Re­lief quar­ter­back helps Chop­ti­con top­ple Oxon Hill

Re­lief QB helps Chop­ti­con top­ple Oxon Hill

The Enterprise - - Front Page - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

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.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY MICHAEL REID

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.

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