St. Charles earns comeback win
Spartans rally from halftime deficit to defeat Braves; Hamilton rushes for 3 TDs
Under a steady rainfall for the entire game on a soaked and muddy field, the St. Charles Spartans earned a 20-8 comeback win on senior night over the visiting Chopticon Braves in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Potomac Division contest on Friday evening.
The Spartans (7-2, 3-2 SMAC Potomac) were forced to punt after keeping the ball on the ground for all seven of their plays on their opening drive of the game.
The Braves (2-7, 1-4) had a promising opening drive of the game after starting from their own 32-yard line come away with zero points.
After converting on two third-down plays and one fourth-down play, Chopticon was threatening to break the scoreless tie with just less than three minutes to go in the first quarter, but Braves junior quarterback Dominic Crampton was picked off in the end zone by Konner Foster on third and goal from the 13.
After a scoreless first quarter, both teams were playing against one another and fighting the rainy, windy conditions that were making it difficult to move the ball up the field through the air.
The scoring finally started when St. Charles senior Jevon Hamilton capped off a 10-play drive with a 15-yard touchdown run with 5 minutes 20 seconds remaining in the first half. Junior AJ White’s extra point was good to extend the Spartans’ lead to 7-0.
with an ensuing touchdown drive of its own in the final minute of the first half.
Sophomore running back Devyn Vukovich bursted through a hole in the St. Charles defense to break off a 37-yard run on the second play of the drive. Seven plays later, the Braves were faced with a fourth-down play from the Spartans’ 20.
Chopticon head coach Anthony Lisanti called a timeout and his offense executed the play to perfection. Crampton threw for the first time on the drive and
found junior receiver Mason Douglas open down the middle of the field for a 20-yard touchdown with 36 seconds remaining before halftime.
“I thought that we played very hard and made a lot of nice plays,” Lisanti said.
Crampton converted on the 2-point conversion attempt with a bootleg run to the left to give the Braves an 8-7 lead at the half to quiet the home crowd.
The Braves received the ball to start the second half and had an opportunity to build upon their one-point advantage. Vukovich rushed the ball the first five plays of the drive, but Chopticon was forced to punt after Crampton threw an incomplete pass on third-down.
St. Charles’ offense made the most of its first drive to start the second half after the defense prevented any more points being scored.
Hamilton rushed for his second of three touchdowns on the night on a third-and-goal play from the 3. Hamilton finished with a game-high total of 137 rushing yards.
After a failed 2-point conversion attempt, Chopticon possessed the ball only trailing by five with 1:03 left in the third quarter.
A 16-play drive was kept alive after a fake punt by Jeremiah Williams turned into a Chopticon first down on a 12-yard rush which was enough for a crucial Braves first down deep
in their own territory.
Another red zone trip translated into no points for the Chopticon offense after four running plays by Vukovich from inside the 10 were stopped by St. Charles.
After taking over on downs, Hamilton bolted down the field for a 94-yard touchdown run to ice the game with 3:30 left on the first play of the drive.
“[Our] two missed opportunities in the red zone and one long run at the end really hurt us,” Lisanti said.
The Spartans lead grew to 20-8 after White’s extra point was good.
Chopticon got the ball back in search of a comeback late, but Crampton’s pass was intercepted
by Kameron Blount.
“You have to give credit to St. Charles. To not have a turnover in a driving rain is quite an accomplishment,” Lisanti said.
St. Charles was able to run the clock out after the takeaway and earn the hard-fought comeback win over a tough Chopticon team despite its losing record on the season.
Spartans head coach Patrick Orndoff was unable to be reached for comment.
Chopticon is slated to host Northern (6-3, 2-3) at 6 p.m. Friday, while St. Charles is scheduled to play at Huntingtown (8-1, 4-1) at 7 p.m. Friday. The Hurricanes defeated the Patriots, 14-0.
St. Charles senior Jevon Hamilton rushes the ball in the first half of Friday’s come-from-behind win against the visiting Chopticon Braves. Hamilton had three touchdowns as the Spartans prevailed 20-8.