Cavs’ ‘O’ kicks into gear to defeat Eagles
The No. 1 Archbishop Spalding’s highoctane offense looked more like a clunker than a well-oiled machine during the first half of Friday night’s Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game with host No. 3 McDonogh.
But after a 35-minute break following an injury to Eagles quarterback Dejuan Ellis, the Cavaliers offense got into gear en route to a 31-16 victory to improve to 7-1 overall and 3-0 in league play heading into next weekend’s pivotal game with No. 2 St. Frances.
“Early on the first half, we didn’t finish,” Spalding coach Kyle Schmitt said. “Our red zone offense has been an issue the last two weeks.”
The Cavaliers’ Camden Price opened the scoring with a 24-yard field goal in the first quarter, then the Eagles’ Harrison Beattie tied the score with 5:53 left in the second quarter with a kick that just cleared the crossbar. Spalding then exploded for 28 straight points, opening leads of 17-3 at the half and 31-3 early in the second half.
Cavaliers quarterback Evan Fochtman started that offensive turnaround, putting Spalding up 10-3 with 2:12 left in the first half on an 8-yard run. He juked a defender near the line of scrimmage, then outraced another into the end zone for a 10-3 lead.
With 27 seconds remaining before halftime, Fochtman floated a pass down the middle to Jamari Jones, who took the ball the rest of the way for a 70-yard touchdown and the 14-point lead. The pass initially looked ill-advised with two McDonogh defenders waiting to intercept the ball before Jones leaped, pulled the ball down and ran past the defensive backs for the score.
Fochtman credited the injury break for his team turning things around as the Cavaliers were able to “make the right adjustments.”
Fochtman pushed the lead to 24-3 with 9:31 left in the third quarter on a 24-yard scramble down the Eagles sideline on the opening possession of the second half. The onslaught continued with Julius Chestnut capping a 46-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run.