Rivalry week lived up to its billing. Two of the major games (City-Poly, Mcdonogh-Gilman) went down to the wire, and a third (Fort Hill-Allegany) was also close. And those are just some of the exciting matchups in the season's final regular season games.
Georgetown Prep 23, Landon 16
Landon can't say they didn't have opportunities on Saturday afternoon against Georgetown Prep. Trailing 23-16 with just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Landon quarterback Sam McDonough tried to lead his team back, but a pair of interceptions spoiled his attempt.
The Bears had the ball first-and-10 at the Prep 44, but the Little Hoyas' Bobby Rutland intercepted McDonough's first pass. The Little Hoyas could have put the game away, but a Bobby Gribbin fumble gave the ball right back to the Bears at the Prep 22. Given new life, McDonough and Landon went for the jugular, dialing up another long pass. This time Prep's Matt Peterson stepped in front of the throw. From there the Little Hoyas ran out the clock and moved to 6-3 on the year while Landon fell to 7-2.
Prep opened the game with a 7-yard touchdown run from Gribbin, but Landon came right back with a 5-yard run from Delonte Wellington, making the score 7-6 (the point-after missed).
But the Bears took the lead on the next drive. After Landon's Wes Lincoln blocked a punt, the Bears had the ball first-and-goal at the Little Hoyas' 7. From there, Landon's Andrew Willis scored on a 1-yard run. Right before halftime Prep added a field goal, cutting the deficit to 14-9.
The Little Hoyas took the lead back after intermission. On their first possession of the third quarter Prep drove inside the Bears' 5, courtesy of a 44-yard run by Mazzie Rutland. After a pass-interference penalty, Rutland dove into the end zone, giving his team a 15-14 advantage. In the fourth quarter Gribbin capped off a long drive with a 3-yard touchdown run, setting the score at 23-16.
Broadneck 44, Old Mill 38
You have to feel sorry for Broadneck (8-2). With their backs against the wall a month ago, they reeled off four straight victories to move within percentage points of the final playoff spot in the 4A East. But Annapolis, which also won, edged them out for the final postseason berth.
That shouldn't take away from what the Bruins did in this game. No. 13 Old Mill (8-2), the third seed in the 4A East, came in with just one loss to Arundel in Week 1. But Broadneck hung tough throughout and pulled off the upset courtesy of two major plays by their defense.
First, with Broadneck clinging to a 21-17 lead in the third quarter, defensive back Brian Hanratty returned an interception for a touchdown. Then, with the Bruins up 37-31, linebacker Domenik Johnson scooped up a Josh Furman (256 yards, three touchdowns) fumble and ran 87 yards for another score.
Old Mill tried to come back when quarterback Joe Thorton hit Dominic Gibson with a 34-yard touchdown strike with just over one minute to go in the game. But Broadneck recovered the ensuing on-side kick and ran out the clock.
Broadneck jumped out to a 14-3 first quarter lead after Nick Storey hit Kevin Brown for a 21-yard touchdown pass and Deontray Lee scampered into the end zone from 10 yards out. But Old Mill answered quickly. First, Furman broke free for 56 yards, setting up Jason Clements' 5-yard touchdown run. Then Furman busted through for a 50-yard touchdown run to put Old Mill in front, 17-14, early in the second quarter.
The Bruins reclaimed the lead when quarterback James Mullis hit Zach Treakle for a 17-yard score right before halftime. They extended the margin on Hanratty's interception return in the third quarter. But Furman's 3-yard touchdown run made it 28-24. After a Broadneck field goal, Furman answered with yet another big play. This time he went 59 yards to pay dirt, tying the game at 31. The Bruins, however, ran off 14 straight points on a Storey touchdown run and Johnson's big fumble return.
Gonzaga 35, St. John's 34
With a playoff spot on the line for both teams, Gonzaga (6-4) earned their first Washington County Athletic Conference playoff berth since 2005 with this gut-wrenching win. In a classic back-and-forth battle (four lead changes, three ties) rife with big plays, Gonzaga quarterback-defensive back Kevin Hogan made perhaps the biggest. With 22 seconds left and St. John's (5-5) trailing 35-34, Hogan recorded a clutch interception at his own 3-yard line, sealing the win.
It was far from Hogan's only memorable play. With Gonzaga trailing 21-14 after the intermission, Hogan (13 for 23 for 297 yards) caught fire, going 7-for-7 with a touchdown pass in the third quarter. After a D'Lante Martino 4-yard run tied the score, Hogan's 12-yard pass to Rickey Neville gave Gonzaga the lead, 28-21.
But St. John's came back in the final frame. Running back Charles Brown, who had a career day with 34 rushes for 353 yards and four touchdowns, capped a game-tying drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.
St. John's had a chance to take the lead at the seven-minute mark in the fourth quarter. Riding Brown's coattails, St. John's drove all the way down to the Gonzaga 21 before a key fumble turned the tide. Gonzaga's James Veleiras recovered the loose ball and ran it back 87 yards for the go-ahead score. The extra point made it 35-28.
St. John's, however, refused to give up. Robinson ripped the Gonzaga defense for two long gains, the second of which went for 31 yards and a touchdown. But St. John's missed the extra point with just 1:30 left. They got the ball back again and instead of kicking a field goal, they went for the touchdown. It turned out to be the wrong decision as Hogan's interception ended the game.