Week 3 HS Football Thoughts and Observations

by Greg Swatek. 0 Comments

Well, that was a rocky week for Frederick County teams. Middletown, shockingly, fell to 1-2 with a 28-21 loss at Boonsboro. It was just the second time in school history the Knights have lost to Boonsboro and the first since 1994. Brunswick, Frederick and Tuscarora also fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, leaving Linganore, Oakdale and Walkersville as the county’s only remaining unbeaten teams. That is a surprisingly low number, given the season is only three weeks old. Overall, the county went a mediocre 6-6 in Week 3 and that counts the one matchup (Catoctin-Walkersville) that ensured a winner and a loser. Here’s an assessment of the aftermath:

Bidding for its fourth consecutive state title in Class 2A,  Middletown trailed Boonsboro 28-6 one point before rallying late to make the final score more respectable. The Knights were rocked by a Week 1 home loss to Westminster, snapping their 36-game winning streak. But they seemed to right the ship a bit in Week 2 with a blowout win over Winters Mill. This loss, however, puts them in a very tough spot and damages their overall psyche a bit more. The schedule only gets tougher from here, starting with this Friday’s game at Walkersville. Then, there are upcoming games with home games with Urbana and Thomas Johnson, as well as road games with Linganore and Oakdale. If Middletown doesn’t start playing better, it’s fair to wonder if it will even make the playoffs. It’s not so much the offense. Senior Nick Welch had 170 yards on 16 carries against Boonsboro, Marques Lauer added 96 yards and a touchdown, and quarterback Patrick Moore threw for a touchdown. That should be enough to win. It’s the defense, which is giving up too many yards and big plays for the Knights to be successful right now.

On Friday, Walkersville will seeks its first win against Middletown since 2004. Last week, the Lions clinched a 14-6 home win over winless Catoctin when senior Brad Wolfe intercepted a pass in the right corner of the end zone with 1 minute, 6 seconds remaining. It was the second game-winning play in as many weeks for Wolfe, who kicked the game-winning extra point the week before to seal a 21-20 victory at Liberty. Walkersville beat Catoctin despite losing three fumbles in the final quarter. The good news for the Cougars is they did manage to score their first offensive points of the season on a 5-yard run by quarterback Ben Dewees at the end of the third quarter. That should help to get a little confidence going for them.

Speaking of Liberty, it handed Tuscarora its first loss of the season with a somewhat surprising 35-20 home win. The Lions improved to 2-1, while the Titans were denied the chance to start 3-0 for the second straight year. Tuscarora will next play at home against Frederick, which wore down as the game went on during a 48-6 home loss to South Carroll, dropping the Cadets to 2-1. Frederick’s mobile quarterback, Terrance Warfield, suffered a hamstring injury during the game and eventually came out with the score out of hand in the third quarter. It’s unclear what his status will be against the Titans. Finally, Manchester Valley wore down Brunswick in a 35-28 road win, dropping the Railroaders to 2-1. The Mavericks churned out 118 of their 172 rushing yards in the second half to overcome a 28-21 deficit. Brunswick, which has one of its smallest teams ever, only dressed 22 players for the game. Senior Seth Wagner finished with 140 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries, while junior Erik Jones added 80 yards on 18 carries for the Railroaders.

Urbana (2-1) may have turned in the best win of the season so far among county teams with a 35-14 victory at Westminster. The Owls had already beaten Middletown and played Linganore tough in a loss on the road. But Temple recruit Ray Gray sliced through their formidable defense for 239 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Hawks, who welcome Oakdale this Friday for the biggest showdown in the county. The Bears (3-0) have yet to be tested. They rolled up 452 totals yards in a 49-27 victory at Winters Mill. Most of the Falcons yards and points came after the outcome was no longer in question. Oakdale, which has outscored the opposition 138-35 so far, continues to state its case as the county’s deepest and best team. Four different players had at least 50 yards rushing for the Bears. We’ll learn more about them Friday night.

Following a tough loss at South Hagerstown the week before, during which it blew a late lead, Thomas Johnson bounced back with a 41-0 victory at Century to improve to 2-1. Senior quarterback Tyler Magaha was efficient, completing 10 of 17 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots finally get to play their home opener this week against Linganore (3-0), which had no trouble with North Hagerstown in a 46-6 home win. The Lancers’ defense continues to look like the county’s best.

The county’s private schools went 1-1. Maryland School for the Deaf improved to 3-1 with a 24-14 victory at Perry Street Prep. Jake Bonheyo rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown on nine carries for the Orioles. St. John’s Catholic Prep, meanwhile, fell to 2-2 with a 20-12 loss at St. James. The Vikings were playing without one of their best players, senior Chase Washington, who suffered a season-ending knee injury the week before in a loss at Riverdale Baptist.

 

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