Hough scores five TDs as Panthers take title
Winning region titles isn’t supposed to be easy. The Annapolis football team proved that Friday.
After leading most of the game and by as many as 19 points in the second half, the Panthers held on for dear life and advanced to the state semifinals for the first time in 16 years.
Cameron Hough ran for 255 yards on 30 carries and scored five touchdowns to lead No. 4 Annapolis to a 48-34 victory over No. 6 Broadneck on Friday night in the Class 4A East final at Annapolis.
The Panthers won their first region title since 2000 when coach Nick Good-Malloy and assistant Mike Melton were seniors.
“For five years we’ve been working for this,” Good-Malloy said. “When bad stuff happens, our mindset is to respond in a positive, assertive way. Not that I want bad stuff to happen, but when bad stuff happens I get excited because of the way our kids respond to it.”
Annapolis (11-1) will play at Quince Orchard (11-1) in the state semifinals next weekend. The Panthers, who won their fifth region title, are seeking their first trip to the state final since 2000.
After leading by just seven points at the half, Hough scored on runs of 5 and 66 yards in the third quarter to give the Panthers a 19-point lead. Broadneck cut into the lead just before the end of the third quarter when Shane Davis hit Ethon Williams for a 32-yard score, but the Panthers answered with Ahmon Middleton’s 1-yard run to push the lead to 40-21.
Broadneck answered again on a 1-yard run by Davis. After the Bruins recovered the onside kick, they cut the lead to 40-34 with 6:07 left when Davis and Robert Schwob connected for a 10-yard score on a thirdand-goal.
Facing what might have been their most important possession of the season, Tyson Queen returned the short kickoff to the Broadneck 34.
Hough ran for 5 and 7 yards, then gave the Panthers the all-important two-score lead when he scored his fifth touchdown of the game on a 22-yard run. The Panthers added the 2-point conversion and took a 48-34 lead with 4:41 left.
“I’ve never felt a feeling like this before in my life,” Hough said. “Last year was tough for us because we wanted more and we were hungry for more. This was a team thing — we all wanted this.”
With the Bruins operating quickly on their next possession, Hough sacked Davis for a loss of 8. Two straight incompletions turned the ball back over to the Panthers.
After an Annapolis fumble gave the Bruins new life, Nyonjae Spriggs picked off Davis on the next play and the Panthers ran out the clock.
“I don’t know if it has set in yet,” Good-Malloy said. “I say this all the time, but there’s so many people to thank. The young men who were out here on the field battling deserve a whole heck of a lot of credit.”
The lead changed hands three times in the first half, with the Panthers eventually taking a 21-14 lead into the locker room.