Buccaneers cruise as sides rack up penalties
K. Island 27 — Elkton 0
STEVENSVILLE — Penalties assured that the Elkton and Kent Island High football teams went backward almost as much as forward during Friday evening’s Week 2 clash.
But the Buccaneers’ defense and specials teams units sent the team’s immediate and future prospects in one direction: up.
Kent Island avenged a rough playoff loss last season to the Golden Elks, getting three total touchdowns on defense and special teams en route to a 27-0 pasting of Elkton at Andy Schipul Stadium.
The Bucs are now 2-0, while Elkton dropped to 1-1. The defense and special teams combined for two touchdowns in the first game, a 40-14 rout of Colonel Richardson, and have been the stars of Kent Island’s show in the opening weeks.
“We needed to get in the end zone when we had the chance,” Bucs head coach Damian Ferragamo said. “This week, I was kind of afraid we’re going to lose, and kind of afraid we’re going to win, because we weren’t seeing the intensity in practice.
“We’re not the best team we can be right now,” Ferragamo added. “We can be a whole lot better. Luckily, we got out of here with a win, and our defense and specials teams stepped it up.”
The Bucs’ offensive performance, however, left much to be desired, as the team mustered a relatively modest 196 total yards on 41 plays from scrimmage. A good chunk of it arrived against a Golden Elks defensive front that ultimately tired and then relented, the coaching staff sending in a full stable of backups before it was over.
“It’s a simple answer: we’re just not very good on offense right now,” Ferragamo said. “We’re not. We scrimmaged Old Mill, and didn’t score with ones on ones (starters) in the first half, we’ve got to get better.
“We have three new starters on the offensive line, one is a sophomore, and we have young kids everywhere,” Ferragamo added. “It’s no excuse for them, because they have been practicing since August 10th, so they have to be better.”
There were 24 penalties in all, totaling 270 yards; the first half took around 45 minutes to complete, about the same time needed for a grueling third quarter that saw eight flags alone.
“Luckily, most of the flags were on them,” Ferragamo said; the Bucs were penalized 11 times for 125 yards.
“I’ve been in a ton of ugly games, I wish this was my ugliest game,” Ferragamo added, chuckling.
The scoring began when Kent Island’s Dylan Finlay intercepted Elkton quarterback Jackson Argoe late in the second quarter, and dashed 34 yards into the end zone for a 6-0 lead, the score holding into the break.
The Bucs forced Argoe to air it out once shutting down all running lanes for junior tailback Raiquon Estep, who lit up Kent Island for 264 yards on 24 carries last season in a Class 2A East Region semifinal (a 16-0 Elkton win), and gained 213 and scored three TDs on 15 touches in last week’s 31-0 win over C. Milton Wright.
Save for a few busted plays, the Bucs’ defense was sensational. Argoe threw two interceptions for TDs — later an 85-yard Sean Mooney return — and finished 3 for 16 passing for 70 yards, while Estep was limited to only 35 yards on 10 handoffs, all but disappearing in the second half.
“I have to give you the same, terrible answer I give you every week, it’s not good for the papers: Tim Goodrich,” Ferragamo said of his defensive coordinator when asked about the defense’s good fortunes. “Tim Goodrich is a great defensive coordinator. He knows how to prepare them, and he knows how to make them (other teams) do what they don’t want to do.”
When the Bucs weren’t stuffing plays at, or behind the line of scrimmage, 10 in all, the Elks were giving yards away with penalties, 13 total for 145 yards., this coming a week after amassing nearly 200 against C.M. Wright.
“Keep that outside run from getting outside of us, really,” Bucs senior linebacker Michael Scott said of containing the big-play Elks. “We made sure our D-ends were able to contain, and our linebackers were there to meet them at the line of scrimmage.
“We’re all playing for each other, instead of for ourselves,” Scott added. “I think if we go into this practice this week working hard, and everybody is working together, I think we can be a tremendous team this year.”
Cameron Boui, coming off a strong showing against Colonel Richardson, blocked a punt on a fourth-down ball snapped from Elkton’s 16, and recovered it for a score with 4 minutes, 22 seconds left in the third. Boui also scored the game’s only offensive TD to cap the affair, bursting through a tired Elks line for a 36-yard dash in the fourth.
Sensing the Elks were on their heels while playing from behind on a balmy, late summer evening, Ferragamo elected to send Austin Ryan straight up the middle on a series of runs in the fourth, by which time Boui had already softened up Elkton.
The bruising senior punished the Elks on gamesealing gains of 18, 8, 10 and two more tough carries for 7 yards, and the drive ended with Boui’s touchdown, making it 27-0, Kent Island with just under 2½ minutes left to play.
“It was basically conditioning, who was better conditioned,” Ryan said. “In the fourth quarter, we were the better team. To have Cameron get them all tired and I just come in and get the extra yards, it’s what we did in the fourth quarter.”
Ryan Finished with 47 yards on only six carries, while Boui gained 48 on 12. Brandon Galloway entered late and racked up 23 yards on three runs, while Selby Scaggs busted a 25-yard scamper in the first half and caught a Jordan Marciano toss for 24 yards.
Kent Island will likely have to play better on offense if it is to defeat defending region champion North Caroline on the road Friday. Despite also being 2-0, the Bulldogs are coming off close calls against Easton and Cambridge-South Dorchester, having to erase deficits in both games.
“We’re playing another good team,” Ferragamo said. “We’ll enjoy this one, enter the film room and see if we can pull one out. Each week, we’re just trying to go 1-0.”