Cambridge-South Dorchester freshman wide receiver Dario Belizaire scores a touchdown to give the Vikings a fourth-quarter lead over Queen Anne’s Saturday, Sept. 1. Belizaire caught two touchdown passes from Jyquan Farrare in the Vikings’ 23-22 victory over the Lions. For more on the game, see
CAMBRIDGE — For CambridgeSouth Dorchester High rookie head football coach Gaven Parker, Friday’s season-opener against Class 2A East power Queen Anne’s County wasn’t just about giving a good effort.
Parker wanted to win. He knew his young Vikings could win, and he wanted to show it by going on offense to start the game when C-SD won the coin toss.
The attacking mentality proved to be a key component for the Vikings, who took an early lead and continued to press the Lions.
A lightning delay postponed the second half until Saturday, and in a blink of an eye, Queen Anne’s tied the game, and was on the verge of taking the lead. But a key fumble recovery by C-SD’s Camren Lake, and Jyquan Farrare’s 7-yard touchdown pass to freshman Dario Belizaire gave the Vikings a 23-16 fourth-quarter lead.
Hassan Biggus’s 1-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter brought the Lions within a point, but Cambridge-SD’s defense swarmed Donovan Cruz on the two-point conversion attempt to preserve the Vikings’ 23-22 victor y — the first over Queen Anne’s since a 17-14 win in 2007.
“I’m proud of the kids how they came out Friday was a lot of intensity and effort, and then carried that same intensity and effort over to today,” Parker said. “This is a big win for us.
“We decided to take the ball on the opening kickoff yesterday, and run right at them and wear them down,” Parker added. “Even though we didn’t score on the drive, we accomplished a lot by gaining a bunch of yards. It gave us a lot of confidence.”
Cambridge-SD took the opening kickoff from its own 29 to the Lions 11 before turning the ball over on downs. C-SD’s defense got the back right back by forcing a threeand-out.
A 15-yard run by Lake gave the Vikings a first-and-goal. Two plays later, Farrare rolled right and threw in the flat to Belizaire (3 catches, 35 yards), who beat Queen Anne’s defenders to the pylon for the 12-yard touchdown. Khalik Beasley’s two-point conversion run gave CSD an 8-0 lead in the first.
Lions quarterback SyRus McGowan (8 of 15, 172 yards) responded four plays later by throwing a 60-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Muller. A two-point conversation by Biggus tied the game at 8-8.
On the ensuing drive, Cambridge-SD marched 53 yards in 10 plays to another score. The drive saw backup quarterback John Henry get in the game when Farrare had to leave for a play when his helmet came off during a play.
On his first snap, Henry threw a strike to Belizaire for a 16-yard gain to the 21. Runs by Beasley and Shamar Young gave C-SD a first-and-goal at the 10. Beasley scored three plays later from two yards out to regain the lead for CSD.
A bad snap forced the kick to be averted, but holder Logan Middleton scooped the ball, rolled right and fired a strike to Jeremy Taylor for a two-point conversation and a 16-8 second-quarter lead.
The CSD defense kept the Lions out of the end zone the rest of the first half, which included a big third-down sack by Ethan Carmine.
A second lightning delay at halftime forced the game to resume Saturday.
The Lions received the secondhalf kickoff Saturday, and promptly marched 55 yards in eight plays. Biggus (15 carries, 117 yards) carried the ball five times for 34 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown. He followed the TD with a two-point run to tie the score at 16-16.
“I thought we played well in the third quarter,” Queen Anne’s head coach Donny Graef said. “We moved the ball consistently. If we just could have taken the lead, we would have been in good shape but we had a turnover.
“It was a back-and-forth game, and whoever gets the turnover would be in good shape,” Graef added. “Cambridge made the play, and a bunch others. They are a good, young team. Congratulations to them and their coaching staff on the win. We just need to get ready for Easton.”
A play after Lake recovered a Lions fumble, Beasley (15 carried, 157 yards) bolted 58 yards to the 19. C-SD faced a fourth-and-2 from the 11, but Parker showed his confidence in the offensive line by going for it. Beasley picked up the two yards to move the chains.
Two plays later, the Vikings went play action with Farrare hitting a wide-open Belizaire, who waltzed into the end zone for a 22-16 lead early in the fourth quarter. Drew Warfield added the extra point for a 23-16 lead.
“Jyquan is a great senior leader to have at quarterback,” Parker said. “He is a phenomenal athlete. We called some passes when he typically would run, and Jyquan delivered with two touchdown passes.
“Dario is just a freshman and played a heck of a game,” Parker added. “The difference in the game is Drew. He makes the kick and we win by one.”
The Lions began the ensuing drive 65 yards from the end zone with 8:55 left. Queen Anne’s quickly moved across midfield on a 14-yard run by Muller. Two plays later, McGowan hit Muller (4 catches, 100 yards) for an 18-yard completion to the C-SD 21.
Facing fourth-and-1 from the 12, Biggus sliced through the defense for eight yards, then scored two plays later to bring the Lions within one. Graef immediately called for the two-point attempt.
But the C-SD defense converged on Cruz, throwing him for a loss, keeping the Vikings ahead 23-22 with less than five minutes to play.
Facing a third-and-25, Beasley swept right for a 27-yard gain and a huge first down. Two plays later, he broke loose for a 38-yard run to the 9.
“At the end of the day, you got to put the ball in the hands of players who got you the lead, and Khalik carried the load for us,” Parker said.
C-SD forced the Lions to burn their remaining timeouts. Queen Anne’s stopped the Vikings on fourth down, but were 90 yards from a touchdown with 36 seconds left.
McGowan hit Xavier Jones for a 19-yard gain, but he was tackled before he could get out of bounds. With 11 seconds left, McGowan fired deep for Jones, but Young deflected the pass out of bounds with four seconds left. On the game’s final play, McGowan avoided a sack and fired to an open Noah Evans who picked up a convoy of blockers down the right sideline before getting knocked out of bounds by Beasley to seal the Vikings win.
“Queen Anne’s is a phenomenal program,” Parker said. “Donny has done a phenomenal job. Those kids are big and strong. We were just able to out play them.
“We’ve got one of the best coaching staff’s in the Bayside,” he added. “Under coach (defensive coordinator Al) Waters, the defense was able to grow and get better. The defense line came up huge with the stop on the two-point conversion.
“On offense, we’ve got a lot of young talent,” he continued. “Our offensive line did great opening up holes for the running backs. I’m just proud to get this big win in week one.”
Cambridge-South Dorchester running back Khalik Beasley (3) runs for a 27yard gain on third-and-25 in the fourth quarter against Queen Anne’s to give the Vikings a key first down Saturday, Sept. 1.
Cambridge-South Dorchester quarterback John Henry completes a pass for a against Queen Anne’s Friday, Aug. 31.first down