Open­ing Week

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Tajh Molock makes a leap­ing catch against Queen Anne’s Fri­day, Sept. 1, to kick off the fall high school sports sea­son. For more on the Vik­ings week one game,

— The 2017 Bay­side Con­fer­ence foot­ball sea­son opened Fri­day, Sept. 1, with Class 2A East power Queen Anne’s County High play­ing peren­nial 1A East con­tender Cam­bridge-SD for the first time 2012.

The Lions’ run­ning game and lar­ce­n­ist de­fense proved to be the dif­fer­ence in a 28-0 vic­tory over the Vik­ings.

Ryan Muller rushed for 120 yards and two touch­downs, and safety Gar­rett Mur­ray made two red-zone in­ter­cep­tions to halt Cam­bridge-SD scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“It was a nice win,” Queen Anne’s head coach Donny Graef said. “The of­fense played well. We have eleven new starters this year, so it was a great test for us.

“We know Cam­bridge has a good quar­ter­back, and we knew we had our hands full,” Graef added. “Our kids stepped up. Our sec­ondary played re­ally well. We put pres­sure on him with our rush, which contributed to our take­aways. It was just an over­all great job de­fen­sively. That has a lot to do with our de­fense coach Al Wa­ters.”

The Lions took the open­ing kick­off, but Cam­bridge-SD stuffed Queen Anne’s run­ning game, forc­ing a three­and-out.

The Vik­ing of­fense went to work with an 11-yard run by Ethan Blood­sworth (15 car­ries for 42 yards), and an eight-yard com­ple­tion from quar­ter­back Tyler Hard­ing to tight end Tranell Clan­ton.

On sec­ond down from the Lions’ 39, Hard­ing went up top to speed­ster Tajh Molock (four catches, 49 yards) who leapt over Mur­ray for the 30yard catch.

Queen Anne’s de­fense stiff­ened, forc­ing two com­ple­tions and stop­ping Blood­sworth for no gain. Cam­bridge-SD went for it on fourth down, but Jack Swee­tak raced through the line and sacked Hard­ing at the 10.

The Lions marched 90 yards to their first score of the sea­son with a seven-play drive, with Muller lead­ing the charge.

The first big play from Muller came on a 23-yard run to get the ball over mid­field. The sec­ond came on thir­dand-13 when quar­ter­back Tyler Bonkowski (1 for 4, 30 yards) lofted a pass to the side­line, and Muller made a leap­ing catch for a 30-yard gain.

A 14-yard run by An­thony Guiffre (7-53) on the next play put the ball on the C-SD 3. Muller capped the drive with a plunge into the end zone. The Vik­ings blocked the ex­tra point, and the Lions lead 6-0.

Late in the first quar­ter, Cam­bridge-SD moved the ball into Queen Anne’s ter­ri­tory with a 39-yard com­ple­tion from Hard­ing to Jimmy Schulze, and a 23-yard run by Molock.

From the 26-yard line, Hard­ing scram­bled for 5, but a C-SD per­sonal foul dur­ing the play moved the ball back to the 49-yard line. The next play ended in a sack, and was fol­lowed by a hold­ing penalty, re­sult­ing in a sec­ond-and-57 for the once promis­ing drive. Cam­bridge-SD punted af­ter an in­com­ple­tion and a pass for no gain.

The Vik­ing de­fense came up big, forc­ing another three­and-out. Hard­ing con­verted on third and long with a 12yard com­ple­tion to Molock.

Hard­ing (13 of 25, 134 yards) went up top on the next play, but his pass was in­ter­cepted by Mur­ray, who fum­bled dur­ing the re­turn. The ball was re­cov­ered by Cam­bridge-SD, giv­ing the Vik­ings a fresh set of downs at the 47.

Blood­sworth car­ried twice for 20 yards to move the ball to the 27. Hard­ing then con­nected with Schulze (six catches, 85 yards) for 13 yards for a first down at the 14.

On sec­ond down, Hard­ing looked for Schulze in the end zone, but his pass was picked off by Mur­ray to end the threat.

Graef said Mur­ray, a se­nior, didn’t play foot­ball last sea­son, but he was happy to have him on the field on Fri­day.

“He played a great game with two big in­ter­cep­tions,” Graef said. “Cam­bridge-SD was gain­ing mo­men­tum but Gar­rett got it back for us.”

With three min­utes left in the half, the Lions drove 93 yards in five plays for their sec­ond touch­down. Shakai Collins be­gan the drive with an 11-yard run. Muller then raced 37 yards to the 45. Don­a­van Cruz moved the ball to the 25 with a 20-yard run.

The Vik­ings looked to hold Queen Anne’s by forc­ing an of­fen­sive hold­ing penalty, stop­ping a rush up the mid­dle and get­ting an in­com­ple­tion with 12 sec­onds left be­fore half­time. But a rough­ing the passer penalty moved the ball to the 19 with 12 sec­onds left, and Guiffre broke five tack­les on his way into the end zone for a touch­down with four sec­onds left.

A two-point con­ver­sion by Has­san Big­gus gave Queen Anne’s a 14-0 half­time lead.

“I have to do a better job at pre­par­ing the team,” Cam­bridge-SD head coach Jake Cole­man said. “We made mis­take early, and those are tough to over­come against a great team like Queen Anne’s. They cap­i­tal­ized. That is what good teams do.

“When the mo­men­tum was up for grabs in the first half, we just had too many penal­ties,” Cole­man added. “We are very young, but we got to elim­i­nate the penal­ties. We just got to keep get­ting better. When you play a good team like this, you get hum­bled and you got to learn from it. That is coaches, play­ers, every­body.”

The sides traded punts to be­gin the third quar­ter. Queen Anne’s then en­gi­neered a six-play, 59-yard touch­down drive. Big­gus car­ried the ball three times for 32 yards, and scored from 9 yards out to give the Lions a 21-0 lead.

In the fourth quar­ter, Hard­ing drove the Vik­ings to the Queen Anne’s 38, but

line­backer Kole Gun­ther in­ter­cepted a pass, and re­turned it to the C-SD 17. Muller scored on the next play to give the Lions a 28-0 lead.

“This was a great op­por­tu­nity for us tonight to learn and get better,” Cole­man said. “We are a very young team with eight new starters on both sides of the ball. We are go­ing to be a better team be­cause our ex­pe­ri­ence we had tonight against a great Queen Anne’s team.

“Our guys kept fight­ing, played hard,” Cole­man added. “We were in the game, but just needed a cou­ple plays here or there to get us go­ing on the score­board. Tyler made some great plays, push­ing the ball down­field.

“I was proud of the way our de­fense stood up, got some good stops against a very, very well­coach team,” Cole­man con­tin­ued. “Don­nie does an ex­cel­lent job with that of­fen­sive line.”

Late in the fourth quar­ter, the Lions drove in­side the Vik­ing five­yard line, but the de­fense kept Queen Anne’s out of the end zone.

Cole­man said the effort by the de­fense at the end of the game made him very proud.

“It is easy to give up in that sit­u­a­tion, down 28-0 late in the fourth quar­ter, but our de­fense stood their ground and stop them,” Cole­man said. “I’m very proud of them for con­tin­u­ing to fight.

“We have another tough game next week against Wood­bridge (Del.).” Cole­man added. “But I’m ex­cited about it, and the kids are ex­cited about it too. We know that we can move the ball of­fen­sively against a qual­ity de­fense. We know that we can get stops de­fen­sively.”

Queen Anne’s fresh­man quar­ter­back SyRus McGowan saw ac­tion un­der cen­ter in the fourth quar­ter. He drove the Lions 44 yards, rush­ing for four times for 22.

“Both our quar­ter­backs played well,” Graef said. “Tyler played re­ally well. His throws were on the money. SyRus, the fresh­man, I thought he played well man­ag­ing the of­fense. It was great to get them both in the game.

“Now we got to get ready for Eas­ton next week,” Graef added. “That is al­ways a tough one.”

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Ethan Carmine makes the tackle for a loss against Queen Anne’s Fri­day, Sept. 1.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester run­ning back Ethan Blood­sworth finds day­light and runs for a first down against Queen Anne’s Fri­day, Sept. 1.

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Tajh Molock runs for a first down against Queen Anne’s Fri­day, Sept. 1.

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester wide re­ceiver Jimmy Schulze makes the catch for a first down against Queen Anne’s Fri­day, Sept. 1.

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Tyler Hard­ing fires a pass to the end zone against Queen Anne’s Fri­day, Sept. 1.

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Josh Townsend makes the block against Queen Anne’s Fri­day, Sept. 1.

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