Annapolis crushes Meade, 42-0

Panthers roll up 345 rushing yards en route to 35-0 halftime lead

Football

High School

September 06, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Two words best describe the performance of the Annapolis football team at Meade last night: total dominance.

The No. 10 Panthers served notice early on both sides of the ball on the way to a 42-0 pounding of the No. 6 Mustangs in the Anne Arundel County season opener.

Annapolis rolled up 184 of its 345 rushing yards behind Darius Johnson, Demario Harris and Demario Green to take a 35-0 lead at the half. Johnson (6-foot-2, 215 pounds), a junior running back/linebacker, scored three of the touchdowns.

Two of Johnson's touchdowns came on runs of 4 and 11 yards, and an 85-yard punt return.

The Mustangs didn't know what hit them. It certainly wasn't what coach Kenny Gray expected.

"No, absolutely not ... what I expected was a good football game, " said Gray, whose Mustangs lost their sixth in a row to Annapolis.

The Panthers are 12-2 against Meade in coach Roy Brown's 14-year tenure and last night was career win No. 96 for him.

Brown credited his experience at the skilled positions and the tenacity of his entire new line.

"Our line has potential because they are so strong and we emphasize beating the other man, one on one, " said Brown.

Gray was looking for the potential of a season like last, which started with a defeat. But his Mustangs didn't lose again until the Class 4A state semifinals.

"It didn't hurt us [in terms of playoffs], but this hurts in a different way," he said. "It's more mental than anything else. We prepared the kids to play, but we had too many missed tackles and not sure of formations. We coaches take the knock for that. It wakes us up as a coaching staff."

Meade's much heralded senior transfer running back Hassan Muhammad II was held to only 16 yards in the first half, 27 through three periods and finished with a 21-yard carry for a total of 48 yards on 14 attempts.

After Annapolis staged a 13-play, 70 yard drive to open the game with a 6-0 lead, Muhammad got the call on the Mustangs' first play from scrimmage. He picked up 3 yards before being welcomed to the Anne Arundel County public school league by Johnson, who made the tackle.

"He ran his mouth, and you don't run your mouth to Annapolis, so I told him he was going to feel it all night," said Johnson of Muhammad, who left the game holding his nose but did return. "I told him `I'm going to get you because I'm the best linebacker.' They don't know who I am yet."

Muhammad played half a season his freshman year at Oakland Mills in Howard County before being declared ineligible by residence. He was in the Meade district where he still lives.

The last two seasons, Muhammad played at Cardinal Gibbons in Baltimore and was a standout in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference. He transferred to Meade in January of this year.

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