Nearly flawless Aberdeen rolls, 37-9

Henderson drives victory over No. 11 Havre de Grace

High Schools

November 08, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

For 48 minutes, Aberdeen's offense was virtually unstoppable, chewing up yards with Carl Stokes' legs and Erin Henderson's arm.

The Eagles' defense was nearly as punishing, intercepting Havre de Grace quarterback Shane West twice and sacking him three times - once for a safety.

When it was all over, the Eagles summoned more energy. After all, a celebration was in order.

In one of the biggest Harford County football games in several years, Aberdeen eliminated all the drama by the third quarter in dominating the No. 11 Warriors, 37-9, before an overflow crowd last night at Havre de Grace's James R. Harris Memorial Field.

The victory gives Aberdeen (8-1, 6-1 league) a share of the county title with Havre de Grace. The Warriors (8-1, 6-1), who have now lost to Aberdeen 12 consecutive years, will open the Class 1A North playoffs at home next weekend.

"I told them we lost to a better team tonight," said Warriors coach Johnny Brooks. "Although we split the county championship, we know they beat us. We've never seen anything like that. They looked good, very good."

And nobody looked any better than the Maryland-bound Henderson, who was 12-for-18 for 201 yards and four touchdowns. Junior Devron Galloway caught six passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns, and Stokes rushed 19 times for 95 yards. Avery Willie had two interceptions, one he returned 16 yards for a score.

"This was a big game for us," said Aberdeen coach Joe Harbert. "It gave us a chance for a county championship and it's Havre de Grace. You don't need to say anything more than that."

With the Warriors crowding the line of scrimmage to keep Henderson and a triple-option offense in check, Aberdeen took to the air often.

Henderson hit Galloway on a sideline route at the 7:38 mark of the second quarter to give the Eagles a 14-3 lead. It became 27-9 when Henderson hit Galloway again down the sideline for a 16-yard score.

The Eagles then delivered the knockout punch. On a fourth-and-four at the Havre de Grace 37, Henderson fumbled the snap and went back to the Aberdeen 47 to pick it up. He then stiff-armed a defender and launched a bomb to a wide-open Phillip Brown, who caught it in the end zone for a 37-9 score.

"Phillip said the ball was in the air forever," said Harbert. "That was some play."

And some night for the Eagles, who already had clinched a Class 2A playoff spot.

"Momentum is the biggest thing," said Henderson, who also rushed 12 times for 70 yards. "A loss going into the playoffs could've been ugly."

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