September 26, 2017
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  • Tony Watkins crashed through three Severna Park players to score one of his two touchdowns on Friday night. Watkins carried the ball 32 times for 128 yards and two scores as Chesapeake rebounded from its Week 1 loss by defeating Severna Park 28-14.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Tony Watkins crashed through three Severna Park players to score one of his two touchdowns on Friday night. Watkins carried the ball 32 times for 128 yards and two scores as Chesapeake rebounded from its Week 1 loss by defeating Severna Park 28-14.
  • Chesapeake quarterback Dylan Young completed nine passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the Cougars' 28-14 win over Severna Park.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Chesapeake quarterback Dylan Young completed nine passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the Cougars' 28-14 win over Severna Park.

Chesapeake Football Powers Past Severna Park, 28-14

Colin Murphy
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September 8, 2017

What a difference a week makes.

After suffering a discouraging 40-10 loss to Towson in the season opener last week, the Chesapeake football team came back with a vengeance in Week 2, opening up a lead on visiting Severna Park and never relenting in a resounding 28-14 win on Friday night.

Running back Tony Watkins carried the ball 32 times and ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns in the Chesapeake victory, which came against a Severna Park team still riding high from its own 49-48 season-opening win over North County last Friday. Quarterback Dylan Young completed nine passes for 168 yards, including a pair of beautiful touchdown lobs, one a 45-yard toss to Colton Spangler down the middle in the first half and another on a 24-yard strike to Tyler Kirk in the third quarter.

Chesapeake opened up a 21-0 lead in the first half, used strong offensive line play to get the ground game moving, mixed in the passing game, controlled the clock and methodically churned out a victory in front of a vibrant home crowd. 

“I’m so proud of our guys not to quit, because, including myself, we were really bad last week,” said coach Rob Elliott.

PHOTO GALLERY: Chesapeake football vs. Severna Park, 9.8.17

Playing without starting left tackle Will Sullivan and top tailback Colby McNulty, the Cougars faced a lot of questions entering the game, but Elliott said his players stepped up to the challenge.

“Any time as a football coach you have your team not quit and show heart when it couldn’t be any worse, that’s what you’re most proud of. Win or lose this game, the way we played, we couldn’t be prouder.”

The Cougars were all over the Falcons right away. Following an interception by Kirk on Severna Park’s first possession, Chesapeake put together an 80-yard drive capped by Watkins’ first touchdown, a bruising 10-yard run in which he bulldozed through three Severna Park tacklers and across the goal line.

A fumble forced by Russell Tongue on Severna Park’s ensuing possession was recovered by Michael Gimon, setting the Cougars up in Severna Park territory, and they capitalized with another running score on a sweep left to take a 14-0 lead in the second quarter:

 

Watkins, who amazingly is returning to football this year as a senior after a two-year absence from the game, was proud to make an impact in a large role for the team, carrying the ball a whopping 32 times for 128 yards and two scores.

“It felt good to help my team, contribute and help my team win today,” Watkins said.

The ground game set up the passing attack for the Cougars. Shortly before halftime, Young got great protection on a drop-back and lofted a perfectly placed pass to Spangler over the middle, who caught the ball over his shoulder, in stride, running full speed. The Falcon defensive back had no chance to make a play.

“We just came out and executed from the start,” said Young. “Our line dominated. The backs did their job, that just opened up the passing game… The one to Colton, he just ran a great route, all I did was throw the ball, he went and made a play.”

Spangler, also the team’ kicker, was 4 for 4 on extra points and booted one home after his touchdown to give the Cougars a 21-0 halftime lead. Spangler and Young, both juniors, play on the baseball team together and have played football, basketball and baseball together for years.

“Me and him, on the field, we just try to bond and get our connection down,” said Spangler. “At practice we work hard every day to get our connection down…The offensive line did great today. They blocked great. They gave us time for passes and holes to run in, and that’s all we can ask for.”

Even when Severna Park quarterback Garrett Edwards hit Chase Cope down the right sideline for a 27-yard score to open the second half and make it 21-7, the Cougars responded. Young hit Kirk down the left sideline for a 24-yard score to make it 28-7:

 

Edwards and Cope hooked up again to make it 28-14 with under four minutes to play, but the Cougars moved the chains and killed the clock expertly on the strength of Watkins’ runs.

Players and coaches alike heaped praise on the offensive line of Jake Mearman, Dan Casalino, Andrew Long, Cameron Wilford and Matt Blades. In addition to the scoring plays, Young had completions to Hunter Davis (15-yard reception), Russell Tongue (11-yard reception) and Brady Reilly (34-yard reception), and Cole Foca had a rushing gain of seven yards in the first half.

Mearman is a senior who played for Severna Park last year before transferring to Chesapeake.

“[The offensive line] just came together,” said Mearman. “We’re a brotherhood now. We put in some hard work in practice, and we came out and won. This definitely boosts our confidence level, especially since they beat North County last week.”

Elliott also cited the increased physicality of the defense. Khalil Gary led the Cougars with five tackles and a sack. Kirk three tackles and an interception. AJ Richardson (two tackles), Gimon (2.5 tackles and a fumble recovery), Tongue (one tackle and a forced fumble), Eric Taylor, Mike Storm, Andrew Colangela, Casey Hinman and Dante Thompson all made contributions.

“The biggest difference between last week and this week was last week we flat-out did not tackle,” said Elliott. “This week we challenged our guys to be physical. We got out-physicaled last week, and tonight we came back and played with some pride.”

 

 

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