Big­gus keeps Lions in play­off hunt

Se­nior RB erupts for 190 yards rush­ing, three touch­downs, as Queen Anne’s im­proves to 3-3

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Sports -

where ev­ery­body thought we would be, far from it but... you can see im­prove­ment each week. The wins help; it’s like medicine, they prac­tice harder. They’re eas­ier to coach, and the morale builds off of it.” The win was the sec­ond straight for the Lions, who be­gan the year 1-3, their lone win a come­from-be­hind Week 2 de­feat of Eas­ton. Com­ing into the game af­ter a two-hour bus ride from Cen­tre­ville, “it was just like, ‘you gotta stay fo­cused on things.’ This game was a must-win. We had to get back rolling again,” Big­gus said. “We came in and played that way. We’ve got to keep this up, though. We can’t make the play­offs if we lost any more games.” Af­ter an un­pro­duc­tive first drive which was crip­pled by a hold­ing penalty, the Lions went on de­fense, and sacked De­catur quar­ter­back Ashten Snel­sire twice, forc­ing a three-and-out. The Lions’ sec­ond drive was much more suc­cess­ful. A 12-play, 71-yard surge punc­tu­ated by Ryan Muller’s 6-yard run on fourth-and-1, and Big­gus’ 2-yard touch­down run. The point-af­ter kick by Gar­rhett Richard­son made it 7-0, with 12 sec­onds to go in the first quar­ter. The Lions held the Sea­hawks to mi­nus-3 first-quar­ter yards on four plays, and just over two min­utes of pos­ses­sion. “We slept al­most the whole way down here,” Graef said. “So the kids didn’t seem too ner­vous. But some­times, we don’t get off to the best start, and that’s come back to bite us a cou­ple of times.” De­catur’s sec­ond pos­ses­sion ended in an­other punt, af­ter nine yards’ worth of gains on three tries. The Lions scored on their next turn with the ball, but only af­ter a back-to-back of­fen­sive penal­ties nearly killed the drive. A 16-yard run by Big­gus on fourth-and-1 from the De­catur 42 was fol­lowed

by a hold­ing penalty on a short Muller run from the 26-yard line. The next snap, on first-and-17, went to Muller as well. He cut left and pushed through the sec­ondary, even­tu­ally mak­ing it to the 7-yard line, but an­other penalty flag flew in. This time, it was for an il­le­gal block in the back, giv­ing the Lions a first-and-33 from the De­catur 48. Big­gus erased the penal­ties with a slash­ing run across the grain; he dashed in for a score, and Richard­son’s PAT put the guests up 14-0 with ex­actly five min­utes left be­fore half­time. Muller’s 22yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn for a score as the first half drew to a close made it 21-0. The Lions out­gained De­catur, 197-20, over the first 24 min­utes of play. The third De­catur pos­ses­sion af­ter the break, end­ing in a punt like its two pre­de­ces­sors, set up the Lions at their own 25. But again, Big­gus made the dis­tance seem mi­nor, bolt­ing 75 yards for a score and a 27-0 lead. The first PAT try missed low, but a flag against De­catur for rough­ing the cen­ter meant a retry. The sec­ond go was blocked, leav­ing the score at 27-0 with 1:41 left in the third. “I saw Ryan Muller and Dono­van (Cruz) block­ing,” Big­gus said. “They opened up the hole for me, and I saw I had one guy to beat, and got by him, but then I saw two guys had an­gles on me. I just tried my best to out­run ‘em, and made it.” Early in the fourth, De­catur fi­nally put to­gether a scor­ing drive. On sec­on­dand-12 from his team’s 31, Ashten Snel­sire (six car­ries, 44 yards) cut through traf­fic, dashed down the left side­line, and picked up 54 yards, putting his team in the red zone for the only time on the night, at the Lions’ 16yard line. Three plays later, Snel­sire scored from two yards out to make it 27-7 with 9:43 re­main­ing. The Sea­hawks re­cov­ered an on­side kick mo­ments later, but that pos­ses­sion ended in a turnover on downs. Queen Anne’s padded its lead with 3:01 left on a Cruz 5-yard run, fol­lowed by a Richard­son kick. To pre­pare for Week 7, Graef and his staff will be­gin look­ing at film on James M. Ben­nett, the Lions’ next op­po­nent. The Clip­pers (5-1) de­feated Park­side, 21-7, on Fri­day night to im­prove to 5-1 on the sea­son. The teams kick off at noon Oct. 13 at Ben­nett. “I’ve got a bunch of film on them,” Graef said, “but I haven’t watched any. Not one bit... I don’t want to mess with the foot­ball gods. I take it one team at a time. “I know their run­ning back’s re­ally good, and they’ve got some kids back from last year,” Graef added. “We’ve got to play a very good game to have a chance in that one.” Fol­low me on Twit­ter:

@SDBaysideS­ports.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF STEVE ESKEW

The 12U Bay­side Breeze Stran­na­han soft­ball team from Eas­ton took sec­ond place at Sav­ing Sec­ond Base in Lau­rel, Md., this past week­end.

PHOTO BY DAVID INS­LEY

Queen Anne’s County quar­ter­back SyRus McGowan (6) runs a sweep to the right, with block­ing from two team­mates, Fri­day night at Stephen De­catur High in Ber­lin. QA won the game, 34-7, to im­prove to 3-3.

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