Towson battles past Woodlawn, claims first Baltimore County football title since 1991
by Derek Toney
Alex Simet has had ups and downs – mainly the latter – in his first three years as a Towson High football player.
Three combined wins between 2015 and 2016. Last fall, the Generals made progress on the field, but off field issues cost them a winning season.
There’s been distractions this season, but Simet and the Generals have preserved. Saturday, Towson became champions.
The Generals defeated Woodlawn, 14-12, to clinch the Baltimore County Division III title. Senior running back Jordan Daughtry and Damone Moore each scored for Towson (7-2 overall, 5-0 Division III).
Moore’s fourth quarter touchdown run followed by Jordan Daughtry’s two-point conversion and final defensive stand was the difference for the Generals, who won their seventh straight decision.
For the first time since 1991, Towson is league champions.
“This team has a bunch of dogs, we’re not going to quit,” said Generals senior outside linebacker Ben Ducharme. “We prove it today.”
Towson hasn’t won at least seven games since 2014. Last season, the Generals won seven games on the field, but had to forfeit two victories for a violation of county athletic rules.
This season, the Generals lost starting linebacker Miles Beard (foot) and linemen Jamiel Carlton (ACL) for the season, and kicker/punter Leighton Bechtel has been limited to kickoffs because of a knee injury.
After losses to Chesapeake-Anne Arundel and Perry Hall, Towson has rebounded with seven straight victories.
“They don’t give up,” said Generals coach Todd Pittillo.
“It’s always when one of our players is injured, but it’s always the next man up,” said junior defensive back Karon Ball. “We got to keep pushing.”
The Generals had to grind Saturday in the rain against Woodlawn (6-3, 4-1 Division III), which entered play with six straight wins. The Warriors stuck first as Dillan Thompson returned a fumble 45 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.
In the second, Ball intercepted Woodlawn quarterback Damontaa Johns, putting Towson at the Warriors’ 36. Eleven plays later, Daughtry got to the outside and out-raced the defense to the corner of the end zone for a 11-yard touchdown, tying the game.
After fumbling the ball back to Towson during an interception return, Woodlawn got a turnover as Jerran Jackson pounced on a Daughtry fumble. Johns hit Thompson across the middle for a 28-yard touchdown, giving Woodlawn the lead back with 1 minute, 49 seconds remaining in the third.
The Warriors got the ball back in the fourth quarter, but, on 4th-and-15 at their 35, ran a fake punt. Towson wasn’t fooled and got possession at Woodlawn’s 33.
After a pass interference pulled the Generals out of a 2nd-and-21 hole, quarterback Cole Lakatos connected with Jayquan Jenkins for six yards on 4th-and-5. The next play, Moore bounced outside and got to the corner of the end zone from 12 yards for the tying score with 4:41 remaining in regulation.
After Woodlawn was called for offsides on the extra-point attempt, Daughtry plowed behind his line from about 1 1/2 yards for the two-point conversion.
“Today was tough. Woodlawn did a good job,” said Pittillo. “They went with an eight-man front and it gave us a little bit of trouble. Demon was able to find a seam. The first score was off a fumble so the defense played lights out.”
The Generals stopped Woodlawn as Simet and junior Coleman Bergman successfully got to Johns. On 4th-and-16, Johns threw to Daquonne Frazier in the flat where Simet brought him down with three minutes left.
Towson ran out the clock. Last season, Woodlawn got a punt return score in the final 90 seconds for a 28-22 victory.
In the postgame huddle, Simet waved a Towson flag as his teammates celebrated a landmark victory. The Generals host Pikesville in the regular season finale Saturday.
Towson likely won’t make the state playoffs, something that’s been done only once (2006), but Saturday
“I’ve been through four varsity seasons and this team is most unified, most skilled team we’ve ever had,” said Simel. “I’m just blessed to be here in this moment.”
Towson 14, Woodlawn 12
Woodlawn 6 0 6 0 – 12
Towson 0 6 0 8 – 14
Woodlawn – Dillan Thompson 45 fumble return (conversion failed)
Towson – Jordan Daughtry 11 run (pass failed)
Woodlawn – Thompson 28 pass from Damontaa Johns (pass failed)
Towson – Damonte Moore 12 run (Daughtry run)