Cavs’ ‘O’ kicks into gear to de­feat Ea­gles

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY FOOTBALL - By James Peters

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.

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