For Annapolis RB Hough, size and speed a dangerous combo
Howard tasked with replacing sophomore Dawkins
At 6 feet 1, 220 pounds, Annapolis’ Cameron Hough is a powerhouse running back. But it’s not just his power that makes him one of the highest-scoring rushers in the state football tournament with 31 touchdowns.
Panthers coach Nick Good- Malloy said the senior is a lot faster than he gets credit for. He broke one touchdown run this fall for 98 yards, and he averages10.2 yards per carry as the No. 4Panthers head to Quince Orchard for tonight’s Class 4A state semifinal.
“When you look at him, he’s physically imposing. He’s a big dude,” Good-Malloy said. “He’s the strongest guy on our team, and the thing that’s funny that we always talk about as a coaching staff is you look at him and you think of him as a power back. But he’s got tremendous speed also.” Next man up: Howard had an easy time rolling past Mervo, 42-6, in the regional final, but the No. 8 Lions paid a price in that victory. Sophomore running back Devin Dawkins, who had carried the ball 200 times for 1,833 yards and 22 touchdowns, suffered a broken collarbone.
Junior running backs DJ Howard and Robert Agbai, who have a combined 90 carries for 669 yards, will get the call a little more often in Friday’s Class 4A state semifinal at undefeated Wise, which beat the Lions in last year’s state semifinal and has won 26 straight games.
“Like we preach about every position — next man up,” Lions coach Bruce Strunk said. “They’re quality running backs. They would play a lot for other teams.” Plows a-plenty: With a Howard County record to his credit as a sophomore, it’s no wonder Wande Owens is the centerpiece of No. 14 Glenelg’s offense. He broke the singleseason rushing record in 11 games and has extended it to 2,449 yards on 332 carries with 28 touchdowns.
But Owens would be the first to tell you it’s not all about him. He couldn’t do it without one of the area’s strongest offensive lines leading the way — seniors Dakota Davis, Trae Folkman, Alex Medley, Owen Kaiser and Brian Doughty, and junior Cory Wilson.
“The kids up front love blocking for him,” said Glenelg coach Butch Schaffer, whose team will face No. 5 Franklin tonight. Don’t run on me: Franklin has allowed just two rushing touchdowns all season — one in the season-opening loss to then-No. 1 McDonogh and one in last week’s regional final at No. 10 Milford Mill.
One of the main reasons for that stinginess has been All-Metro linebacker Michael Gibson, who leads the team in tackles with 76, including 13 for loss. He also has eight sacks, three interceptions and four fumble recoveries. High expectations: With nine state titles, 15 straight postseason appearances and 52 playoff wins, Dunbar expects to be in the playoffs every year. When the Poets started off 0-2 and were 4-3 with three games left, it looked a little iffy this year.
“We were young in the skill area,” Poets assistant coach Michael Carter said, “and our guys had to get the chance to learn each other, work with each other. As the year’s gone by, they’re getting better.”
Junior newcomer Jared Lewis settled in at quarterback to throw for 2,094 yards and 21touchdowns. Senior running backs Da’Shawn Darien and Jamorie Ransom weren’t starters last year and they’ve combined for 1,163 yards and 15 touchdowns. Junior receiver Ryan Wood and sophomores Melvin Curbeam and Kwesi Evans combined for 1,801 yards and 16 touchdowns. Up and running: Edmondson coach Corey Johnson brought five sophomores up from junior varsity for the playoffs and all have contributed to the state semifinal run.
Running back Kevin Martin and defensive tackle Jonah Engram have played big roles in the two regional wins. Martin has complemented another sophomore running back, Trejour Owens, who leads the Red Storm in rushing. Engram, with his 6-foot-1, 290-pound frame, has helped prevent teams from exploiting Edmondson up the middle.
Linebackers Montay Schuler and Darryl Dantzler have also started, while Damonta Johns has also seen action as the Red Storm emerged from a 4-6 regular season to earn a date with Havre de Grace tonight.
“They’ve stepped up the competition in practice, made the guys play a little bit harder,” Johnson said.