Ea­gles can’t cap­i­tal­ize on scor­ing chances in play­off de­feat

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By SEAN GRO­GAN

— A pair of empty red zone trips in the first half even­tu­ally proved costly for the Bo­hemia Manor foot­ball team Fri­day night.

The Ea­gles were held off the score­board the en­tire night as they fell 19-0 to visit­ing Kent County in the 1A East Re­gion Semi­fi­nals.

Bo Manor marched down field late in the open­ing quar­ter. A first-and-goal from in­side the 10-yard line turned into a fourth- and-goal from the 23 after al­low­ing con­sec­u­tive sacks.

An­other lengthy drive was halted when the Ea­gles fum­bled at the Tro­jans 14-yard line with 4:27 left un­til half­time.

“We had two good drives in the first half. The first drive had two sacks, and then we had a fum­ble,” Bo Manor coach Joe Graf said. “We just had a cou­ple of mis­cues ear­lier. We were driv­ing the ball, do­ing what we do, we just couldn’t get it over the hump tonight.”

The two teams headed into the locker room in a score­less tie, but it was the vis­i­tors that found their rhythm to the tune of 19 sec­ond-half points.

“I’ve got to give Bo Manor a lot of credit. They came out, they were run­ning weak side on us, they were run­ning dou­ble tights, they were us­ing their size to their ad­van­tage. Luck­ily, we were able to make some stops and take ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the red zone. If Bo Manor cap­i­tal­ized, it def­i­nitely could’ve been a dif­fer­ent type of game,” Kent County coach Bren­don Ire­ton. “I think our of­fense did a bet­ter job of con­trol­ling the clock in the sec­ond half. I think Bo Manor did a re­ally good job of hold­ing onto the pos­ses­sion in the first half and we were for­tu­nate enough to do it in the sec­ond half.”

Kent County’s quar­ter­back, se­nior Mar­c­quan Greene, took over the game after half­time. He broke a score­less tie with a 50yard touch­down run up the mid­dle on a third-and-7 with 8:46 left in the third quar­ter.

Greene scored again on a 3-yard touch­down run with 3:25 re­main­ing in the game to bring Bo Manor’s deficit to two scores. His sec­ond touch­down run was set up by a fourth-and-2 con­ver­sion in which he man­aged to pitched the ball to run­ning back Arlington John­son de­spite be­ing wrapped up by an Ea­gles’ de­fender.

Bo Manor (7-4) lost a fum­ble on its en­su­ing pos­ses­sion, but blocked a Kent County (6-5) punt with 1:36 to play to re­tain a glim­mer of hope.

The Ea­gles took over at the Tro­jans 29-yard line, but Greene in­ter­cepted a Bo Manor pass near the goal line and re­turned it ap­prox­i­mately 100 yards to the op­po­site end zone to de­liver a fi­nal nail in the cof­fin with 39 se­conds re­main­ing.

Graf had men­tioned Greene as Kent County’s big­gest threat prior to the game, but said the quar­ter­back ex­ceeded his ex­pec­ta­tions on the field.

“He was [bet­ter than ex­pected]. We bot­tled him up for a ma­jor­ity of the game, but a player like that is able to get loose,” Graf said. “He’s the real deal.”

Though Graf’s first sea­son as head coach of his alma mater ended with an open­ing round play­off loss, he did not lose sight of what the Ea­gles were able to ac­com­plish.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my team, of the coach­ing staff — they do an ex­cel­lent job. The coaches put in tremen­dous amount of hours for noth­ing, just to teach kids how to play foot­ball and play it the right way,” he said. “This is very mem­o­rable for us. We did some­thing that the school hasn’t done for six years, and that’s be able to play a home play­off game for our fans.”

CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY SEAN GRO­GAN

Bo­hemia Manor coach Joe Graf con­soles his team after it lost to visit­ing Kent County, 19-0, in the 1A East Re­gion Semi­fi­nals on Fri­day.

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