Colonels roll, stay in playoff contention
Colonel Richardson 60 Washington 12
— The cold, rain and wind may have been the only thing that didn’t provide cooperation for Colonel Richardson High’s homecoming game Saturday afternoon.
As for Colonel’s football team, one only needed to zero in on two plays by Jackie Zebron to know just how good of a day it was.
The junior quarterback turned a busted play into a 36-yard touchdown run, then returned an interception 96 yards, fumbled near the goal line, but quickly fell on the ball for another score to help the Colonels roll to a 60-12 victory over Washington.
“I’ve never seen him move so fast to get in the end zone in my life,” Colonel Richardson head coach Dan Mangum said, laughing about Zebron’s near end-to-end interception return. “Then he fumbles it. Then he recovers his own fumble. I don’t know how you draw that up.”
What Mangum did know is that yesterday’s victory kept Colonel (54) in contention with Bohemia Manor and Perryville for the third and fourth spots in the Class 1A East playoff race behind Havre de Grace and Cambridge-South Dorchester.
“It was a big win for us,” Mangum said. “It was homecoming. The kids are pumped up. I thought we did some good things. But you look at that and the health of the team and you start to worry a little bit.”
Colonel may have lost defensive end/tight end Ryan Stanton to a season-ending ankle injur y, when he was tackled while returning an interception 45 yards for a touchdown with a little over three minutes remaining in the first half.
“We won but we lost in the sense we had 19 varsity kids coming in,” Mangum said. “You lose one today, possible broken ankle, you’re down
to 18. You got another kid with his knee, you’re down to 17.
“You’re trying to get through, you’re trying to get clean, you’re trying to stay healthy,” Mangum continued. “And you know you have an injury here and there, and we still have an outside shot at the playoffs with Perryville, Bo Manor and us all vying for that three or four seed.”
Colonel took a lead in never relinquished on the game’s first play from
scrimmage, as Tyler Stanley slipped around left end and blazed 50 yards for a touchdown with the game all of 12 seconds old. Jordan Gabriel’s two-point conversion run made it 8-0.
After a Washington threeand-out, Colonel moved from its 48 to the Jaguars’ 22, where Gabriel (8 carries, game-high 93 yards rushing) found a crease through the middle, crashed into one of his own linemen, then picked up another five yards with Washington’s Lavontay Tindley clinging to his back. Mason Lambert scored from one yard out on the next play, and Gabriel again powered through for
the two-point conversion for a 16-0 lead with 7:10 left in the opening quarter.
Washington (1-8) answered, as Gavin Fontaine returned the ensuing kickoff to the Colonel 35-yard line. On the next play, Jaguars quarterback Anthony Snyder (6 of 15, 76 yards) hit a wide-open Keionte Nutter for a 35-yard touchdown pass, shaving Colonel’s lead to 16-6 with 6:43 still to go in the first quarter.
“I thought we executed well offensively,” said Mangum, whose team scored on all five of its first-half possessions while building a 53-6 halftime cushion. “Defensively, we had some
letdowns. You had the long pass for a touchdown. They came out in the second half, we had a big lead, but we’re moving in slow motion and they score right away. We kind of got it together and we ended the game.”
Though Washington’s Ty’Trelle Jones broke loose for a 58-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage in the second half — earning Colonel’s defense a mini-lecture from its head coach — it wasn’t a big enough spark to stir a second-half comeback or stop the running clock.
After the Jaguars closed within 16-6, Colonel responded with two more first-quarter touchdowns, and three more in the second quarter.
Gabriel got the rout in gear, slanting off left tackle for a 13-yard touchdown. Stanley’s two-point run made it 24-6. After another Washington three-and-out, Colonel drove from its 43 to the Jaguars’ 36. On secondand-three, Zebron appeared to try handing off twice, got no takers, then tucked the ball away at raced around right end for a 36-yard score. Cam Errickson ran in the two-point conversion for a 32-6 bulge.
Then six plays into the second quarter, Snyder floated a pass over the middle that Zebron intercepted. The junior linebacker weaved through a crowd, broke left down the far sideline, had the ball jarred free near the goal line, but fell
on it for a touchdown. The first of Remy Mangum’s four extra-point boots made it 39-6.
Stanton ended Washington’s next two possessions with interceptions, the first setting up an 8-yard touchdown run by Gabriel with a little over five minutes remaining in the half. Stanton returned the second pick 45 yards for a touchdown, but injured his ankle while being tackled near the end zone.
Colonel added one second-half score, offensive lineman John Weiss plowing in from two yards out on the final play of the third quarter.
Colonel Richardson’s Jordan Gabriel gives a Washington defender a stiff-arm during Saturday’s 60-12 homecoming victory.