Three scores in 25 seconds for Pointers
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.”
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.