Eastern Tech opened defense of its Class 2A state championship Saturday afternoon, and the Mavericks immediately found out life on top wouldn’t be easy.
Especially in Baltimore County. The No. 8 Mavericks held off a late rally by host Milford Mill to take a 26-20 decision.
Junior running back Sayvon Norman rushed for 120 yards for Eastern Tech (1-0 overall), and Josh Canella had a rushing and receiving score and intercepted two passes. Sophomore quarterback Kyle McEachern threw for a touchdown and rushed for another for Milford Mill (0-1).
The Mavericks scored the game’s first 20 points before needing to secure an onsides kick with under two minutes in regulation to extend their winning streak to 11 games dating to last season.
“We had some really smart plays by our kids,” said Eastern Tech coach Marc Mesaros. “I thought defensively we played well, but we wore down and their athleticism took over.”
Trailing 26-6 with under eight minutes left in regulation, McEachern scored on a two-yard run and threw a seven-yard pass to Maurice Hawkins, bringing Milford Mill to within a touchdown with 96 seconds left. The Millers onsides kick, but the ball bounced into the arms of Eastern Tech’s Daryn Davis. The Mavericks ran off the remaining time.
“We were holding them so long then our offense starting clicking,” said Cannella, who rushed for 61 yards. “After we scored we got the momentum going.”
The Mavericks led 14-0 at halftime after a 12-yard run by senior Marquise Bannister (76 yards) and Cannella’s 24-yard run, completing a four-play, 65-yard drive. Cannella hauled in a Brad Hager pass in the flat and went into the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown play, pushing Eastern Tech’s lead to 20-0 late in the third quarter.
After Milford Mill scored its first touchdown, a 45-yard fake punt run by Myers, the Mavericks answered with a 10-yard scoring pass from Brad Hager to Chris Pomory. Millers coach Reggie White was pleased with the effort.
“They didn’t play well in the first half, then turned it on in the second half,” said White. “Luckily, the gap wasn’t unsurmountable, but they can’t wait until they’re out of breath to stop fighting back. “
Senior Dan McManus led the Eastern Tech defense with 12 tackles, and Bannister and junior Brandon Jones each added nine. The Mavericks play No. 12 Hereford Friday evening at CCBC-Essex.
|No. 12 Eastern Tech 26, Milford Mill 20|
|ET-Bannister 12 run (kick good)|
|ET-Cannella 24 run (kick good)|
|ET-Cannella 7 pass from Hager (run failed)|
|MM-Myers 45 run (run failed)|
|ET-Pomory 10 pass from Hager (kick failed)|
|MM-McEacher 2 run (run failed|
|MM-Hawkins 7 pass from McEachern (Simmions pass from McEachern)|