Queen Anne’s stum­bles, then nabs big vic­tory

D’An­gelo passes for 261 yards and four touch­downs

Record Observer - - Sports - By DAVID INSLEY dins­ley@star­dem.com

PRINCESS ANNE — Four min­utes into Fri­day night’s game, Queen Anne’s County High’s foot­ball team trailed 7-0 against a Washington team it hasn’t lost to since 2003.

A fum­bled open­ing kick­off led to a short field for the Jaguars, who drove 30 yards for the game’s first score.

It would be Washington’s only score, how­ever, as the Lions reeled off seven straight unan­swered touch­downs, run­ning the clock for al­most the en­tire se­cond half in a 49-7 blowout.

Jykel Garner, re­ceiv­ing the open­ing kick­off at his team’s 17-yard line, charged into the wedge and tried to push through. But a Jaguar player knocked the ball loose at the 30. Washington re­cov­ered the fum­ble.

In the ab­sence of start­ing quar­ter­back An­thony Sny­der — ejected dur­ing the Sept. 9 game at Kent County — backup Eric Bal­lard slid into the role and guided the Jaguars (0-3) on the five-play drive, com­plet­ing two passes to 6-foot-4 wide­out Tyler Poul­son along the way.

Bal­lard capped the drive with a 3-yard op­tion scoring run. Cooper Hicks booted the point to make it 7-0.

“I’m not go­ing to put the fum­ble off on the bus ride,” Lions head coach Donny Graef said. “Washington’s got some ath­letes on their team.”

Queen Anne’s (3-0) replied quickly, Garner aveng­ing his early mis­cue with a 39-yard touch­down run, which capped a five-play drive. Luke Metrinko’s PAT tied the game mid­way through the first quar­ter.

Af­ter al­low­ing the early score, the Lion de­fense brought the Jaguars’ ground game to a halt. Bal­lard, a ca­pa­ble passer, went to the air in­stead, He found Poul­son twice more be­fore half for first-down catches, and his 30-yard com­ple­tion to Keionte Nut­ter in the se­cond was Washington’s long­est play from scrim­mage.

But two first-half in­ter­cep­tions, one by Chris Crow on the first play of the se­cond quar­ter, the se­cond by Ryan Muller mid­way through that pe­riod, killed promis­ing drives.

Queen Anne’s, mean­time, aired the ball out as well, se­nior quar­ter­back Mike D’An­gelo rid­dling the Jaguars with long strikes.

“We could get into the foot­ball par­tic­u­lars, cover-3 and all that, but re­ally, we just needed to give Mike the chance to throw the ball a lit­tle,” Graef said. “He’s got a good arm, and he puts the ball in the right place.”

D’An­gelo’s first at­tempt set up Queen Anne’s se­cond score, a 78yard pass to Tyler Bon­ner on the first snap af­ter Crow’s pick­off. An­other Metrinko PAT (he went 7-for-7 on the night) made it 14-7.

On the next Lion drive, a hold­ing penalty erased a 75-yard Garner score and put the Lions in a fir­stand-20 from their own 15-yard line. D’An­gelo made it moot on the very next play, though, hit­ting C.J. Rogers deep on the left hash for an 85-yard score to put Queen Anne’s up 21-7.

“They’re def­i­nitely a great team,” Washington se­cond-year head coach Greg Lasin­ski said. “And we have a cou­ple of guys who can throw the ball. With­out hav­ing An­thony here, Eric, who was in the run­ning for the start­ing job too, he did a great job, I think, pass­ing.

“But the turnovers hurt us,” Lasin­ski added. “I told the guys, we have proved now we’re not go­ing to win with [turnovers], so that’s some­thing that we’ve got to cut down on.”

Dion­dre Collins re­ceived the next D’An­gelo com­ple­tion, a 43-yard score that made it 28-7 mid­way through the se­cond. D’An­gelo, who com­piled a per­fect NFL passer rat­ing of 158.3 on the night, was 5 for 6 for 261 yards and four scores. The last one came late in the se­cond, a 70-yard strike to Wy­att Pin­der that made it 35-7.

Though Muller’s pick­off, which he ran back into the Washington red zone, came with a minute left in the first half, the Lions could not cap­i­tal­ize be­fore time ran out. Bran­don Hick­man wasted lit­tle time in set­ting up the run­ning clock af­ter in­ter­mis­sion, though, his 17-yard run with 10 min­utes, 24 se­conds left in the third mak­ing it 42-7 fol­low­ing a sixth Metrinko point-af­ter.

Backup quar­ter­back Pat Free­man threw a 20-yard touch­down pass to Bon­ner on the first play of the fourth quar­ter to ac­count for the fi­nal mar­gin.

Washington vis­its Snow Hill at 6 p.m. Fri­day; Queen Anne’s County vis­its Sus­sex Cen­tral, Del. at 7 p.m. Snow Hill, which dressed just 14 play­ers in Week 2, for­feited Fri­day night’s game at Ar­ca­dia, Va., due to in­suf­fi­cient num­bers, but is ex­pected to dress 18-19 play­ers this week, ac­cord­ing to se­cond-year coach Tim Ri­cho.

Notes: The Lions last lost to Washington, at home, in Week 7 of the 2003 sea­son, 19-13. The Jaguars, who be­gan the 2003 cam­paign 0-3, even­tu­ally fin­ished 6-4, made the play­offs, and won the Class 1A East Re­gion; they have not had a win­ning sea­son since . ... Queen Anne’s and Washington have played each other in foot­ball just eight times in the last 36 years; Queen Anne’s has won six of those games . ... The Lions ran just 11 of­fen­sive plays af­ter half­time . ... When 33-year Stephen De­catur coach Bob Knox stepped down in Au­gust due to a fam­ily ill­ness, Graef, now in his 22nd sea­son, is the most tenured ac­tive Bay­side foot­ball coach . ... The chain crew for Fri­day night’s game in­cluded Bay­side Con­fer­ence Pres­i­dent Clarence John­son, Washington High base­ball coach Bryan Laird, and for­mer Washington prin­ci­pal Keith O’Neal, who was the team’s coach for more than 20 years, in­clud­ing its 2003 run into the state semi­fi­nals.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter: @Davetalkss­ports.

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