An­other blank­ing for the Hur­ri­canes

Hur­ri­canes beat Pa­tri­ots for third straight shutout, sixth of season

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

On a night when scor­ing chances would be few and far be­tween cour­tesy of a pair of stingy de­fenses and the pend­ing ar­rival of cold rains that prompted an early start to the con­test, Hunt­ing­town High School ju­nior Clay Wargo played a key role in both scores as the Hur­ri­canes up­ended host North­ern, 14-0, on Fri­day night in a South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac Divi­sion con­test.

Hunt­ing­town (8-1, 4-1 SMAC Po­tomac) has rid­den its stingy de­fense to a spot in the up­com­ing Class 3A South Region play­offs and the Hur­ri­canes col­lected their third straight shutout and sixth over­all this season. Wargo, who plays dual roles as running back and line­backer for the Hur­ri­canes, scored the game’s first touch­down and then promptly set up the other three min­utes later.

Hunt­ing­town spent much of the first half in North­ern ter­ri­tory, running only three plays on its side of mid­field. The com­bi­na­tion of the field po­si­tion and the Hur­ri­canes’

stingy de­fense en­abled the vis­i­tors to score the only two touch­downs on the night in the sec­ond quar­ter and the Pa­tri­ots were un­able to over­come the deficit.

“Our de­fense is just amaz­ing,” Wargo said. “I love play­ing with th­ese guys. I’m just look­ing for­ward to play­ing at least two more games with them this year. We’re re­ally like a group of broth­ers.”

Fol­low­ing a score­less first quar­ter, Wargo got Hunt­ing­town on the board on the fifth play of the sec­ond. Facing fourth down and inches at the North­ern 7-yard line, Wargo found a seam left of cen­ter and plowed through the Pa­tri­ots de­fense and into the end zone. Quar­ter­back/kicker Hunter Bray added the ex­tra point and the Hur­ri­canes owned a 7-0 lead with 9 min­utes 15 sec­onds left be­fore half­time.

“I was just look­ing to get the first down,” Wargo said. “Then when I got past the line

of scrim­mage, I saw the next de­fender was a lot smaller than me, so I just ran him over. But our line did a great job on that play. They opened a hole and I was able to get through.”

Wargo made his next big play on North­ern’s en­su­ing pos­ses­sion. With the Pa­tri­ots ap­proach­ing mid­field, quar­ter­back Zach Crounse watched a shot­gun snap sail over his head and Wargo beat him and sev­eral North­ern of­fen­sive line­men to the loose ball and re­cov­ered at the Pa­tri­ots’ 20.

“When I saw the ball get past the quar­ter­back, I knew I could beat their of­fen­sive line­men to the ball,” Wargo said. “I just saw it bounc­ing and I was de­ter­mined to get it.”

Three plays later, Bray rolled out to his left and con­nected with wide re­ceiver Eval Lively in the left front cor­ner of the end zone for a touch­down and then Bray again added the ex­tra point to lift the Hur­ri­canes to a 14-0 lead with 6:04 re­main­ing in the half. Hunt­ing­town’s sec­ond touch­down had come cour­tesy of Wargo’s de­fen­sive prow­ess and the Pa­tri­ots never re­ally re­cov­ered.

“That whole first half was all about field po­si­tion and their de­fense,” North­ern head coach Steve Crounse said. “When they got that sec­ond touch­down, that was a big mo­men­tum shift. We were fi­nally start­ing to put a drive to­gether when we turned it over. But I’m proud of our guys. They never quit. We had some good drives in the sec­ond half, but their de­fense kept us out of the end zone.”

Over the last 30 min­utes of play­ing time and per­haps the last hour of real time, cold rains that ar­rived at half­time grad­u­ally intensified and made play­ing con­di­tions less than ideal.

North­ern (6-3, 2-3) did put to­gether sev­eral good drives in the sec­ond half, but its only foray into the Hunt­ing­town red zone ended with­out points and the Hur­ri­canes were able to con­trol the clock with short, pun­ish­ing runs from Bray and Wargo.

“Our running game was def­i­nitely in­con­sis­tent,” Hunt­ing­town head coach Paul Friel said. “We had some good runs in the first half, but then North­ern made some de­fen­sive ad-

just­ments. We did a good job de­fen­sively stop­ping their runs and lim­it­ing their big plays. Our de­fense has been the sta­ple of our team all season.”

Hunt­ing­town wraps up the reg­u­lar season at home ver­sus St. Charles at 7 p.m. Fri­day, while North­ern will be at Chop­ti­con at 6 p.m. Fri­day. The Spar­tans (7-2, 3-2) came from be­hind to de­feat the Braves (27, 1-4) in Week 9, 20-8. Lackey edges Patux­ent The Charg­ers con­tin­ued their quest for a higher seed in the up­com­ing Class 1A South Region play­offs by edg­ing the Pan­thers in a SMAC Ch­e­sa­peake Divi­sion con­test on Fri­day night.

Lackey (6-3, 3-2 SMAC Ch­e­sa­peake) led 12-0 at the end of the first quar­ter and 20-14 at half­time as Robert Mid­dle­ton com­pleted one pass for 55 yards and a touch­down and he also rushed for two more scores.

Mid­dle­ton only com­pleted one pass, a 55-yard scor­ing strike to D’An­thony Washington, and he led the Charg­ers’ ground at­tack with 112 yards and two rush­ing touch­downs on just 12 at­tempts. Wash­ing-

ton also car­ried eight times for 49 yards and Jayson Wilmer ran 14 times for 32 yards.

Lackey, along with Fair­mont Heights and Dou­glass of Prince Ge­orge’s County, have al­ready clinched spots in the post­sea­son. The Charg­ers will host McDonough at 7 p.m. Fri­day. The Rams (2-7, 1-4) de­feated La Plata in Week 9, 22-6.

Patux­ent (2-7, 2-3) wrap up its season at Thomas Stone at 7 p.m. Fri­day. The Cougars (45, 2-3) were edged in the fi­nal min­utes by West­lake in Week 9, 21-19.

“We started out re­ally well, then the weather in the sec­ond half was the most bizarre that I have ever seen,” Lackey head coach John Lusb said. “Nei­ther team could do any­thing with the winds and the side­ways rains that were com­ing in. Running any play was a dis­as­ter wait­ing to hap­pen. That was the type of game we would have lost ear­lier in the season. It seems like that loss to West­lake was a wake-up call for us. We’ve been play­ing well since then and we needed to fin­ish up strong this week­end.”

STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK

Hunt­ing­town quar­ter­back Hunter Bray awaits the shot­gun snap mid­way through the first quar­ter as the Hur­ri­canes ap­proached the North­ern red zone. Hunt­ing­town failed to score on this pos­ses­sion but it scored on two straight drives in the sec­ond quar­ter en route to a 14-0 vic­tory over the host Pa­tri­ots in their SMAC clash.

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