Bel Air takes advantage of sloppy Joppatowne

Berry accounts for 5 TDs

5 turnovers foil Mariners

Football

High Schools

October 02, 2004|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Joppatowne knew that stopping Bel Air quarterback Andrew Berry and his offense would be a tough task. But when the Mariners turned the ball over five times last night, it let Berry and the Bobcats run wild.

Berry completed 18 of 24 for 210 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more as No. 8 Bel Air converted No. 9 Joppatowne's mistakes into 20 points that helped it run away in the second half en route to a 45-26 victory in the battle of undefeated Harford County teams.

Four of the five Joppatowne turnovers became Bel Air points. The Bobcats had to drive only 133 yards overall to convert those mistakes, and Berry played a huge role in that.

"Andrew did an amazing job," Bel Air coach Bruce Riley said. "Our guys have all the confidence in the world in him and know he can get it done."

The left-handed quarterback threw touchdown passes of 25, 9 and 8 yards and ran for a pair of 1-yard scores.

"I have a lot of weapons at my disposal," Berry said. "They make my job [easier]."

Joppatowne (4-1, 1-1 in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference) also made Berry's job easier with the turnovers. The Mariners stayed close despite an early fumble that cost them a safety and a subsequent free kick that helped Bel Air (5-0, 2-0) take an early 5-0 lead.

But the Mariners, behind the running of quarterback Anthony Preston and Joe Ivory, battled back to a 20-20 halftime tie. That's when everything began to fall apart.

David Dudley fumbled the second-half kickoff, and Bel Air recovered at the Joppatowne 19. Berry zipped an 8-yard touchdown pass to his brother, Adam, four plays later and Mike Gable (70 yards rushing) ran for the two-point conversion and a 28-20 lead.

Preston then fumbled three plays later, and the Bobcats recovered at the Joppatowne 31. Their drive stalled, and John Jackson kicked a 41-yard field goal - he kicked a 47-yarder in the first half - for a 31-20 lead with 6:06 left in the third quarter.

Dudley atoned for his fumble by taking the ensuing kickoff for a 95-yard touchdown to slice the lead to 31-26. Andrew Berry scored on a 1-yard sneak on the following possession before Preston fumbled at the Bel Air 17.

The Bobcats then drove 83 yards on 13 plays, culminating in another 1-yard Berry sneak.

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