McDonough ousted by Sur­rattsville in 1A North

Rams get down early, come­back falls short

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­ Twit­ter: tblack­somds1

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.”

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