Buc­ca­neers cruise as sides rack up penal­ties

Record Observer - - Sports - By AY­MAN ALAM aalam@star­dem.com

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.”

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