There’s nothing like a matchup of undefeated football teams to grab everyone’s attention.
Broadneck made sure all eyes were on them.
The Bruins amassed 502 yards of total offense on September 28 and put six players in the end zone in an overpowering offensive display to defeat Northeast 48-6 and move to 5-0 on the season.
Andre Woods Jr. attacked by land and air for the Bruins, rushing three times for 92 yards and a touchdown while catching seven passes for 82 yards. Wide receiver Ethon Williams caught six passes for 56 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Josh Ehrlich was highly efficient in completing 16-of-18 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns against zero interceptions for the 5-0 Bruins, who lead the 4A East playoff standings at the season’s midway point.
“We’re starting to click,” said Broadneck head coach Rob Harris. “We’re starting to get it together a little bit. Our running game is starting to match up with our passing game.”
Those are understated comments for a Broadneck offense that put up 109 combined points in consecutive weeks against previously undefeated opponents. Fresh off a 61-49 win over Arundel on September 21, the Bruins picked up where they left off immediately against Northeast, who were rightfully confident entering the game at 4-0 but had a serious damper put on their homecoming by the visitors.
A 24-yard reception by Daniel Shea allowed the Bruins to avoid an opening three-and-out, and Broadneck moved the chains deep into the red zone before Ehrlich hit Williams on a 5-yard fade in the end zone. Vinny Facciponti hit the extra point kick, his first in going 6-of-6 on the day, and Broadneck led 7-0.
The Bruin defense forced a fumble near midfield on Northeast’s opening drive and capitalized when Jason Carcamo ran for a 5-yard touchdown. Carcamo led all rushers with 12 carries and 108 yards for the Bruins.
Broadneck was up by three scores before halftime when Ehrlich hit Tnaejah Watts for a 22-yard touchdown to make it 21-0 at the break.
Woods broke loose for a 69-yard rushing score to put the Bruins up 28-0 to open the third quarter and said the Bruins are operating smoothly as a group.
“Teamwork,” said Woods. “We know each other a lot, we work together good. When one person’s down, we bring each other up. Somebody mess up, somebody fumble, we bring each other up, so it’s just teamwork. We’ve just got to keep our foot on the pedal.”
Northeast, which has a legitimate crop of playmakers — the Eagles put up 61 points against North County in week three and hadn’t been held under three scores in their first four games, all wins — put together a solid drive to respond with a 4-yard touchdown by Ethan Young to make it 28-6 after a failed two-point try.
Broadneck came right back as Ehrlich again found Williams on a 6-yard pass for a score to make it 35-6.
It was the 11th touchdown of the season for Williams, who said the Bruins’ preparation is the perfect complement to their skilled offensive roster.
“Coach Harris is watching film, trying to help us set up the right plays,” said Williams. He has a whole lineup that he knows will work perfectly, so that’s how we set it up.”
Getting protection from linemen Facciponti, Ethan Foreman, Caelan Sheppard, Justin Fogt and Andrew Weissinger, Ehrlich was able to complete the Bruins’ next drive with a 2-yard keeper for a rushing score after Rashid Proctor’s 21-yard rushing game had gotten the Bruins down near the goal line. Proctor ran four times for 29 yards.
Just a freshman, Ehrlich has been precociously outstanding for the Bruins throughout the season and credited his teammates with his comfort in the pocket and throwing the ball.
“The O-line, they’ve been playing great, and our weapons outside too, and I’ve just been feeling it, so it’s been an all-around effort,” said Ehrlich. “Everyone’s making me better, around me they’re taking me in.”
Broadneck closed the game with rushing gains by Tyree Galloway and Brandon Hubbard before capping the drive with a rushing score by backup quarterback Ryan Riffle as time expired to close out the 48-6 win.
Harris said the defense did well to contain Northeast’s hitherto potent offense.
“[Northeast has] some really good playmakers,” said Harris. “They ran to the ball, we hustled, and we really got into them, so I’m really proud of them, and [Broadneck assistant] coach [Mike] Pfisterer did a great job getting them ready.”
Matthew McAlister (eight tackles), Phillip Ristaino (5.5), Josh Cain (five), Carlos Coates (4.5), Thomas Coble (four), Benjamin Shoemaker (three), Viliami Pouha (three), Watts (three), Everett Weems, Carl Knoebel, Luke DelRosario, Isaiah Jacobs, Myles Bell, Brendan Kennedy and Luis Rodriguez all made contributions defensively for Broadneck.
The season is getting real for the Bruins. They are 5-0 and lead the 4A East playoff points standings ahead of North Point (5-0) and Arundel (4-1). Annapolis (3-2), South River (3-2), Old Mill (3-2) and Severna Park (2-3) are in the mix for the fourth and last playoff spot, but Broadneck is in the driver’s seat for home-field advantage in the region playoffs.
“Take care of business each week, control our own destiny,” said Harris. “If we take care of this every week, good things are going to happen.”
Old Mill, coming off a week-five win over North County, visits Broadneck for a matchup with the Bruins on October 5. Broadneck has South River, Meade, Glen Burnie and Annapolis still on the schedule.
Said Williams, “If we keep executing how we execute, we should win it all, and that’s our goal.”
Ehrlich believes the best is yet to come.
“We’re just going to get better from here,” Ehrlich said.