With a young roster, McDonogh School’s football team know painful lessons will be the norm. Going into Saturday’s non-league match with Georgetown Prep, the No. 14 Eagles were itching for a win.
It definitely wasn’t pretty, but McDonogh captured elusive victory No. 1 in 2012 with a 14-9 decision over the Little Hoyas in Owings Mills. Taysean Scott caught two touchdown passes from freshman quarterback Jansen Durham for the Eagles.
McDonogh denied the former MIAA A Conference football member from Bethesda from the Eagles’ 10-yard in the final minute. With the grueling MIAA A schedule set to kick in next weekend, Eagles’ coach Dom Damico saw his team gain some needed confidence after starting with losses to 2011 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference finalist Gonzaga College, New Jersey stronghold St. Peter Prep and Philadelphia’s Penn Charter.
“Gonzaga is a very good football team, Peter Prep is one of the best team in the country and Penn Charter has three Division I recruits so our schedule is tough and we’re young,” said Damico. “Those young kids are buying in and little by little, we’re getting better.”
“Coach said he gave us a tough schedule to get us ready for the MIAA A,” said Durham. “His main goal is to get us better every week. We’ve gotten better in every aspect.”
After his interception on the game’s first drive led to a Georgetown Prep field goal, Durham rebounded with a 30-yard pass to Scott for a touchdown in the first quarter. The Eagles advanced the lead to 14-3 late in third quarter with a 12-play, 73-yard drive.
Scott, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound playmaker, capped the series, hauling in Durham’s fade pass in the corner. The Little Hoyas (0-4)came back with quarterback Corey Howard diving into the end zone from a yard out early in the fourth quarter.
McDonogh’s defense forced back-to-back three-and-outs, but with 2:55 remaining in regulation, the third time was extremely stressful. Three passes totaling 56 yards and a pass interference call against the Eagles advance Georgetown Prep from its to 27 to McDonogh’s 12 with 1:01 to play.
On fourth down, Scott got his hand on Howard’s pass to Alexander Lee in the left corner with 25.9 seconds remaining. Damico was confident Scott would make the play.
“He’s got great athletic timing and spacial ability,” said Domico. “He, Jabari Weems and Travis Wood are our senior leaders and will need to step up and make plays. Tay is our go-to guy.”
“They [Georgetown Prep] ran outs all game and I knew it was coming. I didn’t even think about catching it,” said Scott. “I’m proud of my team and glad we got the win.”
Now comes the fun part for the Eagles, who host No. 18 Archbishop Spalding in the MIAA A opener Saturday. They head into arguably the area’s strongest league with just four seniors on the roster.
“If you lose four in a row, practices can become tough,” said Damico, whose team reached the inaugural league playoffs last fall. “The kids are going come into practice with a different attitude. They know they can win.”
No. 14 McDonogh School 14, Georgetown Prep 9
Georgetown Prep 3 0 0 6-9
McDonogh 7 0 7 0-14
Georgetown Prep: Brennan field goal
McDonogh: Scott 30 pass from Durham (Supovitz kick)
McDonogh: Scott 10 pass from Durham (Supovitz kick)
Georgetown Prep: Howard 1 run (pass failed)