Braves fall to Spar­tans

Spar­tans, Hamil­ton rally from half­time deficit to de­feat Braves

The Enterprise - - Sports - By JOHN NISWANDER jniswan­der@somd­

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 Domi- nic 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.

Chop­ti­con re­sponded 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 third­down.

St. Charles’ of­fense made the most of its first drive to start the sec­ond half af­ter the de­fense pre-

vented 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 94yard 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 cred- it 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.


The Braves of­fense gets ready for a snap in the sec­ond quar­ter of Fri­day’s 20-8 loss at St. Charles.

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