Pointer football beats Comets
During a 7-on-7 passing league in June, Sparrows Point football coach Scott Merbach said this year’s Pointer squad would feature a new offensive philosophy to go along with a new coach.
During the season-opening 24-8 win over visiting Catonsville on Friday, Sparrows Point ran the ball 27 times while throwing five passes.
Looked like the same old Pointers. On the other hand, when you lead 14-0 six plays into the game, you make adjustments.
“Up by 14 points, we didn’t want to start passing and stopping the clock,” Merbach said. “Our goal was to run the ball, work the clock, stay in control that way.”
Besides, Catonsville threw the ball enough for both teams. The Comets attempted 35 passes, completing 14 for 167 yards.
But the Pointers intercepted three of those passes. One helped build Sparrows Point’s lead; the other two helped preserve it.
During a three- play sequence early in the first quarter, the Pointers scored two touchdowns.
After Catonsville went three- and- out on the opening possession of the game, Sparrows Point’s Ronnie Brown returned the punt 70 yards for a touchdown.
After break a tackle near midfield, Brown was so far ahead of any Comet player he could have strolled into the end zone for the last 20 yards.
On Catonsville’s first play after the ensuing kickoff, Ta’Jon Anderson intercepted a pass and returned it to the Comet 16yard line.
Brown immediately scored on a sweep to the right, shaking off two Comet defenders at the five- yard line.
Six plays had been run in the game, and Sparrows Point led 14- 0.
“That gave us a lot of confidence,” Merbach said. “Catonsville is a tough team, with a good coach. Doing well against a team of that caliber, we kept working and were able to finish the game.”
Catonsville responded with a drive that reached a first down on the Pointer 13-yard line. Four straight passes resulted in three incompletions and an eghtyard gain, turning he ball over on the Pointer five-yard line.
At that point, Catonsville had run 14 plays to one for the Pointers, and had 69 yards to the Pointers’ 16. Yet trailed by 14.
“We were definitely surprised, but big plays helped us out,” Merbach said.
Sparrows Point drove from its five to the Catonsville 18, where it lost the ball on a fumble.
After a Comet punt, Sparrows Point quarterback Jon Outten threw a swing pass to Brown behind the line of scrimmage. Brown shook off a Comet defender, evaded a few more, and sprinted 43 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead.
Gavin Chambers kicked a 25-yard field goal on the Pointers’ first drive of the second half to extend the lead to 24-0.
Catonsville cut Sparrows Point’s lead to 24-8 with the help of a long kickoff return that started its drive at the Pointer 30-yard line.
The Comets then recovered an onside kick and seemed poised to get back in the game. But they lost a fumble on the next play, and never again crossed midfield.
Brown and Maurice Christensen intercepted passes to halt Catonsville’s final two drives.
Brown rushed for 60 yards and scored a rushing, receiving and return touchdown. Neo Washington rushed for 84 yards on eight carries, and Eric Halstead gained 41 yards on three carries.
The Sparrows Point defense held Catonsville to 57 rushing yards.
“Overall, our defense was impressive,” Merbach said. “We have a new system, and the kids adjusted pretty well. They were out of position a few times, but we’ll fix that and tighten things up.”
Sparrows Point hosts Hereford (0-1) on Friday at 6 p.m. The Bulls, a playoff team last year, lost to North Harford 32-25.
Ronnie Brown leaves a pair of Catonsville defenders in his wake as he scores the second of his three touchdowns in Sparrows Point’s 24-8 win.
Gavin Chambers kicked a 25-yard field goal and converted three extra points during the win over Catonsville.
Jon Outten prepares to throw a touchdown pass to Ronnie Brown while being protected by Jaelen Robinson.