No. 11 South River put a damper on Southern of Harwood's homecoming festivities last night, as it routed the Bulldogs, 29-7, to claim the three-team Anne Arundel County 3A-2A title.
South River (9-1, 2-0), which will be making its first appearance in the Class 3A playoffs next weekend, was led by the running and receiving of Chris Messineo and the arm of quarterback Jake Cameron.
Messineo carried the ball 10 times for 73 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for an additional 92 yards and a score.
Cameron threw rarely but effectively, completing four of nine passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
"We've been able to establish our running game early on and it's really opened up some things for us," said South River coach Dave Summey. "We feel that as long as we execute, any time the ball is snapped we have the potential for a big play. It's a ball-control offense with the potential of a big play at any time."
Southern (6-4, 1-1), holding remote 2A playoff hopes, fell behind early in the second quarter on K.C. Palmer's 66-yard touchdown run.
An interception by Seahawks defensive tackle Derrick Raikes on the second play of Southern's ensuing possession, set up a 33-yard touchdown pass from Cameron to Messineo, putting the visitors out front 15-0 with 8:31 remaining in the half.
Southern's overflow crowd finally found something to cheer about in the waning minutes of the first half when the Bulldogs manufactured a 53-yard, eight-play scoring drive capped by a 10-yard -- into the end zone by sophomore Jason Poknis.
South River went back to its ground-control offense in the third quarter and put together an 11-play scoring drive that ate nine minutes off the clock. Cameron finally found the end zone on a keeper from a yard out.
The Seahawks sealed the victory on their next possession, Cameron tossing a screen pass to Messineo, who raced 59 yards untouched for the game's final score.