Three scores in 25 sec­onds for Point­ers

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

Spar­rows Point’s fourth quar­ter in the Home­com­ing Game against Loch Raven on Fri­day was just one dis­as­ter af­ter another for the Point­ers.

A lost fum­ble at the Raider five-yard line. Then another lost fum­ble. Then a blocked punt.

Loch Raven was one first down away from end­ing an 18-game los­ing streak. In­stead, in the space of less than 30 sec­onds of game time, Spar­rows Point went from trail­ing 17-15 to lead­ing 39-17.

The Point­ers won 45-17, scor­ing more points in the fi­nal three min­utes of the game than they had scored in any en­tire game this sea­son.

“I’ve never seen any­thing like that,” Spar­rows Point coach Scott Mer­bach said. “This was a first for all of us.”

Af­ter Loch Raven blocked a Spar­rows Point punt with 4:54 re­main­ing in the game, it ap­peared the Point­ers were about to be­come the first team to lose to the Raiders since the sev­enth game of 2015.

Loch Raven had the ball on the Spar­rows Point 31-yard line, with a kicker that had al­ready con­verted a 27-yard field goal. One first down, and the Raiders could have pos­si­bly ran out the clock.

But the Pointer de­fense held, stop­ping Loch Raven on fourth down at the Spar­rows Point 25-yard line with 3:18 left in the game.

The Point­ers’ of­fense had gone dor­mant since scor­ing a touch­down on its first pos­ses­sion of the sec­ond quar­ter to take a 15-3 lead, with three three-and-outs, two lost fum­bles and the blocked punt.

Fit­tingly, Spar­rows Point’s scor­ing burst be­gan when Ron­nie Brown couldn’t find an open re­ceiver.

Brown, pressed into ser­vice at quar­ter­back due to an in­jury to Jon Out­ten, dropped back to pass. He rolled to his right, look­ing for Ta’Jon An­der­son.

“I couldn’t find him, so I took off run­ning,” Brown said.

He ran down the right side­line. At mid­field, Brown cut clear across the field to the op­po­site side­line. By the time Brown streaked down the left side­line, he had a con­voy of block­ers and no pur­ple jer­seys within 15 yards of him.

The 75-yard score, cou­pled with a two-point con­ver­sion pass to Neo Wash­ing­ton, gave Spar­rows Point a 23-17 lead with 2:59 re­main­ing in the game.

Loch Raven fum­bled the en­su­ing kick­off, and Eric Hal­stead re­cov­ered at the Raider 17-yard line. On the next play, Hal­stead ran a sweep to the right side and scored with 2:47 re­main­ing.

Brown’s run for the two­point con­ver­sion made it 3117, Spar­rows Point.

On Loch Raven’s first pay af­ter the kick­off, Brown in­ter­cepted a Raider pass and re­turned it 35 yards for a touch­down with 2:34 re­main­ing in the game.

Three touch­downs in 25 sec­onds of game time. The Point­ers scored touch­downs on three con­sec­u­tive plays.

Brown in­ter­cepted another pass and re­turned it 71 yards for a touch­down with 28 sec­onds left in the game for the fi­nal mar­gin.

“This is great. This is very, very , very great,” Brown said. “[Af­ter the blocked punt] we were stunned. But ev­ery­one kept their heads up, the line blocked, and we played smart football the rest of the way.

“This was my first time play­ing quar­ter­back, and it was very dif­fer­ent from play­ing run­ning back. I had to fight the urge to run on every play, and had to play within the team.”

Brown ac­counted for a to­tal of 433 yards in the game: 162 yards rush­ing, 53 pass­ing, 112 on kick­off re­turns and 106 on in­ter­cep­tion re­turns.

It was the sec­ond win in a row for Spar­rows Point (43).

Af­ter Loch Raven drove to the Spar­rows Point eight­yard line on its first pos­ses­sion of the game and set­tled for a field goal to take a 3-0 lead, the Point­ers scored touch­downs on their next two pos­ses­sions.

A long kick­off re­turn started Spar­rows Point on the Raider 38, and Brown scored seven plays later on a fourth-down sweep from the Loch Raven two-yard line.

On the Raiders’ next pos­ses­sion, Spar­rows Point sacked Raider quar­ter­back Da’Mon Jones in the end zone for a safety and a 9-3 Pointer lead.

Spar­rows Point took the en­su­ing free kick and drove 46 yards in eight plays. Cor­tavi­ous Carter capped the drive with a four-yard run.

The Point­ers led 15-3 at half­time. Af­ter the lengthy Home­com­ing half­time, Loch Raven came out and drove 60 and 80 yards on its first two pos­ses­sions of the sec­ond half to take a 17-15 lead.

Spar­rows Point re­sponded with a 45-yard drive dur­ing which it con­verted two fourth downs and reached the Raider five-yard line be­fore los­ing a fum­ble.

“A few kids had their heads down [af­ter the se­ries of mis­takes in the fourth quar­ter],” Mer­bach said. “I told them to keep their heads up, play four quar­ters of football, do what they had to do to get the vic­tory.”

PHOTOS BY BILL GATES

Ron­nie Brown heads forthe end zone with a 35-yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn for Spar­rows Point’s third touch­down in a 25-sec­ond span of game time against Loch Raven.

Eric Hal­stead’s 17-yard touch­down run gave the Point­ers a 3117 lead and was their sec­ond of three touch­downs in a 25-sec­ond span against Loch Raven.

Cor­tavi­ous Carter hops out of the grasp of a Loch Raven de­fender be­fore scor­ing a sec­ond-quar­ter touch­down.

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