Sedgwick slings five TD passes as No. 14 Arundel races past Perry Hall (VIDEO HERE!!)

Ryan Sedgwick (left) and Marcus Abrams were in midseason form in Arundel’s season opener Friday evening against Perry Hall. Sedgwick threw five touchdowns, three to his senior teammate Abrams as the 14th-ranked Wildcats pulled away to a 53-34 decision at Miller Stadium in Baltimore County.

If you like uptempo, high-octane offensive football, Eastern Baltimore County was the place to be Friday night as No. 14 Arundel visited Perry Hall for the non-conference season opener for both teams. The Wildcats and Gators combined for 158 snaps from scrimmage, 87 points and zero huddles.

Arundel, after squandering an early 19-0 lead, surged from behind late in the second quarter and won going away, 53-34, thanks in large part to five touchdown passes from senior quarterback Ryan Sedgwick.

Sedgwick, 6-foot-1, 180-pound southpaw, completed 20-of-24 passes for 265 yards and he connected with senior Marcus Abrams six times for 149 yards and three scores. In addition, senior Kyle Kidwell caught six balls for 69 yards and two touchdowns, while senior back Darius Hunter rushed 21 times for 136 yards and one touchdown.

Arundel wasted no time getting into gear as it took the opening kickoff and then marched 68 yards in 12 plays, with Elijah Baker running for the final seven and a touchdown to give the Wildcats an early 6-0 lead.

A fumble, recovered by Perry Hall’s Ryan Spedden, thwarted Arundel’s next possession, but the Wildcats hit the scoreboard again, with 3:58 to play in the opening quarter, as Sedgwick connected with Abrams for the first time, producing a 52-yard score. Arundel’s William Oliver then blocked a punt which was returned to the Perry Hall 10-yard line by DJ Best and, three plays later Hunter scored from seven yards out.

Cut from the same cloth, the Wildcats and Gators each employ a no huddle offensive predicated on playing fast and running as many plays as possible. For Arundel coach Chuck Markiewicz, the site of an opponent with a similar style was welcomed.

“That’s great for us because that keeps us on our tempo too,” said Markiewicz, one of the area’s most successful veteran coaches. “A lot of teams, what they try to do, is slow us down. They take all of the play clock, but when the other team is playing fast, it’s a 7-on-7 game and we like it like that.”

Early in the second quarter, however, the scene was not so pleasant of the Markiewicz and the Wildcats.

Perry Hall proved it could also score points in bunches, as the Gators scored three consecutive touchdowns of their own to grab a 21-19 lead. Daniel Brown III got the Gators on the board with a 7-yard touchdown run and quarterback Tyler Holley, who also had a big night, rushed for a 4-yard touchdown and then completed a 3-yard pass to Donte Cloude, Jr. to push Perry Hall in front, with just 1:26 to go in the opening half.

Any hopes the Gators had of carrying that momentum into intermission were dashed when Sedgwick drove Arundel 69 yards in six plays, connecting with Abrams for a 23-yard score with just 15 seconds left. The Wildcats then recovered an onside kickoff and scored again, on the final play of the half, with a 12-yard TD toss from Sedgwick to Kidwell.

“The thing I don’t know about my guys, I don’t know if they respond to adversity very well,” said Markiewicz. We did it tonight, which is a good thing for our kids because they need to have that confidence.”

Sedgwick echoed his coach.

“We knew we had to get back on track,” said the Arundel QB. “Mistakes, penalties, fumbles and my interception, really put us back. They were able to gain momentum off of that, so we knew, coming into halftime, we had to step it up.”

Trailing 33-21, Perry Hall got the ball to start the second half and drove 69 yards in 10 plays, but were turned away at the Arundel one-yard line, as they turned the ball over on downs. Arundel then delivered a crushing blow by needing just eight plays to go 99 yards and score on a 22-yard pass from Sedgwick to Kidwell, stretching the Wildcats’ lead to 39-21, with 5 minutes, 13 seconds to play in the third quarter.

Both teams would score a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but Arundel’s lead was never threatened again.

Holley, a key cog on Perry Hall’s reigning Class 4A basketball state championship team, 17-of-27 passes for 310 yards and two scores, in addition to rushing for one. Brown led the Perry Hall rushing attack with 64 yards on 14 carries.

Perry Hall head coach Keith Robinson was impressed but what he saw from Arundel.

“Certainly, we had a lot of missed opportunities offensively,” said Robinson. “I am not sure we are good enough to overcome what they did tonight. They played like the machine they have been in the past. They were pretty polished.”

Regardless of the outcome, Robinson believes this experience will benefit his team.

“We knew this was a big risk-reward game,” he said. “We knew if we beat them we would get a boat load of playoff points, but I think we still have a really good team. We knew who we were playing and we knew it would be quite a challenge, but in the long run I think it will serve us well.”

ARUN 19 14 6 14 — 53
PHALL 0 21 0 13 — 34
ARUN – Elijah Baker 10 run (kick failed)
ARUN – Marcus Abrams 52 pass from Ryan Sedgwick (Chaz Goodman kick)
ARUN – Darius Hunter 7 run (kick blocked)
PHALL – Daniel Brown III 7 run (Steven Qirici kick)
PHALL – Tyler Holley 4 run (Qirici kick)
PHALL – Donte Cloude Jr. 3 pass from Holley (Qirici kick)
ARUN – Abrams 23 pass from Sedgwick (William Oliver pass from Sedgwick)
ARUN – Kyle Kidwell 12 pass from Sedgwick (run failed)
ARUN – Kidwell 22 pass from Sedgwick (kick blocked)
ARUN – Jordan Andrews 9 run (Goodman kick)
PHALL – Cloude 41 pass for Holley (run failed)
ARUN – Abrams 32 pass from Sedgwick (Goodman kick)
PHALL – Tyrese Jenkins 12 pass from Miles Crouse (Qirici kick)