The Severna Park varsity football team had added incentive to get a win in their first game at the school’s new stadium: The JV Falcons warmed up the new turf with a win of their own.
Severna Park’s JV football team jumped out to an early lead on North County and broke a 14-14 tie in the second half to secure a 24-14 win over the Knights and start the season 1-0 in the stadium’s first-ever football game on August 31.
“This is huge. It’s just an honor to be the first football game on this field,” said Severna Park JV head coach Mike Wright. “It was just a great, total team effort. The line was pushing them, I was getting the running backs cycled in, our defense was lights-out as usual, and we were just moving the ball. It was a little bit of everything today.”
Tommy Haskell scored on a 20-yard rush in the first quarter, bouncing outside and speeding past a North County tackler to put Severna Park up 7-0 after the extra-point kick by Kevin Brooks.
Defensive end Kaleb Blackwell extended Severna Park’s lead to 14-0 in the second quarter with a highlight-reel pick-six. Blackwell made a great read of a Knights’ offensive play and leaped up at the line of scrimmage to snare a slant pass before breaking 15 yards the other way and dragging a Knight tackler with him over the goal line.
North County admirably fought back in the second half, scoring 14 unanswered points to tie the game at 14-14, but Severna Park responded. Nathan Brand ended a North County possession with a sack, and Colin Shadowens got great blocking on a running play to bounce outside and blaze up the right sideline for a 27-yard running score and a 21-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Sean Foreman strip-sacked North County’s quarterback on the ensuing possession and recovered the fumble, setting up the Falcons to pad their lead to 24-14 on a 17-yard field goal by Brooks.
Wright said the team’s resiliency and drive to come back after the Knights tied it up showed their ability to work together.
“When we came back after they tied it up 14-14, that scoring drive was very indicative of what [the offensive line] can do,” said Wright. “They were engaged, the line was moving ‘em, and we were able to sustain a drive. And then that clutch kick by Kevin, that was icing on the cake, that three points was huge to give us a little buffer there.”
The Falcons, who went 8-2 overall last year, are fired up about their plans for 2018.
“This is the start of something,” said Shadowens.
“We’re ready to go undefeated this year,” said linebacker Ashton Antonucci.
Wright was critical of yards surrendered on penalties but was nonetheless glad to see the Falcons’ efforts yield a win.
“I’ve got some great assistant coaches who really put a lot of time in, and those guys really help out,” said Wright. “We’ll get those penalties cleaned up and be ready for Chesapeake next week.”