Perry Hall junior Jeff Sanders was a busy man last night.
The receiver-defensive back had three receptions for 95 yards and scoring passes of 19 and 73 yards from senior Nick Larichiuta, and made a second-half interception as part of a defense that helped the Gators overcome a 14-point deficit in last night's 22-14 Baltimore County 4A-3A league victory over visiting Parkville.
Adam Diamond's field goal gave the Gators a 16-14 lead, at 6:22 of the third quarter, and Marcus Jones' 6-yard touchdown run with a minute left in the quarter accounted for the scoring as Perry Hall (4-0 overall, 1-0 league) won a battle of unbeatens in preparation for Friday night's showdown with No. 9 Randallstown (3-1).
"They were up 14-0 and they thought they had us," said Sanders, who recovered after dropping a pass in the end zone seconds before halftime. "But they signed up for four quarters, and we were ready to go hard for all of them."
Quarterback-defensive back Ryan Carroll of Parkville (3-1, 0-1) staked his team to a 14-0 lead with a minute left in the first quarter.
Carroll's 1-yard scoring run followed a 50-yard run by Tyron Robinson, and Carroll's 45-yard interception return to the Gators' 23-yard line set up his 21-yard touchdown pass to Antowan Stephens. Each score was followed by Shawn Baer's extra-point kick.
But a wrist injury relegated Robinson to only three carries before halftime, setting the stage for Larichiuta and Sanders.
Larichiuta (120 passing yards) rolled to his left on second-and-9 before launching a ball inside Parkville's 30-yard line to Sanders, who followed the block of Dennis Hoke into the end zone. Diamond's extra-point kick made it 14-7 with 45 seconds left in the first quarter.
A fumble recovery by Perry Hall's James Wiley at his own 47, followed soon after by a 15-yard personal foul against the Knights provided Larichiuta with another opportunity to connect with Sanders -- this time from 19 yards to make it 14-13, which was the score at halftime.
The Gators' defense took over from there as Tony Kelly's fumble recovery set up Diamond's field goal, and Brian Armenta's fumble recovery set up Jones' run.
Elliott Chase (14 tackles) had a sack, a forced fumble and broke up a pass during the Knights' final scoring drive. Kenneth Primeaux rushed for 84 yards.
"Our offense had been struggling until this game, but we broke out tonight," Sanders said. "Today we passed the ball more and that opened up another aspect for us."