Oakland Mills wins battle of unbeatens, maintains top spot in Howard County football; Holland produces 3 TDs

Kanye Holland helped Oakland Mills continue its perfect season Friday evening. The quarterback threw for two scores and ran for another as the Scorpions defeated No. 17 Atholton, 26-20, in Howard County.

by Donald Daniels

Converting on 4th down, when presented, is crucial. Oakland Mills High football mastered it Friday evening.

The Scorpions scored three touchdowns on 4th down, sparking them to a 26-20 victory over 17th-ranked Atholton in a Howard County contest in Columbia. Dual-threat quarterback Kanye Holland ran for 114 yards and a touchdown for Oakland Mills, and passed for 73 yards and two scores.

The Scorpions denied Atholton in the final 90 seconds to remain tied for first with No. 13 Long Reach in the Howard league standings. Dillan Watkins accounted for all the scoring for the Raiders three rushing touchdowns.

“The chemistry on this team has been great so far, the guys have really bought in and some of them are just the best of friends, so that definitely helps,” Oakland Mills coach Tom Browne said.

Trailing 7-6 at halfime, Oakland Mills used an Aki Harvey interception and 12-yard touchdown run from Holland to gain the lead. After a 72-yard kickoff return by Tyreek Reid, Watkins wasted no time, bursting through the middle for a 5-yard touchdown, pulling Atholton to 14-13.

Oakland Mills answered with a 63-yard drive that ended with a Holland pass to Kylik Perry for a 12-yard touchdown reception.

“We put a lot of trust in Kanye,” Browne said. “He can run and he can throw. We don’t throw much, but when we do, he can do it pretty effectively. I can’t say enough about him, but the guys around him are damn good football players as well.”

“I always trust my team when it comes to fourth-down conversions,” Holland said. “We get them all the time. All we had to do was execute. I knew my team could get the job done.”

Oakland Mills put together a 10-play, 91-yard drive, capped with John Tatum’s 3-yard scamper, extending the hosts’ advantage to 26-13 with 8 minutes left in regulation.

Watkins found the end zone again, this time from 2 yards out to make it an one possession game. The Raiders, with the help of some Scorpion penalties, got the ball at Oakland Mills’ 40 with 1:38 left in regulation.

Atholton got two yards on first down via a Miles Scott run, but threw three straight incomplete passes, the final throw broken up by Shane King.

“This was a tough loss on the road, but it’s going to humble us,” said Raiders coach Eric Woodson. “We’ve got to come back and work a little harder at practice.”

Oakland Mills 26, No. 17 Atholton 20


Atholton 0 7 6 7 20

Oakland Mills 6 0 14 6 26

First quarter

Oakland Mills – Harvey 15 pass from Holland (kick failed)

Second quarter

Atholton – Watkins 4 run (Araya kick)

Third quarter

Oakland Mills – Holland 13 run (Holland run)

Atholton – Watkins 5 run (kick blocked)

Oakland Mills – Perry 12 pass from Holland (kick failed)

Fourth quarter

Oakland Mills – Tatum 3 run (run failed)

Atholton – Watkins 2 run (Araya kick)