Johnson's 4 first-half TDs carry Broadneck over Woodlawn, 41-14

Wet field conditions limit speed of No. 3 Warriors

Class 4A state football

High Schools

November 29, 2003|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Brandon Johnson broke free for four touchdowns in the second period as host Broadneck scored all of its points in the first half on the way to a 41-14 romp over Woodlawn in the Class 4A state football semifinals last night.

No. 2 Broadneck capitalized on favorable field position to put the No. 3 Warriors away early in a game played in driving rain and wind that at times topped 30 mph.

The 13-0 Bruins set an Anne Arundel County record for wins in a season and will play in the school's first state championship game at 7 p.m. Friday at the Ravens' M&T Bank Stadium.

The winner of today's Damascus (10-2) at Eleanor Roosevelt (12-0) game will be Broadneck's opponent.

"The field was worse than I've seen it, and it was a lot of slipping, but my line was able to open the holes, " said Johnson, who has scored 19 touchdowns in a busy sophomore season.

Johnson carried 22 times for 127 yards, including 101 on 10 tries in the first half.

"We ran to the middle and cut back on that play," Johnson said of the running play that resulted in all four of his scores. "I was in Ravens Stadium one other time, last Sunday to watch a game."

Broadneck coach Jeff Herrick, who fought off pneumonia during the week, only missing part of a practice, said, "We're glad to be there [in the finals], but we're going there to win.

"I'm really enjoying this team, but the stress of being a head coach hasn't allowed me to really enjoy it. This team has such great chemistry."

Woodlawn (11-2) was making its ninth appearance in the state semifinals and was bidding for its second berth in the state title game, the other in 1977.

The visiting Warriors were given the option of playing the game today because of the wet conditions and a bank of lights that went out about an hour before the game started. The light standard was at the far end of the field.

"They gave us the option to play tomorrow, but everybody wanted to get it in today," said Woodlawn coach Leon Hart whose speedy team obviously was hampered by the conditions.

"The field conditions shut down all of our speed and our passing game. We couldn't get anything going."

Did he have any second thoughts about playing yesterday?

"Yeah, kinda, but you know, woulda, coulda, shoulda we didn't," Hart said. "The conditions killed us, but they're a good football team. We knew coming in here that we couldn't make any mistakes or they would capitalize."

That the Bruins did.

First, Eshawn Jones, one of the Bruins' seven three-year players, returned a punt 42 yards for a touchdown with the Warriors frozen on the field. The ball just stopped in the mud and Jones was off for six.

"They didn't know I was going to pick it up and run, but I saw it all the way," Jones said.

After Woodlawn tied it 6-6 (both missed conversions) on an 11-yard run by Jason Goode, Broadneck's Ryan Eslin raced back an interception 27 yards and Chris Desautels converted his first of five extra point kicks to make it 13-6.

Starting deep in Woodlawn territory on the next four possessions, the Bruins scored four unanswered touchdowns by Johnson on runs of 18, 21, 20 and 30 yards.

Jones' 41-yard punt return set up one of the scores, as did a fumble recovery by Brandon Abney.

Woodlawn 6 0 0 8 - 14

Broadneck 6 35 0 0 - 41

B-E. Jones 42 yard punt return (kick failed) W-Goode 11 run (kick failed) B-Eslin 27 int. return (Desautels kick) B-Johnson 18 run (Desautels kick) B-Johnson 21 run (Desautels kick) B-Johnson 20 run (Desautels kick) B-Johnson 30 run (Desautels kick) W-Lew. Leslie 74 pass from Ross (Lew. Leslie pass from Ross)

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