Pointer football beats Comets

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By BILL GATES bgates@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @DEa­gle_s­ports

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.

PHOTO BY BILL GATES

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.

PHOTO BY BILL GATES

Gavin Cham­bers kicked a 25-yard field goal and con­verted three ex­tra points dur­ing the win over Ca­tonsville.

PHOTO BY BILL GATES

Jon Out­ten pre­pares to throw a touch­down pass to Ron­nie Brown while be­ing pro­tected by Jae­len Robin­son.

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