St. Charles football edged by Huntingtown
Hurricanes earn victory over Spartans
With 17 seconds showing on the scoreboard clock on Oct. 14, Huntingtown’s Andrew Pawlowski took the snap from center and took a knee.
That play may have spawned the happiest feelings any Huntingtown player has felt all season, as it ran out the clock on the Hurricanes’ first win of the season, a 10-6 victory at St. Charles in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Potomac Division clash.
“It definitely feels really good, especially since we didn’t really have one person who was making every single play out there,” Pawlowski said. “We had all 20-something people making plays.”
Throughout the football season, Huntingtown has struggled to put points on the board. Six weeks in, the Hurricanes had scored in double figures just three times and had a season high of just 14 points.
The Oct. 14 game at St. Charles was no different, as Huntingtown’s offense was not able to put the ball in the end zone. It didn’t matter. The Hurricanes scored one defensive touchdown on a Jacob Cramer interception return and also had a field goal in the win.
“The defense played great, and they’ve played great all year,” Huntingtown head coach Paul Friel said. “We’ve just had moments where we’d give up a couple scores. We’ve talked about it, but finally just said don’t worry about making bad plays, just play. Just play and have fun, go out and do what you have to do.”
Whatever the formula, it worked. St. Charles (25, 0-3 SMAC Potomac) did not score an offensive touchdown itself and was limited to just four first downs for the game. The Spartans, trailing 10-0 midway through the second quarter, got their only points on Jeffrey Hughes’ 84-yard kick return to pull the team to within 10-6.
The Spartans had one last-ditch effort late in the fourth quarter, moving to their own 42-yard line. But facing a third down and 7, Huntingtown sacked quarterback Marlon Brown and a fourth down pass fell incomplete with 17 seconds remaining to seal the Hurricanes’ victory.
After a scoreless first quarter, Huntingtown (25, 2-2) scored all the points it needed 1 minute 38 second span in the second.
First, Thomas Weiskircher kicked a 28yard field goal to cap a long drive that the Hurricanes started at their own 39. On the ensuing St. Charles possession, Cramer stepped on front of a Brown pass, picked it off and rumbled 17 yards untouched into the end zone to increase the visitors’ lead to 10-0 with the successful extra point.
Hughes followed with his return touchdown, but that was to be all the Spartans would muster. Huntingtown did not score again, but managed to move the chains enough to stay on the right side of the field position battle and run ample time off the clock.
“Offensively we moved the ball but just couldn’t convert some of the drives.” Friel said. “We got enough points to win, and that’s what we need. Special teams played well except for the one big play. [Hughes] made a nice run.”
While Week 7 wasn’t when Huntingtown would have hoped to earn its first win, it was still a reward for a team that has been close several times throughout the season.
“If it was a terrible group it would be different, but we’re not that far off. It’s been really frustrating coming up short,” Friel said. “It’s been a few moments here or there, so this is huge. I think it will carry over to the next three weeks to finish out the season strong. We just need to keep plugging away and working. None of the kids have quit or given up. They’ve all been practicing and doing what they have to do. This will help.”
Monday, an investigation by Calvert County Student Services revealed that Northern had used ineligible players, therefore a Oct. 7 loss to the Patriots turns into a 2-0 forfeit victory for Huntingtown.
Huntingtown is scheduled to host Leonardtown at 7 p.m. Friday in what the team hopes will end a second straight win. The Raiders fell to North Point in Week 7, 36-6. St. Charles will look to rebound when it hosts Northern at 7 p.m. Friday against a Patriots team that fell to Chopticon in Week 7, 48-20.
Tough as the season has been in terms of the record, Pawlowski thought Friday night’s effort revealed something about the Hurricanes’ character.
“It definitely shows that we have a lot of fight, whether we’re on the winning side of things or the losing side,” he said. “Today we were on the right side of it. We have to fight all the way through.”
St. Charles quarterback Marlon Brown looks for an open receiver in the late stages of the Spartans’ 10-6 loss to the visiting Huntingtown Hurricanes on Friday night.