St. Charles football upended by Chopticon
Spartans fall to 1-3 after defeat in division opener
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.
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.