Queen Anne’s tackles Bulldogs, reach 8-1
Q. Anne’s 19 — N. Caroline 7 Q. Anne’s limits Caroline standout Bailey to 67 yards
CENTREVILLE — The Bulldogs tried everything they could to score against Queen Anne’s County High’s football team Friday evening at Lions Stadium. Their problem was the Lions continued to make tackles.
North Caroline’s top offensive threat David Bailey kept trying to break free but a Queen Anne’s defender or defenders were usually there to pull him down.
In a battle of two 7-1 teams, tackling proved the difference, along with four North Caroline turnovers.
Brandon Hickman ran for two touchdowns and the Lions got unexpected offense from Garrett Bowen on their way to a 19-7 win.
“Our defense played phenomenal,” said Lions captain Mikey Monroe. “We practice tackling a lot and that right there showed our tackling. Obviously we’re not perfect, we miss tackles, but when it came down to it we made tackles and we stopped them at the line; we tackled them for a loss. That’s hard to beat right there, when you have 11 guys doing that.”
Bowen turned a short pass into a 50-yard touchdown with just 39 seconds left in the first half to put the Lions in front to stay. He also contributed a 49-yard run in the third quarter that set up the Lions’ final touchdown.
On a first-and-10 from Queen Anne’s’ 34-yard line, Bowen carried on a counter-left through a large hole and raced toward the corner of the end zone before being dragged down by North
Caroline’s J’Quan Murray at the Bulldogs’ 17. Three plays later Hickman burst through the middle of the defense for a 7-yard touchdown, which capped the scoring with 4 minutes, 31 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs blocked the extra-point attempt as they had done after Queen Anne’s second touchdown.
In an other wise solid game for Queen Anne’s, poor execution by its punt and kicking teams, and close to 90 yards in penalties, left some room for improvement as the postseason looms.
The Lions’ defense held Bailey to 67 yards on 25 carries with some negative yardage resulting from sacks. Bailey attempted several passes from a Wildcat set in an attempt to get the Bulldogs’ offense on track.
“Both teams played well defensively,” Lions head coach Donny Graef said. “In the end we defended a little bit better, made some plays, some interceptions. We played good enough to win. A little too many penalties, but other than that, a good team win.”
After punting on its first three possessions and a scoreless first quarter, Queen Anne’s opened the scoring midway through the second quarter. Hickman capped a six-play, 76yard scoring drive with a 29-yard TD run. Lions quarterback Mike D’Angelo connected with Jykel Garner for a 25-yard pass play in the middle of the field to put Queen Anne’s at the Bulldogs’ 30. After a 1-yard gain by D’Angelo, he faked the ball inside to Garner and handed off to Hickman, who found open space off right tackle and bolted into the end zone with 6:11 remaining in the first half. Luke Metrinko’s extra-point split the uprights.
North Caroline answered quickly with its only touchdown. On a second-and-14, Bulldogs quarterback Cody Pepper found tight end Luke Ruffo open past defenders in the middle of the field and he broke away for a 64-yard touchdown. Robbie Blakely kicked the point-after to make it 7-7 with 4:06 left in the first half.
Both teams punted on their next possession, but Bowen then accounted for 75 yards in offense starting a 25-yard punt return to midfield. On the next play, he caught a short pass from D’Angelo near the right sideline, avoided a tackler, and beat all the other defenders to the end zone to make it 13-7 at the half.
“Garrett’s fantastic,” Graef said. “He was a kid that played quarterback all through jayvee. He got up with us here on varsity last year and we really didn’t project him as a quarterback because of his height. Playing running back, he’s just fantastic. He gives you everything he’s got every single play and we don’t miss a beat when he’s in there, not at all.”
The Bulldogs tried to get their grinding running game going to open the second half, but a seven-play drive ended with Pepper being sacked on the Lions’ 35.
Trailing 19-7, three of the Bulldogs’ final four possessions ended with interceptions. Tyler Bonner, Chris Crow, and Jordan Callahan each picked off passes for the Lions.
“I thought we played great,” Monroe said. “We faced a lot of adversity. They came out and they were running right down our throats coming out the second half, and for us our defense held them and we got some big stops. Offensive-wise, everything wasn’t there right away, but our line blocked good and our backs ran hard and good things happened.”
Notes: Kent Island (9-0) has locked up the top seed, while Queen Anne’ currently sits at second in the Class 2A East Region playoff race, followed by Elkton (8-1) and North Caroline. By virtue of MPSSAA points standings, the Lions can still tumble all the way to fourth place, while the Golden Elks and Bulldogs can move up with wins in favorable matchups with winless North East-Cecil and Colonel Richardson (4-4). Follow me on Twitter @csknauss. email me at email@example.com
North Caroline’s David Bailey is dragged down by a Queen Anne’s defender as teammates pursue during a short gain Friday evening at Lions Stadium.
Queen Anne’s Brandon Hickman finishes off a 7-yard touchdown run in the second half Friday evening against North Caroline.