Aberdeen overwhelms Stephen Decatur, 57-27

Henderson's 4 TD passes lift offense as No. 9 Eagles win region championship

Class 2A East football

November 22, 2003|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In last weekend's Class 2A regional semifinal, Aberdeen's much-heralded offense needed most of the first half to finally score a touchdown. The Eagles had no such problems last night.

Host and ninth-ranked Aberdeen (10-1) scored on all seven of its first-half possessions - and on all but two for the game - and built a 42-point halftime lead en route to a 57-27 victory over Berlin's Stephen Decatur (10-2) in the Class 2A East championship game.

Maryland-bound quarterback Erin Henderson led the Aberdeen attack, throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for another as Aberdeen earned its first regional football championship. The Eagles must wait until the state re-seeds the regional champions to see whom they'll play in next week's state semifinals.

The Eagles used all of their weapons in the victory. Henderson completed seven of 10 passes for 119 yards, and rushed for 40 more. Running back Carl Stokes finished with 113 yards on eight carries, and receiver Ryan McVey had three catches for 50 yards.

"We wanted to get off to a good start because of last week," Henderson said. "They were bringing the house early on us, and we knew the run would work. We just kept coming."

While building the lead, Aberdeen amassed 380 yards in first-half total offense. Aberdeen's defense, meanwhile, held the Seahawks to 119 yards, with 65 coming on Stephen Decatur's only first-half touchdown.

Because of the lopsided score, the game was played with a running clock for most of the second half.

"We had five good films on them, and we knew what their tendencies were," said Eagles coach Joe Harbert. "We kept moving the ball early, and I told the kids at halftime that that was the best first half of high school football I'd ever seen."

The Eagles got on the board on the fifth play from scrimmage, with all the offense on their first drive coming on the ground. On the third play from the Aberdeen 41, Stokes took a handoff and burst through a hole in the middle for a 54-yard run to the Stephen Decatur 5. Two plays later, Stokes scored on a 4-yard run to give the Eagles the lead.

"That took a lot of pressure off of us," Harbert said. "We were ready, and I knew that if they didn't make any adjustments, it could get ugly."

Unfortunately for the Seahawks, it did. The Eagles scored touchdowns on their next six possessions to put the game out of reach.

"It feels great to be here, like all of our hard work has paid off," Henderson said. "Everything's clicking for us right now. We just need to keep it going."

Stephen Decatur 7 0 14 6 - 27

Aberdeen 21 28 0 8 - 57

A-Stokes 4 run (Lewis pass from Martin) A-Brown 35 pass from Henderson (Martin kick) SD-Tate 65 run (Perlozzo kick) A-Henderson 1 run (kick failed) A-Brown 38 pass from Henderson (Martin kick) A-Stokes 43 run (Martin kick) A-McVey 12 pass from Henderson (Martin kick) A-Galloway 18 pass from Henderson (Martin kick) SD-Tate 37 run (Perlozzo kick) SD-Tate 60 run (Perlozzo kick) A-Lewis 3 run (Lewis pass from Martin) SD-Doughty 50 run (run failed)

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