Hough scores five TDs as Pan­thers take ti­tle

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY FOOTBALL - By Bob Hough

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.

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