By Jon Buzby
After starting the season in impressive fashion with a 5-0 record, the Joppatowne football team finds itself with a losing record, 2-3, following three forfeits for using an ineligible player.
The Mariners removed the player from the team following the third game and reported themselves to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association. The school is awaiting an appeal date, expected to be set following the season’s upcoming seventh weekend, with a decision most likely to be handed down a few days later.
If the appeal is denied, Joppatowne will most likely need to win out and finish the season at 7-3 to have any chance of snaring one of the four slots in the Class 1A East division playoffs.
Franklin Upsets Perry Hall
Navassa Brown and Carl Fleming each scored three touchdowns as visiting Franklin handed Perry Hall its first loss of the season, 45-41.
Brown scored on a 55-yard run at the end of the first half to put the Indians up for good at 24-20.
Brandon Sofia scored four touchdowns for Perry Hall (5-1).
"It was just one big play after another," Perry Hall coach Keith Robinson told the Baltimore Sun. "Mostly big plays from them."
Decatur Downs Parkside
Visiting Stephen Decatur used four scoring drives of 60 or more yards to hand Parkside its first loss of the season, 28-20.
Decatur (4-2) went up by two touchdowns early, but the Rams stormed back to tie the game when quarterback Jermaine Trader connected with wide receiver Kwame Brown for a touchdown late in the second quarter.
Decatur quarterback Tim Donnelly and the Seahawks’ offense answered quickly with a 66-yard scoring drive of their own just before the half, capped off by an eight-yard touchdown pass from Donnelly to wide receiver Andrew Brickey.
The Rams looked to get right back into the game to start the third quarter, driving into their opponent’s red zone on the opening drive, but a fumble by Trader gave the ball back to the Seahawks.
Decatur then marched 92 yards and scored on a four-yard run by Brendan Chavis to give the Seahawks a two-touchdown margin, which would prove to be all they would need.
Eastern Tech Remains Undefeated
Eastern Tech (6-0) scored 19 unanswered points in the first quarter and piled up 293 yards on the ground on their way to a 41-8 lopsided victory over Randallstown in a Baltimore County Class 2A North division game.
Tech’s Donny Guido got the Mavericks on the board before his team’s offense even came onto the field when he scooped up a fumble and rumbled 35 yards for the game’s opening score.
When the offense finally did come onto the field a few minutes later, it took just three plays for running back Darian Conners to sprint 64 yards into the end zone to put Tech up 16-0.
The Rams only score came with four minutes left in the game when quarterback Tavia Gambrill hit wide receiver Deandre Martin for a 37-yard touchdown.
Wilde Lake Still Unbeaten
Running back Jerrel Epps scored two touchdowns in the second half to lead the undefeated Wildecats (6-0) to a 27-13 win over Howard (4-2) in a Class 3A East division game.
Playing well on both sides of the ball, Wilde Lake got a big defensive interception by Epps on a late fourth-quarter scoring drive attempt by the Lions to secure the win. Epps finished the game with 87 yards on 13 carries and backfield mate Christian Hough carried the ball 13 times for 72 yards.
Mark Covington had both Lions’ touchdowns, including an 80-yard kickoff return on the opening play of the game.
"That was the best (Wilde Lake's) played all year,” first-year Howard coach Bruce Strunk, a former Wilde Lake assistant, told the Howard County Times. “They put together their best game."
Wilde Lake goes for its seventh win in a row when it plays at Oakland Mills on Friday at 7 p.m. Howard will try to get back in the win column on Saturday when it hosts Reservoir at 2 p.m.
Three Maryland Schools in Region’s Top 10
Three Maryland High School football teams are currently ranked in USA Today’s Super 25 Prep Football Regional (East) Rankings.
River Hill, currently 6-0 and located in Clarksville, is the highest ranked Maryland team in the No. 2 spot in the east. They are also ranked No. 9 in the USA Today Super 25 national poll.
Quince Orchard (Gaithersburg) is undefeated (6-0) and ranked No. 4 in the regional poll.
Good Counsel (Olney) rounds out the Maryland schools, ranked No. 6 with a record of 6-0.
National powerhouse Gateway (7-0, Monroeville, Pa.) is the top team in the region and also ranked No. 3 nationally.
Jon Buzby is the Maryland correspondent for MaxPreps.com.