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