Vik­ings fall to 2A leader

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By AYMAN ALAM aalam@star­dem.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Ay­man_S­tarDem. Email me at aalam@star­dem.com

STEVENSVILLE — Kent Is­land High’s foot­ball team racked up 490 yards to­tal of­fense Fri­day evening at Andy Schipul Sta­dium, the Bucs gash­ing Class 1A con­tender Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester at nearly every turn en route to a state­ment-mak­ing, 49-14 vic­tory.

STEVENSVILLE — The Buc­ca­neers’ of­fense was bound to have a break­out game at some point.

Af­ter six up-and-down per­for­mances to be­gin the sea­son, the mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion ar­rived with gusto.

Kent Is­land High’s foot­ball team racked up 490 yards to­tal of­fense Fri­day evening at Andy Schipul Sta­dium, the Bucs gash­ing Class 1A con­tender Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester at nearly every turn en route to a state­ment-mak­ing, 49-14 vic­tory.

Se­niors Braden Doyle and Austin Ryan paced the as­sault on the ground for the Bucs, post­ing 23 rushes for 279 yards and 22 for 133, re­spec­tively, as Kent Is­land moved to 7-0, the Bay­side Con­fer­ence’s lone un­beaten team.

There were more than a few mur­murs to be­gin the sea­son that the Bucs would take a step back, that a re­vamped line would need time to gel, that the rest of the Bay­side may have closed the gap to the pre-eminent pro­gram of the last half-decade.

Fol­low­ing the drub­bing of the high-fly­ing Vik­ings, it may be time to per­ish any and all of the afore­men­tioned thoughts.

“I don’t think I’ve even bro­ken 100, hon­estly,” Doyle said of his ca­reer-high rush­ing game, which in­cluded two touch­downs. “I just needed to be pa­tient, run­ning, be­cause that’s what our of­fense is. We’ve been work­ing hard all sea­son just to show them what we can do.”

Added Ryan, who scored four TDs: “We love it. We go no shirt in cold prac­tices, tough up. We got to give credit to our Oline — they blocked good, Braden blocked good, ev­ery­thing worked out.”

Cam­bridge-SD fell to 5-2 af­ter scor­ing a sea­son-low in points; the team came in hav­ing tal­lied the most points in the Bay­side by a wide mar­gin. Out­side another strong ef­fort from Tre’ Lake (13-118), the Vik­ings main­tained lit­tle con­sis­tency against a dis­ci­plined Kent Is­land de­fense, which has now al­lowed only 50 points in the seven wins.

Ju­nior quar­ter­back Tyler Hard­ing con­nected on TD passes of 48 and 10 yards for Cam­bridge-SD, but tossed three in­ter­cep­tions — one each to Kent Is­land’s ball­hawk­ing se­condary com­prised of ju­niors Sean Mooney, Dy­lan Fin­lay and Selby Scaggs.

“We shot our­selves in the foot, quite a few times,” Vik­ings head coach Jake Cole­man said. “We didn’t take care of the ball like we needed to in var­i­ous sit­u­a­tions. We had op­por­tu­ni­ties here or there, but we just weren’t able to make the plays.

“At the same time, it’s a lot about the pres­sure Kent Is­land puts on you,” Cole­man added.

The Vik­ings fin­ished with a more-than-re­spectable 298 yards to­tal of­fense, and had a chance to make an early state­ment on the road, but a promis­ing drive buoyed by runs of 24 and 34 yards by Tajh Molock (43 yards rush­ing, 30 re­ceiv­ing) and Lake, re­spec­tively, stalled on Kent Is­land’s 21 when the snap was fum­bled on fourth down, lead­ing to a turnover on downs.

“We saw that they were driv­ing up the field re­ally quick,” said Doyle, a two-way stand­out who also plays line­backer. “They got re­ally close to the touch­down, and that stop was re­ally huge.”

The mis­cue loomed large, as the Bucs drove down the field on nine plays, capped by a 14-yard Ryan touch­down where we weaved through the de­fense straight up the mid­dle. Doyle was sprung for runs of 10 and 34 yards on the left side with as­sists from Dy­lan Fin­lay deep in the se­condary; the left side of the field was open for Doyle all through­out, and head coach Damian Fer­rag­amo ex­ploited the mis­matches to great suc­cess.

“Get­ting the ball back and go­ing down and scor­ing, that was a game-changer,” Doyle said. “That re­ally changed the mo­men­tum of the game. Our line was re­ally good to­day. One play was work­ing and they couldn’t stop, so we just kept run­ning it.”

Added Fer­rag­amo: “One thing I love about our team is the un­selfish­ness. We have three tail­backs, we have one of the most tal­ented re­ceivers in the league (Mooney) and he didn’t catch a pass to­day, didn’t have a tar­get to­day. But they don’t care, they are so happy about the team win. It’s spe­cial to be part of these guys.”

The Vik­ings tied it for the only time fol­low­ing Ryan’s first TD, Hard­ing lo­cat­ing Jimmy Schulze on a 48-yard strike, cou­pling with Hard­ing’s point-af­ter kick to make it a 7-7, with 2 min­utes, 20 sec­onds left in the first quar­ter.

Cam­bridge-SD squibbed the en­su­ing kick­off, leav­ing the Bucs in great field po­si­tion on the Vik­ings’ 41. Doyle wasted lit­tle time giv­ing Kent Is­land the lead for good, bounc­ing left and dash­ing un­touched into the end zone for a 41-yard score on the next snap, Bert Schre­con­gost con­vert­ing the sec­ond of his seven PATs to push Kent Is­land ahead to stay at 14-7.

“We try to fo­cus on block­ing our man as much as we can,” ju­nior Bucs line­man Gar­rett Red­den said. “Those cuts kind of helped us, helped us get the yards we re­ally wanted. They taunt us, they say we’re small or some­thing, but that doesn’t stop us. Coach was say­ing the whole game that this is one of the best of­fen­sive games we’ve had.”

A 6-yard Doyle run capped a 12-play, 78yard Kent Is­land drive, Doyle chew­ing up much of the yardage on a 45-yard scam­per left. It was 28-7 on Ryan’s sec­ond TD, this one a 3-yarder up the gut that ar­rived on the heels of Hard­ing’s first in­ter­cep­tion, an un­der­thrown lob to Molock that Mooney picked off at Kent Is­land’s 41. The three-TD bulge was taken into half­time, Schre­con­gost pulling a 41-yard field goal short and left with no time left in the first half.

Doyle had al­ready racked up 195 yards by the break, and Ryan added another 74. The Buc­ca­neers’ of­fense, which had shown only flashes while the de­fense and spe­cial teams car­ried much of the load through a 6-0 start com­ing in, was fi­nally look­ing like Buc­ca­neer of­fenses of yesteryears.

“We ran a play early and it wasn’t stopped, so we just kept on run­ning it be­cause it was be­ing suc­cess­ful,” Fer­rag­amo said. “A lot of it has to do with giv­ing the ball to Braden Doyle, he’s a tal­ented guy. Austin com­ple­mented him well, Cameron (Bouie) came in at the end and cleaned things up.

“We had a lit­tle bit more at­ti­tude on the of­fen­sive line, and I’m re­ally proud of these guys,” Fer­rag­amo added.

The plays ap­peared sim­ple enough: good block­ing and pa­tient run­ning lead­ing to lengthy drives that was slowly grind­ing down the Vik­ings. Cole­man, how­ever, had a dif­fer­ent take on how the Bucs slowly dis­man­tled his de­fense on this cool, au­tumn evening.

“They do stuff more fancy than it ap­pears,” Cole­man said. “They just have tremen­dous coach­ing and the play­ers are very, very phys­i­cal. Those guys are just very good at the things you have to be to be a top-level team.

“They make the com­pli­cated look sim­ple,” Cole­man added. “At the same time, though, they do a lot of things for­ma­tion­ally within their power foot­ball scheme that just cre­ates ma­jor is­sues for you.”

A fourth straight Kent Is­land TD, a 9-yard Ryan run with 8:19 left in the third made it 35-7, and fol­low­ing a sec­ond turnover on downs by Cam­bridge-SD deep in Buc­ca­neer ter­ri­tory, the home team had an op­por­tu­nity to start the run­ning clock.

A sec­ond-down hand­off to Ryan from ju­nior quar­ter­back Jor­dan Mar­ciano, how­ever, was fum­bled, and se­nior Vik­ings line­backer Jor­dan Tibbs re­cov­ered.

Two plays later, Cam­bridge-SD halted a scor­ing drought span­ning more than 24 min­utes, as Hard­ing threaded a pass to Molock, who was tightly guarded by Scaggs, for a 10-yard TD.

It didn’t take the Buc­ca­neers long to re­store a four-TD lead, as the on­sides kick started Kent Is­land on the Vik­ings’ 47, the dis­tanced chewed up on runs of 17 (Doyle), 7 (Ryan), 11 (Ryan) and 12 (Doyle) be­fore Ryan scored his fourth touch­down on a 6-yard carry.

The Vik­ings were again stopped on fourth down on their next drive, and five plays later, Mar­cianio capped the scor­ing on a fir­stand-25 bomb to tight end John Van Wie, the 6-foot-3 ju­nior com­pletely un­marked on the 60-yard catch-and-run that trig­gered the run­ning clock with around 5 min­utes left to play.

The Vik­ings have dates with Wash­ing­ton and win­less Snow Hill be­fore the an­nual grudge match against Eas­ton. Bo­hemia Manor’s 42-28 win over Pat­ter­son Mill nar­rowed Cam­bridge-SD’s lead in the 1A East play­off race, but the Vik­ings re­main firmly in the driver’s seat of the re­gion as the sea­son hits the stretch run.

“I think we’re still well in it in our 1A East Re­gion,” Cole­man said. “We can still fin­ish at the 1 or 2 with a strong fin­ish.”

The Bucs, mean­while, are sit­ting pretty atop the Class 2A East Re­gion, and have dates at Eas­ton, home against Park­side and the an­nual Week 10 bat­tle with Queen Anne’s County. Kent Is­land is seek­ing its sec­ond un­de­feated reg­u­lar sea­son, hav­ing also run the ta­ble in 2012.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Jimmy Schulze hauls in a pass for a 48-yard touch­down against Kent Is­land Fri­day, Oct. 14.

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