Colonels eye play­off berth

Colonel opens with three TDs in the first quar­ter, routs Jaguars

Times-Record - - Front Page - By DAVID INSLEY dins­ley@star­dem.com

Colonel Richard­son’s Ma­son Lam­bert runs around the right end to pick up 17 yards and a first down dur­ing Fri­day’s game in Princess Anne. The Colonels have won five con­sec­u­tive and are 6-3 with a strong chance to make the play­offs for the first time since 2004. For more on Colonel’s vic­tory,

PRINCESS ANNE — In 1980, the Colonel Richard­son High foot­ball team fin­ished 6-4.

It took 26 years for the Colonels to re­peat that ac­com­plish­ment — only to for­feit half their vic­to­ries due to the use of an in­el­i­gi­ble player.

Fri­day night, Colonel re­peated, and made his­tor y at Jaguar Sta­dium, scor­ing three touch­downs in the first quar­ter and rolling to a 43-6 rout of host Wash­ing­ton.

The win im­proved the Colonels to 6-3, ty­ing for the most vic­to­ries in pro­gram his­tor y. It was also the team’s fifth straight tri­umph, a first since the school opened its doors in 1962.

Colonel, which has made the post­sea­son in foot­ball just once — a one-and-done ap­pear­ance in 2004, when the team was shut out at Snow Hill — is on the cusp of do­ing so again.

“Right now, I don’t see a sce­nario where we’re not in the play­offs,” Colonel head coach Dan Mangum said. “It’s pos­si­ble, I guess, but with two of the teams fight­ing one an­other for a spot Fri­day, one of them has to lose. I think we’re in.

“And that’s good,” added Mangum, whose squad hosts un­beaten county ri­val North Caroline this Fri­day. “Be­cause, each of the last two years, we came into the last game need­ing to beat North Caroline to make it into the play­offs. I’m glad we don’t have that this year, on us.

“We still want to go out to win, but I don’t think it’s gonna get snatched out from un­der us this time, like last year,” Mangum added. “I think last year, we were the four-seed and Per­ryville won, and got in past us.”

The scor­ing be­gan for Colonel on the ver y first drive, a five-play, 37yard foray set up by Jabraih Luke’s 38-yard re­turn of the game’s open­ing kick­off, and capped when

Robby Thomp­son dashed in from 8 yards out. Thomp­son took the two-point con­ver­sion in him­self to make it 8-0 just 2 min­utes, 20 sec­onds into play.

Wash­ing­ton went three­and-out on its next pos­ses­sion — some­thing it did five times on the night, along with three turnovers on downs — and Colonel struck again on its sec­ond chance. This time, se­nior quar­ter­back Jake Ze­bron capped an eight-play, 53yard drive with a dive from a yard out. Ma­son Lam­bert’s two-point run made it 16-0. It was 22-0 af­ter one quar­ter, TyMir Foster run­ning in the third Colonel score, this time from 6 yards away.

De­fen­sively, Colonel was stout all night.

“I don’t know what it is with Colonel,” said Wash­ing­ton head coach Greg Lasin­ski, his team’s dim play­off hopes ex­tin­guished with Fri­day’s de­feat, “but they just seem to have our num­ber. They stopped us all night. And last year, when they beat us, we only scored six points on them, and again this year, we only scored six points on them.

At half­time, while the team’s of­fense had racked up 307 to­tal yards, all on the ground, Colonel’s de­fense had stymied the Jaguar at­tack, al­low­ing 22 yards rush­ing on 12 car­ries, and a lone pass com­ple­tion, for a loss of two yards, in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Se­nior quar­ter­back Eric Bal­lard, kept off-bal­ance by the Colonel de­fense, had other trou­bles as well. Of the two play­ers ejected in the pre­vi­ous week’s loss at Snow Hill, one was the Jaguars’ start­ing cen­ter.

Run­ning the A-11 of­fense, which calls for a lot of shot­gun snaps and non-stan­dard for­ma­tions when Bal­lard’s team has the ball, be­ing forced to use a fresh­man backup, Xavier King, led to trou­ble with the snap.

“You could tell that Colonel did a great job at at­tack­ing us on the line,” Lasin­ski said, “But also, with us not hav­ing our start­ing cen­ter, Eric had a loft of snaps go wide, or high, and it costs you time when you have that hap­pen. He [King[ did his best, but you could tell the ex­pe­ri­ence wasn’t there.”

“The of­fense is go­ing a great job,” Mangum said. “Robby’s hav­ing a lot of great car­ries, the line’s do­ing well on as­sign­ments. TyMir is run­ning the ball well, and Jor­dan Gabriel at full­back, he’s a load com­ing up the mid­dle . ... Teams have to guard against him be­tween the tack­les, and that opens up stuff for us on the out­side.

“Our de­fense has al­lowed, what, 20 points in the last five games?” Mangum added. “I told them af­ter los­ing to Cam­bridge that we had to win five straight. And they did just that.”

Colonel got two more scores in the sec­ond quar­ter, a 51-yard run by Thomp­son (nine car­ries, 145 yards), and a 1-yarder by Foster to make it 36-0 at the break, set­ting up a non-stop, sec­ond-half clock.

Thomp­son, with a 39-yard scor­ing dash in the third quar­ter, gave his team some in­sur­ance against Wash­ing­ton po­ten­tially stop­ping the slaugh­ter clock.

It came in handy when the vis­i­tors made their only ma­jor mis­take, with about 5 min­utes to play. A bad toss in Wash­ing­ton ter­ri­tory fell to the ground, and it was scooped up by Wash­ing­ton and ran back to the Colonel 25.

Fresh­man backup quar­ter­back Mike James hit wide­out Nathaniel Lowe for a 27yard score a mo­ment later, end­ing the guests’ shutout bid. But, the two-point con­ver­sion failed, so the score, a 37-point mar­gin, kept the clock run­ning through the fi­nal pos­ses­sion, which Colonel took into the Jaguar red zone as time ex­pired.

Cur­rently in the No. 2 spot in the Class 1A East Re­gion be­hind un­touch­able topseed Havre de Grace, Colonel, at 45 play­off points, will fin­ish with no fewer than 46.

Bo­hemia Manor, at 39 or 40, de­pend­ing on whether Delaware County (Pa.) Chris­tian, whom it de­feated Fri­day, is clas­si­fied as a 1A or 2A by Mary­land, is neckand-neck with Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester (39). Per­ryville, which hosts Bo­hemia Manor Fri­day, has 43.

PHOTO BY DAVID INSLEY

PHOTO BY DAVID INSLEY

Colonel Richard­son full­back Jor­dan Gabriel (44) takes a hand­off up the mid­dle from quar­ter­back Jake Ze­bron dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter of Fri­day’s game in Princess Anne.

PHOTO BY DAVID INSLEY

TyMir Foster (7) runs through the Wash­ing­ton de­fense Fri­day night in Princess Anne. Colonel racked up 365 yards on the ground in a 43-6 win.

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