to Tim Cole, Old Mill’s Malik Mattox recovered a fumble and the Patriots took a knee on their ensuing possession and went into halftime still with the three-touchdown lead.
“I was really excited about that because Arundel was going to have back-to-back possessions,” McCormick said. “It could have easily turned into 28-21a few minutes into the third quarter, so that was absolutely huge.”
After the Patriots added to their lead early in the second half, Arundel cut into its deficit when Ryan Sedgwick hit Christian Thornton for a 20-yard score that made it 35-14 late in the third. But after driving deep into Old Mill territory on its next possession, Jamal Boadu sacked Sedgwick on fourth down to end the threat.
Gay scored on the 73-yard run on Old Mill’s next possession to push the advantage back to 21.
“This was two undefeated teams that are trying to go on that state championship run,” Gay said. “Everybody said we lost a lot of seniors so we weren’t going to be as good as past years, so tonight was a statement game.”
After the Arundel touchdown late in the first quarter, Old Mill kept the Wildcats off the scoreboard for 25:07. In addition to the late Arundel turnover in the first half, the Patriots forced a pair of punts.
“One of our strengths is going to be our big defensive front, and that was one of our keys going into this game,” McCormick said. “We needed to get some pressure and disrupt some of their passing game, and I think we did a good job of that.”
Sedgwick threw for 236 yards and three touchdowns for Arundel, which will face Annapolis next week.
The Patriots’ Sirus Gay finds a hole and runs for 9 yards and a first down in the first quarter. “Everybody said we lost a lot of seniors so we weren’t going to be as good as past years, so tonight was a statement game,” Gay said of Old Mill’s victory over Arundel.