Pa­tri­ots foot­ball ends nine-year los­ing streak to Spar­rows Point

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

Des­per­ate to break a fourgame los­ing streak, the Pat­ap­sco foot­ball team ea­gerly ac­cepted a sec­ond chance dur­ing its game at Loch Raven on Fri­day.

And a third chance. And a fourth chance. And a fifth chance. And a sixth chance ...

The Pa­tri­ots and the Raiders bat­tled into a fifth over­time pe­riod be­fore Pat­ap­sco emerged with a 33-27 vic­tory.

“Hon­estly, this feels like a sea­son-saver,” Pat­ap­sco coach Tyler Clough said. “I didn’t think I was go­ing to make it to the end of the game. We’d get a stop, not score ... I didn’t know if I had any­thing left.”

Pa­triot quar­ter­back Don­taz Wil­son fi­nally ended the epic with a 10-yard run af­ter the Pa­tri­ots had stopped Loch Raven on its pos­ses­sion in the fifth over­time.

(In high school over­time, each team gets the ball start­ing at the op­po­nent’s 10 yard line. This con­tin­ues un­til one team ends a round with the lead.)

That play was set up by Pat­ap­sco’s first two posses­sions in over­time. Wil­son pitched the ball to An­dre Hen­der­son each time, and Hen­der­son scored on 10yard runs.

But Loch Raven, which went first in each round, had al­ready scored on its pos­ses­sion so the game con­tin­ued.

Clough went away from that play on Pat­ap­sco’s next two over­time posses­sions. Nei­ther team scored in the third and fourth over­times.

“I fig­ured they would be look­ing for that play,” Clough said. “If we tried it three times in a row, they would prob­a­bly be ready for it and in­ter­cept the pitchout.”

Loch Raven was forced to set­tle for a field goal at­tempt in the third over­time, and Pat­ap­sco blocked it. But the Pa­tri­ots threw an in­ter­cep­tion on their pos­ses­sion.

The fourth over­time saw a re­ver­sal: Pat­ap­sco’s Dashawn Guglizza in­ter­cepted a Loch Raven pass, and a Pat­ap­sco field goal at­tempt was blocked.

In the fifth over­time, it was Loch Raven’s turn to have a field goal at­tempt blocked. On Pat­ap­sco’s pos­ses­sion, Clough de­cided to go back to what had worked — with a twist.

“I told Don­taz to run the same play, but for him to fake the pitchout and keep the ball,” Clough said.

Wil­son sprinted into the end zone up­right and un­touched, win­ning the game and pre­serv­ing Pat­ap­sco’s hopes for a win­ning sea­son.

“We have a lot of un­der­class­men on this team,” Clough said. I want to get some mo­men­tum go­nig into 2018. I think if we can go 5-0, 4-1 in our last five games, it will pay off in the long run.”

Pat­ap­sco (2-4) has games re­main­ing at Lans­downe and against Wood­lawn, Spar­rows Point and High Point.

The Pa­tri­ots, with­out pro­duc­tive run­ning back Jose Padilla (out with an in­jury), were for­tu­nate to get the game into over­time tied at 14-14.

Both Pat­ap­sco touch­downs dur­ing reg­u­la­tion came off of Loch Raven fum­bles. One was an out­right gift — a fum­bled snap in the end zone on a punt at­tempt that was re­cov­ered by Bryan New­ton-Epps — and the other was a muffed punt re­cov­ered by Pat­ap­sco at the Raider 22-yard line with 5:20 re­main­ing in the game.

Wil­son hit Hen­der­son with a short pass over the mid­dle on the next play. Hen­der­son broke sev­eral tack­les be­fore lung­ing across the goal line.

Pat­ap­sco had driven into Loch Raven ter­ri­tory on its first two posses­sions of the game, turn­ing the ball over on downs at the Raider 17 and 35-yard lines.

The Pa­tri­ots lost a fum­ble early in the sec­ond quar­ter, and the Raiders turned it into a 29-yard touch­down pass and a 6-0 lead.

Pat­ap­sco re­sponded by driv­ing from its 35 to a first down at the Loch Raven two­yard line. But the Pa­tri­ots were stuffed on four run­ning plays and turned over the ball on downs at the three-yard line.

That in­di­rectly led to a Pat­ap­sco touch­down, how­ever, as the Raiders were forced to punt from their own 10-yard line. The punter fum­bled the snap in the end zone and New­ton-Epps sim­ply picked up the ball for a touch­down.

It re­mained 7-6 un­til the fourth quar­ter, when the Raiders scored af­ter a 68yard drive and added the two-point con­ver­sion for a 14-7 lead.

For­tu­nately for Pat­ap­sco, Jay­den Ep­perly made each of his first three ex­tra-point at­tempts. Had he missed any of the three, Pat­ap­sco would have lost the game.

The ball bounces away from Pat­ap­sco’s An­to­nio Cor­nish af­ter the Loch raven punter fum­bled the snap in the end zone. Bryan New­ton-Epps (#11) re­cov­ered the ball for a touch­down. PHOTO BY BILL GATES

Pat­ap­sco’s Jay­den Ep­perly kicks an ex­tra point dur­ing the game against Loch Raven on Fri­day. Ep­perly con­verted three ex­tra points; had he missed one, Pat­ap­sco would have lost the game.

Pat­ap­sco quar­ter­back Don­taz Wil­son scored the win­ning touch­down in the fifth over­time and also threw a game-ty­ing touch­down pass in the fourth quar­ter against Loch Raven.

Pat­ap­sco’s An­dre Hen­der­son evades Jor­dan Mackey of Loch Raven as he scores a touch­down in the first over­time pe­riod.

Mar­cus Long of Pat­ap­sco leaps to catch a pass against Loch Raven.

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