Parkville jumps into Balto. County race
St. Frances tight end Myles Wright commits to Towson
With Saturday’s rare win over Perry Hall, Parkville’s football team inserted itself into a crowded race for Baltimore County’s Class 4A-3A division title.
The division includes three Top 15 teams — No. 9 Milford Mill, No. 12 Dundalk and No. 13 Franklin – as well as a couple of other historically strong ones: Catonsville and Perry Hall. Dulaney jumped in last weekend with its first win over Catonsville in at least 25 years.
The Knights had not beaten Perry Hall since 2009, but senior cornerback Vernon Miller Jr. picked off a pass with about a minute left to seal Saturday’s victory for Parkville. Miller also scored the gamewinning touchdown with about nine minutes left on a 25-yard reception from quarterback Sid White, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for an additional score.
Second-year coach Justin Payne stressed a possession offense, and the Knights defense helped by forcing four Perry Hall turnovers.
“They have a fast-paced offense and they’re very well coached. They’re very disciplined,” Payne said, “so if we could maintain possession of the ball, put some points on the board, keep them off the field and then just play good defense, we’d have a chance to beat them.”
Payne, who led the Knights to a 3-9 record last season after they went 1-9 in 2014, also emphasized tackling in space against the Gators, who run a lot of plays with different formations.
Among his leaders on defense, Payne noted Miller; safety Lamontte Brown, who also had an interception; linebacker Ogechi Njikonye; and defensive end Mike Stewart, who moved from linebacker to put more pressure on Perry Hall’s quarterback. Parkville coach Justin Payne credited ball control and a strong defense that forced four turnovers for the Knights’ victory over Perry Hall, their first since 2009.
The win over Perry Hall comes on the heels of a strong showing in a 21-18 loss last week to Milford Mill.
“That gave us some confidence. We were playing against the No. 9 team in the area and we hung with them,” Payne said. “The fans, the parents and everybody were glad we had a close game. I wanted to win. We know they’re a good team and we didn’t come there to just hang in there with them, but we did see some of the things that made us be better than last year, and we saw things that we need to work on.” St. Frances’ Myles Wright commits to Towson: St. Frances senior tight end Myles Wright committed last week to Towson.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Wright is rated the No. 19 player overall in the Maryland high school Class of 2017 and is the top tight end.
“Myles is kind of a perfect fit” for Towson, St. Frances coach Henry Russell said. “He’s a kid who blocks real well, he’s got good size, he’s got extremely good hands. Running the pass option, he can be on the field at all times. At his position, that’s very valuable.”
One of the key leaders for the No. 6 Panthers, who opened their season 4-1 against a tough schedule, Wright was also drawing interest from higher-level Division I programs, including Syracuse and Pitt.
He chose to stay in Baltimore and join a roster that includes St. Frances graduate Justice Pettus-Dixon.
“Staying close to home was a big part of it, and he’s familiar with the guys on the team,” Russell said. “Academically, he’s a good fit, too. He has a 3.8” GPA. Bulls cut points allowed by 88 percent over this time last fall: While Hereford’s offense has gotten most of the attention for the Bulls’ first 4-0 start in nine years, their defense has been the stingiest in the Baltimore area over the first four games of the season.
The Bulls have allowed just seven points after giving up 60 through the first four games a year ago. They’ve shut out their past three opponents, including Saturday’s 35-0 win over Randallstown, which had scored 92 points in its first three games.
The Bulls have just five returning starters on defense: linemen Mike Nash and Joe Kelbaugh, and defensive backs Zac Johnson, Griffith Wilson and Khalil Rich.
Against Randallstown, 6-foot-3, 290pound Nash and 6-foot, 215-pound Kelbaugh, along with 5-10, 205-pound Troy Gladney, led a dominating performance by the defensive line. Wilson had two interceptions while defensive end Troy Tuveson and Gladney had back-to-back sacks on the Rams’ first drive of the game.
Hereford coach Ric Evans said his team’s defensive domination is just a matter of experience.
“Absolutely nothing’s different. We’ve got five guys that are returning guys and we’re just executing better than we did last year,” Evans said.
The Bulls are in first place in Baltimore County’s Class 2A-1A division at 3-0 and also stand atop the Class 2A North points standings. By the numbers: Here are a few of the most impressive numbers after Week 4 of the high school season:
11: Touchdown passes thrown in two weeks by Dulaney quarterback Ty Woodard, who threw for five in Friday’s 40-14 win over Kenwood.
28: Straight wins in Howard County league play by Howard.
231: Yards rushing by North Harford’s Cole Dickerson on 23 carries with four touchdowns in a 44-36 win over Winters Mill.
356: Yards passing by St. Paul’s Kevin Madden, who threw for three touchdowns (and ran for two) in a 36-33 loss to John Carroll.
2002: The last time Annapolis opened its season 4-0 before this fall. straight Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference Chesapeake Division game, knocking off the visiting Panthers (3-3, 0-2). The game was tied at 1 at the half.
Molly Egan, Elise Alders and Julia Frankis tallied the Patterson Mill goals, all unassisted.
Ashley Meekins scored the lone Panthers goal, also unassisted.