Hammond’s second-year football coach Dan Makosy told his team that no outcome is certain this season but one thing was for sure, the Golden Bears would turn some heads in Howard County.
They did just that on Friday night as Hammond scored two fourth quarter touchdowns and made a couple of timely stops on defensive to earn a 19-13 upset victory over host No. 18 Atholton.
“I told the guys this year that I don’t know if we’re going to make the playoffs or not but we’re going to definitely make some noise this season,” said Makosy. “This is the first bit of noise we’ll make.”
Junior running back Devon Paye rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for Hammond (1-1 overall and Howard).
Backfield mate Dionte Jones carried the ball 15 times for 123 yards and two scores, including a 15-yard touchdown run with 44 seconds left in the game to give the Bears the lead.
Quarterback Brian McMahon went 11-for-20 passing and threw two touchdowns but penalties and late turnovers doomed the Raiders (1-1, 1-1). Senior wide receiver Curtis Pumphrey and tight end Adam D’Amico caught 16- and 2-yard touchdown passes.
“I’m just so happy right now because from the jump at practice, we all worked hard just for [Atholton] and we knew we could come out here and win,” said Jones. “Everyone did their assignments.”
Trailing 13-6 entering the final quarter, Hammond needed to make some big plays to get back into the game. That’s when Jones began to make plays on both sides of the ball.
The sophomore broke a 38-yard run for a touchdown on a fourth-and-one play to bring the Bears within a point. But Atholton linebacker Brian Anthony (nine tackles) crashed through the line and stopped Jones on a two-point conversion attempt.
Still down by one, Hammond’s defense began to step up. After forcing Atholton to punt on it’s next drive, the Bears fumbled the kick, giving Atholton another shot to score. But there was Jones again; he intercepted McMahon’s pass in the end zone with 5:55 to play.
On Atholton’s desperation toss downfield, defensive back Matt Stevenson picked off McMahon and Hammond ran the last 12 seconds off the clock.
Hammond lost all of it’s games in 2008 and won three last season after Makosy took over the program. This year, the Bears are looking for more success and want to prove to other teams that you can’t overlook them anymore.
“Everybody thought that we were the underdogs because the past few years we’ve been losing every game,” said Jones. “But this year, we’re going we’re turning it around.”
“The guys hung tough tonight,” said Makosy. “We’re just a little [Class] 2A school trying to get a little respect out here. They had a lot of heart.”
Check back soon for video highlights from the game.
|Hammond 19, No. 18 Atholton 13|
|HAM-Paye 49 run (kick failed), 9:40|
|ATH-Pumphrey 16 pass from McMahon (kick failed), 0:22|
|ATH_D’Amico 2 pass from McMahon (Haas kick), 0:14|
|HAM-Jones 38 run (conversion failed), 10:40|
|HAM-Jones 15 run (#80 kick), 0:44|