Late in the first half of Broadneck’s 4A East Region playoff football game with Parkville on Friday, quarterback Patrick Doyle sprinted to his right and fired toward the end zone.
The throw was behind receiver Joey Smargissi, whose feet went out from underneath him as he reached out to grab it. He barely held onto the ball for a circus catch, putting Broadneck’s first offensive score on the board.
It as a play emblematic of Broadneck’s first-half offense. Even when things went right, it didn’t quite look how it should.
There were no such issues after halftime, though, as Broadneck put up three touchdowns in the first six minutes of the third quarter to invoke the running clock and put away Parkville 45-0, advancing as one of the last 16 teams in the 4A playoffs.
“We were not sharp (offensively),” Broadneck coach Rob Harris said of the first half. “They came out in something that we hadn’t seen on film, and it took our kids a little bit to adjust to it, but they did. We just needed to refocus ourselves (at halftime).”
While the offense took time to get going, the Broadneck defense was firing on all cylinders from the opening kick. The Bruins stymied Parkville time and again both on defense and special teams. Broadneck opened the scoring with a safety on a Parkville punt attempt that went out the back of the end zone, and the Bruins got their hands to another punt. Defensively, they had two fumble recoveries — both by senior defensive lineman Tyler Hicks, and both of which led to touchdowns — and a key pick-six from defensive back Michael Swick.
Shortly after the safety, Swick pounced on an overthrown Parkville pass, intercepted it, and weaved his way through the defense for a 23-yard score to put Broadneck up 9-0 and give the team a little bit of breathing space.
“As soon as the quarterback threw the ball, I knew it was too high and I could catch it,” Swick said. “Tyrin (Chinn-Thompson) made a great block and I realized I had a chance to score, and when I did, we just went crazy. I feel like the past couple of weeks I was going on (a plateau) and I felt myself going up a level this game, and I knew it would spark the team.”
That turned out to be all the breathing room Broadneck would need, but the Bruins left at halftime knowing they had far more to give than the 17-0 advantage the scoreboard displayed.
“There was nothing really wrong; it was just some stuff with a little pressure, and eventually we stepped up,” said Broadneck senior Eli Harris, who caught two touchdown passes from C.J. Watkins. “At halftime, the whole offense got reamed, and we deserved it. But we found our footing, and being able to pass the ball against a press defense is important.”
Smargissi also had two touchdowns, while Ian Mauldin rushed for 91 yards and a score.
The Bruins host Dundalk next Friday.
Broadneck 45, Parkville 0
Parkville 0 0 0 0 --0
Broadneck 9 8 21 7 --45
B – Safety 4:36
B – Swick 23 interception return (Coleman kick) 1:25
B – Smargissi 6 pass from Doyle (Doyle run) 0:28
B – Harris 38 pass from Watkins (Coleman kick) 10:23
B – Mauldin 2 run (Coleman kick) 9:14
B – Harris 2 pass from Watkins (Coleman kick) 6:06
B – Smargissi 24 pass from Doyle (Coleman kick) 6:52