Aberdeen rebounds, routs Bel Air, 44-7

Last week's loss motivates Eagles vs. No. 13 Bobcats


High Schools

October 04, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

After spending all week thinking about all that went wrong in a loss to Joppatowne, Aberdeen's offense went out last night and did nearly everything right.

Quarterback Erin Henderson led the onslaught, passing for a touchdown and running for another as Aberdeen routed No. 13 Bel Air, 44-7, on a brisk night at the Bobcats' Al Cesky Field.

Henderson, the younger brother of former University of Maryland All-America linebacker E.J. Henderson, was 8-for-10 for 145 passing yards and a touchdown and rushed 17 times for 79 yards and a score for the Eagles (3-1).

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior also had an interception and two sacks from his linebacker position, spearheading a defense that sacked Bobcats junior quarterback Andrew Berry four times and intercepted him twice.

"We beat ourselves last week," the Maryland-bound Henderson said of Aberdeen's 28-21 loss to Joppatowne. "We knew we had to bounce back. If we would've lost this game, our season would've taken a bad turn."

The Eagles lost five fumbles last week, but last night they turned the ball over just once late in the game when the outcome against Bel Air (3-1) was long settled.

"Anytime somebody put the ball on the ground in practice, we ran sprints," said Aberdeen coach Joe Harbert, who said his team hadn't beaten the Bobcats in six years. "I was never as disappointed in a team as I was [after the Joppatowne loss], and I've never been prouder of one as I am tonight."

Aberdeen, which scored on seven of nine possessions and punted just once, also got two touchdown runs from senior Shawn Lewis and one each from Avery Willie, Greg Williams and Carl Stokes, who said he was so distraught after last week that he wanted to sleep on the field.

But the bad memories were erased quickly as Henderson hit senior Ryan McVey (four catches for 77 yards) on a fade route for a 32-yard touchdown, culminating an 11-play opening drive that gave Aberdeen a 6-0 lead.

It was 25-0 before the Bobcats' offense got on track as Berry (13-for-21 for 165 yards) hit Willie Bell (five catches for 76 yards) for a 32-yard touchdown strike that cut the Eagles' lead to 25-7 right before halftime.

However, Bel Air's momentum was fleeting. Driving at the start of the second half, Berry was intercepted at the Aberdeen goal line by Jamall McDonald, and the Eagles capitalized to make the score 32-7. Henderson plunged in on a 1-yard touchdown run that just about ended the Bobcats' hopes.

"We thought the first part of the second half was going to be critical, but we didn't capitalize," said Bobcats coach Bruce Riley. "Give them credit. They really executed tonight."

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