St. Charles foot­ball up­ended by Chop­ti­con

Spar­tans fall to 1-3 af­ter de­feat in divi­sion opener

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Twit­ter: @SOMDhab­s­fan By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

Isa­iah Smith said his Chop­ti­con foot­ball team was a brother­hood, and that fam­ily as­pect helped the vis­it­ing Braves im­prove to 4-0 on the year af­ter steam­rolling St. Charles 35-8 in a South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac Divi­sion con­test on Fri­day night.

Chop­ti­con (4-0, 1-0 SMAC Po­tomac) led 22-0 at half­time and only al­lowed a touch­down and two-point con­ver­sion early in the fourth quar­ter.

“We’re just ex­e­cut­ing, we’re run­ning the plays right and we’re lis­ten­ing to the coaches,” said Smith, who caught two touch­down passes from quar­ter­back AJ Hunt. “Brother­hood strong.”

“What I like is they’ve bought in and re­ally show con­cern for each other, and they’re re­ally truly ex­cited for each other,” Chop­ti­con head coach An­thony Lisanti said. “There’s no jeal­ousy on this team.”

Chop­ti­con opened the scor­ing in the first quar­ter when Hunt lofted a pass into the right cor­ner of the end zone and David Jor­dan, cel­e­brat­ing his birth­day, out­ma­neu­vered two de­fend­ers for the ball.

“It was a great catch,” Lisanti said, and then added when asked if he specif­i­cally tried to get Jor­dan a score on his birth­day. “I didn’t even know he was in the game.”

The play capped a 6-play, 41-yard drive.

Chop­ti­con added to its lead on an al­most mir­ror im­age of its first score, though Smith was the re­cip­i­ent of this catch, a 15-yarder.

“I just went out there and saw the jump ball and I got it,” Smith said.

The touch­down was set up a play ear­lier when ju­nior line­backer Nick Sny­der broke through the St. Charles line and blocked a punt. Floyd Car­son rum­bled in for the 2-point con­ver­sion and the Braves led, 14-0.

They added an­other score be­fore the half when Kharim Mitchell stepped in front of a pass from Spar­tans quar­ter­back Mar­lon Brown and re­turned it 73 yards for the score. Hunt rolled to his right and drilled a pass to a div­ing Sny­der for the 2-point con­ver­sion.

“I was just drop­ping back and I saw the re­ceiver start to cut in a lit­tle bit, so I broke on it,” Mitchell said. “If it wasn’t for my team­mates get­ting down the field and block­ing for me, I don’t think I would have made it [to the end zone].”

The Braves added two scores in the third quar­ter, the first com­ing on wide re­ceiver Von­tae Hof­fert’s 53-yard touch­down run on a fake punt on fourth down and 9. Hof­fert also kicked the ex­tra point.

Smith scored his sec­ond touch­down of the game when he hauled in Hunt’s screen pass and raced 80 yards to the end zone.

“On the play I just saw [Chop­ti­con line­man] No. 50 [Austin Crouch] in front of me and he did a great lead block and I just read it,” Smith said. “I just want to thank the O-line, be­cause with­out them we can’t even pass the ball.”

St. Charles (1-3, 0-1) scored their lone touch­down early in the fourth quar ter on Brown’s 1-yard touch­down run and en­su­ing two-point con­ver­sion, which capped a 50-yard drive, the Spar­tans’ long­est of the night.

Paul Massey Jr. had a team-high nine tack­les for St. Charles, while Jef­frey Hughes and Shiloh Beale each had five.

Chop­ti­con’s de­fense held the Spar­tans to six yards or fewer on four drives and only two drives went longer than 23 yards.

“Our de­fense we’re re­ally a team,” said Chop­ti­con se­nior line­backer Michael Sul­li­van, who tied for the team lead in tack­les with Sny­der with 10. “We bonded this off­sea­son do­ing 7-on-7s and that’s made our pass de­fense pretty good and in prac­tice we all work to­gether. It’s not just the lineback­ers or the cor­ners or safeties mak­ing the plays. It’s the D-line that re­ally does it for us. Our line is hold­ing up [the op­po­nents’] O-line and mak­ing the quar­ter­back flush or make a de­ci­sion he nor­mally wouldn’t make. Our line has re­ally given us a chance to make the plays.”

“We ro­tate guys in. It’s not just four guys,” Lisanti said. “We’ve got eight, nine guys who are con­tribut­ing which is nice to see, but the de­fense has been stel­lar all year. They haven’t re­ally given up a lot of touch­downs. They’re do­ing their job, and they’re get­ting bet­ter each week.”

“What we have is a multi-faceted group of play­ers that can hurt you in a lot of dif­fer­ent ways and they play of­fense, they play ‘D,’ they play spe­cial teams,” Lisanti said.

Chop­ti­con will host Hunt­ing­town at 6 p.m. Fri­day. The Hur­ri­canes fell to Great Mills 1613 in Week 4 giv­ing the Hor­nets their first win of the sea­son.

“All week we’ve been fo­cus­ing on try­ing to fin­ish and play well in all three phases of the game and I think we came out out and did pretty good,” Mitchell said. “On of­fense every­body was ex­e­cut­ing, and on de­fense I think it’s the best ball we’ve played all year.”

St. Charles head coach Avery Wil­liams could not be reached for com­ment. The Spar­tans will travel to North Point at 7 p.m. Fri­day ver­sus an Ea­gles team that de­feated West­lake in Week 4, 30-18.

St. Charles run­ning back Al­pha Barry heads around the left side in search of more yardage in Fri­day night’s con­test ver­sus Chop­ti­con. The Spar­tans fell to the Braves, 35-8.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY MICHAEL REID

St. Charles quar­ter­back Mar­lon Brown rolls out as he searches for an open re­ceiver dur­ing Fri­day night’s loss to Chop­ti­con. Brown scored the only Spar­tans touch­down in a 35-8 loss.

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