Townsend re­vives his 2nd pro­gram

Coach who re­built Dou­glass has Regi­nald Lewis un­beaten for 1st time

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Kather­ine Dunn kather­ine.dunn@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/kdunnsun

When El­wood Townsend took over the Dou­glass foot­ball pro­gram, it took him just two years to re­vive the Ducks and get them into the re­gional play­offs for the first time in school his­tory. Three years af­ter that, the Ducks were play­ing in the state fi­nal.

Now the coach at Regi­nald Lewis, Townsend needed just one year to re­vive the Fal­cons, who com­pleted the first un­de­feated reg­u­lar sea­son in school his­tory. They’re one of just three un­de­feated teams in the Bal­ti­more area; the oth­ers are Old Mill and Here­ford.

The Bal­ti­more City Di­vi­sion II cham­pi­ons are the top seed in the Class 3A South re­gion and hope to win the first play­off game in school his­tory Satur­day when they take on FAET at Poly at 4 p.m.

Not only have the Fal­cons gone from a 4-6 team last sea­son to 10-0 this fall, they have the stingi­est defense in the Bal­ti­more area. They’ve al­lowed just 24 points and shut out seven op­po­nents.

Se­nior de­fen­sive line­men Do­minic Diggs and Ge­orge Phillips have been lead­ing the way along with ju­nior line­backer Mar­tise Cham­bers, a trans­fer from Dou­glass, and ju­nior de­fen­sive back Ma­lik Green, who Townsend said is a big-play catalyst.

The coach said much of the defense had been play­ing to­gether, but it took a lit­tle time to find the right com­bi­na­tions.

Of­fen­sively, the Fal­cons have ben­e­fited from hav­ing se­nior quar­ter­back Dar­iun Miller, who led the Ducks to their sec­ond state fi­nal in 2014.

“He’s been with me since he was in 10th grade,” said Townsend, “and he’s grown ev­ery year.”

For Townsend, the Bal­ti­more Sun Coach of the Year at Dou­glass in 2012, the big­gest chal­lenge was chang­ing the culture at Lewis, where the Fal­cons hadn’t won more than four games in a sea­son since they went 9-2 in 2012.

“We just had to in­still a whole bunch of dis­ci­pline,” Townsend said. “Guys were miss­ing prac­tice, but when they saw they weren’t go­ing to play on game day, they kind of changed their tune.”

Townsend is look­ing for­ward to Satur­day’s re­match against FAET and coach Do­minic Howard, his for­mer de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor at Dou­glass who was re­spon­si­ble for the Ducks defense that al­lowed just 40 points in the 2013 reg­u­lar sea­son.

The Lewis coach said he had to dis­guise some things in the first meet­ing be­cause Howard knew his sys­tem.

“He’ll prob­a­bly come out with some tricks up his sleeve,” Townsend said with a laugh. “It should be a good game. The kids know each other. I think that’s the in­trigu­ing thing about it. They kind of hang in the same neigh­bor­hood with each other, sim­i­lar to the thing we had when Dou­glass played Edmondson those two years. It makes the game a lit­tle bit more in­ter­est­ing.” Townsend Play­off “des­tiny” not in Parkville’s hands: When Parkville coach Justin Payne met with his play­ers Mon­day morn­ing, ev­ery­one was dis­ap­pointed — not just be­cause the Knights missed the re­gional play­offs by a slim mar­gin, but be­cause they felt they might have made it had they not lost an early-sea­son game in Bal­ti­more County’s air-con­di­tion­ing con­tro­versy.

The Knights did not play Lans­downe af­ter county of­fi­cials closed schools that lacked air con­di­tion­ing dur­ing a heat wave lead­ing up to the sec­ond weekend of the sea­son. Parkville has air con­di­tion­ing, but Lans­downe does not.

This sea­son, the No. 13 Knights fin­ished 7-2, their best sea­son in a decade, and had hoped to make it to the play­offs for the first time since 2006. In­stead, they missed the fourth and fi­nal spot in the Class 4A North re­gion by two one-hun­dredths of a point.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult to get to the play­offs in foot­ball,” Payne said. “It’s not like other sports where ev­ery­body goes. Some­times it’s a once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity and when you get that close to the cusp and you’re kind of let down and part of the rea­son may be you weren’t af­forded the same op­por­tu­nity that other teams in the state were, then that leaves a sour taste in your mouth.”

The teams that ad­vanced in Class 4ANorth — Sher­wood, Howard, Bel Air and Mervo — played 10-game sched­ules.

“I don’t want to make ex­cuses,” Payne said. “I told the kids [Mon­day] morn­ing we had an op­por­tu­nity to beat Dun­dalk and Mil­ford Mill and we didn’t. But they have noth­ing to be ashamed of. We went from not win­ning a game two years ago to be­ing on the cusp of be­ing in the play­offs, and to be­ing ranked No. 13 in the area.” By the num­bers: Here are some of the stats that stood out from Week10, the fi­nal week of the reg­u­lar sea­son for pub­lic school teams:

5: Straight wins for City over Poly, the Knights’ long­est win­ning streak in the 128-year-old ri­valry in 50 years

6-0: Record in the Mary­land In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion A Con­fer­ence for out­right cham­pion St. Frances, which was 0-6 last sea­son

10: Sacks by Franklin in the In­di­ans’ 33-7 win over Dun­dalk

15: Points scored by Old Mill in the fi­nal13:07 to rally from 14 points down against Annapolis

317: Yards rush­ing by Fran­cis Scott Key’s Nate Imes, who scored four touch­downs in a 26-21 win over Win­ters Mill — the Ea­gles’ only win of the sea­son

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