The Patapsco offense was on the field for only eight plays through the second and third quarters of the game against visiting Sparrows Point on Saturday.
Over that same span, the Pointer offense ran 40 plays — yet the Patriots extended their lead by three touchdowns.
Ball control was overshadowed by defense and special teams as Patapsco defeated Sparrows Point 32-6.
After scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter for a 12-0 lead, the Patapsco offense pretty much knocked off for the rest of the game.
The Patriot offense found it difficult to get back on the field as the defense scored on a fumble return, an interception return and on a blocked punt.
For the game, Sparrows Point ran 68 plays to Patapsco’s 26. Yet, despite being on the field for most of the game, the Patriot defense didn’t allow a score until there was 1:09 remaining in the game.
“When the defense and special teams are scoring, we can live with our offense not being on the field much,” Patapsco coach Tyler Clough said. “But we know that in order to win the games on our schedule coming up, our offense has to execute better and take time off the clock if we want to win.”
Sparrows Point intercepted two passes in the first quarter to start possession inside the Patriot 35-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs each time.
The Pointers had a 12-play drive that reached the Patapsco 24 and ended at midfield due to a penalty and a sack. Sparrows Point intercepted a third Patapsco pass late in the first half, only to have Da’Shawn Davis ntercept a pass and return it 55 yards for a touchdown four plays later.
An 11-play Sparrows Point drive in the third quarter ended with a missed field goal, as did a 10-play drive on the Pointers’ next possession.
“The defense was lights out on Saturday and has been for three weeks,” Clough said. “Western Tech and Sparrows Point scored against our second-team defense, and both of Lansdowne’s scores came after turnovers.”
Patapsco’s defense had two pick-6’s against Western Tech and scored a safety against Lansdowne that turned out to be the winning margin.
Even when Patapsco’s offense scored, it didn’t need many plays.
The Patriots went 90 yards in one play on their second possession as quarterback A.J. Ratliff connected with Maurice Williams near midfield and Williams sprinted the rest of the way for the touchdown.
Patapsco recovered a Sparrows Point fumble at the Pointer 20-yard line to start its next possession.
A holding penalty and a sack by Sparrows Point’s Mason Bailey moved the ball back to the Pointer 35, but Ratliff completed another pass to Williams down to the Sparrows Point three-yard line.
Jeston Jones scored on the next play.
Williams had another big play in the second quarter, when he scooped up a Pointer fumble and returned it about 60 yards for a score to give Patapsco a 20-0 lead.
On Sparrows Point’s first possession of the second half, Patapsco’s Dezmond Henderson blocked a punt and ????? picked it up and scored.
Trenton Knight scored on a 21-yard run for Sparrows Point.
Patapsco faces a tough contest next week when it play at Kenwood (2-1) at 6 p.m.
Sparrows Point (0-3) plays at Owings Mills on Friday,
Dundalk (1-2) lost at defending Class 3A state champion Franklin 49-10. The Owls host Douglass (P.G. County) on Friday at 6 p.m.