Relief quarterback helps Chopticon topple Oxon Hill
Relief QB helps Chopticon topple Oxon Hill
OXON HILL — Quarterback Dominic Crampton overcame a bad case of the nerves in his first-ever start to help visiting Chopticon earn a thrilling 3532 win overt host Oxon Hill of Prince George’s County in both teams’ season openers.
Crampton, a sophomore who was named the starter when senior A.J. Hunt was unable to play after being ejected in the final game last season, threw three touchdown passes to help the short-handed Braves topple the Clippers.
“Oh, I was so nervous,” Crampton said. “I couldn’t sleep or anything; I was staying up all night. The butterflies in my stomach were messing with me and I thought I was going to throw up, but once I got the first [series in] I was fine. All my nerves went away and it felt like a regular game.”
“I could tell [he was nervous] during [earlier] practice and in the huddles,” Chopticon receiver Nick Snyder said. “He was hesitant on a lot of throws and when he wanted to pull it or not, but he seemed to relax a bit. Obviously he made some mistakes, but he played great for the situation.”
Braves head coach Tony Lisanti said Crampton “played
an amazing game. He was an emergency starter and he’s probably going back to JV this week and look, he just beat Oxon Hill. The future’s bright for Dominic, we’re in good hands with him.”
Crampton completed 8 of 14 passes for 120 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Senior wide receiver/cornerback Vontae Hoffert was also forced to miss the game.
The game was originally scheduled to be played at Chopticon, but inclement weather forced the game to be played on the Clippers’ artificial turf field.
“To come out here and beat a quality team with a sophomore stepping up, really everybody stepped up, is great,” Lisanti said. “It was a total team effort where guys stepped up for their missing brothers.”
“Chopticon came in and executed their game plan and played very well and we got outplayed today,” Oxon Hill head coach Craig Jefferies said. “We have no excuses for it. They didn’t do anything we didn’t expect. I take my hat off to Chopticon for making more plays than we did.”
The Braves (1-0 overall) pulled ahead 28-25 early in the fourth quarter when Crampton hooked up with Isaiah Smith on a 24-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The 1-play, 56-yard drive was aided by a 12-yard pass interference penalty on the Clippers on third down and 10.
Chopticon’s Caleb Bouch then successfully recovered an onside kick and the Braves drove again.
“It was all about momentum,” Lisanti said. “We had it early and they snatched it back and we had to do something. Desperate times call for desperate measures.”
Eight plays later, Will VanFosson scored on a 1-yard plunge.
The key play of the drive occurred on the previous play when Smith made a sliding, juggling 24-yard catch at the 1-yard line on fourth and 16.
“I threw it and it slipped a little,” Crampton said, “but I still got it there.”
The Clippers (0-1) pulled to within 35-32 just five offensive plays later on Corey Watson’s 1-yard run with 5 minutes 7 seconds left.
After Chopticon went threeand-out, Oxon Hill drove to the Braves’ 25, but Snyder intercepted a pass at the 2.
“I was dropping back because of the situation and it was a jump ball,” Snyder said. “Caleb [Bouch] made a good play on the ball to bat it down and I dove and caught it.”
Oxon Hill got the ball back in the final minute, but a final desperation pass was batted down at the goal line. The Braves then raced to the end zone where they formed an “O” with their fingers to salute late coach Jimmy O’Grady.
Chopticon opened the scoring on its first offensive series when Vinnie Goedecke hauled in a 5-yard score.
After an Oxon Hill field goal, the Braves jumped ahead 21-3 on Crampton’s fade pass down the left sideline to Snyder and VanFosson’s 5-yard run.
“Dominic threw a perfect ball,” Snyder said. “It was in a great spot.”
But the Clippers rallied with two touchdowns — an 81-yard kickoff return by Deonte Hill and a rushing score by Jy’ir Ingram following a turnover — within 72 seconds to pull to within 21-17 by halftime.
“They executed better than us,” Lisanti said. “They were going to make plays and we knew that, but we had to respond and not hang our heads and keep fighting.”
Chopticon rushed for 182 yards, 53 by VanFosson.
“Some plays the communication wasn’t as good, but that was a very small number of plays,” Chopticon senior center Zachary Wolfe said of the offensive line. “The key against their line was preventing the blitz because they were a heavy blitzing team and just do our job and everything else would just come. We just did what we could to get the ball down the field.”
“When they start grinding they open up some nice holes for us,” Lisanti said.
Chopticon will travel to La Plata for a 7 p.m. kickoff Friday against the Warriors. La Plata shut out Crossland in Prince George’s County on Saturday, 58-0.
Chopticon sophomore quarterback Dominic Crampton completed 8 of 14 passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday’s 35-32 win over Oxon Hill.
Chopticon receiver Vinnie Goedecke, right, hauls in a touchdown pass while being covered by Oxon Hill defender Damien Williams to open the scoring in Saturday’s contest. The Braves defeated the Clippers, 35-32.