McDonough ousted by Surrattsville in 1A North
Rams get down early, comeback falls short
CLINTON — After spotting the host Surrattsville Rams a 20-0 lead in the opening 13 minutes of play, it might have been easy for the McDonough High School football team to abandon its game plan and seek to start anew.
But over the last three quarters of play, McDonough (3-8 overall) made things interesting and had several chances to forge the lead before it eventually fell to the Hornets, 20-16, in a Class 1A North Region semifinal game on Saturday afternoon.
Surrattsville (6-5), the second seed in the region, advanced to play at Harford County’s Havre de Grace, the top seed, this Friday, while the Rams’ season came to an end.
“These guys have fought hard all sea- son,” said McDonough first-year head coach Jonathan Briscoe, also a former Rams player. “When I first walked into our initial practices, I just wanted to be able to put together a competitive team. I just wanted the guys to learn and change the culture and understand that they could win. But they exceeded my expectations.”
McDonough, the third seed, dis- played that it could move the ball on its opening possession, but the Rams watched the Hornets score two touchdowns before the first quarter expired and another in the opening minute of the second quarter.
Surrattsville quarterback Jyree Smiley connected with Tajay During on a 22-yard toss to make it 6-0. After Steven Avents recovered a fumble for the Hor- nets in McDonough territory, Smiley scored from 29 yards out on a keeper.
Surrattsville ended the first quarter with two touchdowns less than a minute apart and it started the second quarter in rapid fashion.
On the Hornets’ first play from scrimmage in the frame, Smiley raced 62 yards to set up first down and goal and, on the very next play, scored from three yards out and the two-point conversion padded the hosts’ lead to 20-0 with 11 minutes 10 seconds remaining before halftime.
McDonough responded immediately when Dervonn Holton returned the ensuing kickoff to the Surrattsville 1-yard line and Messiah Original plowed forward to put the Rams on the board. On McDonough’s next possession, quarterback Brant Butler connected with Holton for 30 yards and Original carried four times for the last 20 yards and again scored from one yard out to narrow the Rams’ deficit to 20-14 with 4:20 left in the half.
Neither team scored in the third quarter and McDonough appeared on the verge of changing that late in the fourth quarter.
Butler connected with Demarco Davis for 27 yards and a run by Original set the Rams up with first and goal at the Hornets’ 7. Butler ran once for two yards, but Original was stuffed twice and Butler’s last pass landed incomplete.
Surrattsville then provided the game’s last points for McDonough. Facing fourth down deep in their own end, the Hornets opted to take a safety intentionally when punter Drew Anderson simply ran through the right corner of the end zone. Following the ensuing punt, McDonough reached the Hornets 35, but Butler’s last pass was intercepted by During which sealed the verdict for the hosts.
“Every day I thank God that I have that kid on my team,” Surrattsville second-year head coach Cornell Wade said of During. “He’s a special player and I have the utmost confidence in him when he’s playing defense. This game was really a dogfight. We had a big lead early, but give them credit because they never gave up. Our kids just found a way at the end. But it was a great game.”