Early returns favor Knights

Johnson runs back 2 kickoffs for scores to spark Parkville

Parkville 30 Franklin 20


October 29, 2006|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Reporter

Parkville coach John Marquette winced when reminded of that Sept. 29 night when his then-12th-ranked Knights suffered a 10-point shutout loss at Kenwood before a crowd of about 1,000.

"We've been lacking at times this year, particularly against Kenwood when we let some things get to us," Marquette said. "We needed to play hard for 48 minutes and grow up as a team."

The visiting Knights' maturity was on display in yesterday's 30-20 Baltimore County 4A-3A League victory at Franklin as Kwame Johnson returned kickoffs 62 and 91 yards for touchdowns, Ian Sadon also scored twice, and the defense came through in a game carrying playoff implications for both teams.

Nicholas Von Canon recovered a fumble, Benson Uche had an interception, Devin Dates a sack, and Anthony Hammond an end-zone pass breakup. The Knights did yield 140 rushing yards to All-County running back Scott Noble, but they kept him scoreless for the first time this season. Noble has 1,140 yards and 19 touchdowns on the year.

The Knights (6-2, 5-2) overcame an Indians squad that had averaged 40 points, having been held to a season low in a 14-13 loss at Towson on Oct. 14. With two games left on its schedule, Parkville remains in contention for its third straight playoff berth in the Class 4A North Region.

Franklin's Josh Gibson (227 passing yards) threw touchdowns of 11, 15 and 25 yards, respectively, to Jeromie Miller (four receptions, 59 yards), Christopher McIntosh (two, 69) and Jamal Jones. But Franklin, which also got a good game from Rashad Blackwell (five receptions, 68 yards), got no closer than 16-13, at 11:19 of the second quarter.

"Our playoff hopes were in jeopardy, so we played the game of our lives," said Parkville's Daja Stokes, who had an interception, a recovery of a punt that was blocked by Montez Mayo, and a couple of two-point conversion runs.

"I told our defense to contain everything. We're a lot more focused now than earlier this season."

Although it still is in solid position to qualify in the 3A North, Franklin has yielded first place in the league to No. 11 Perry Hall (6-1, 5-1), which could win its third straight conference title with three more wins.

Parkville excelled without All-County running back Russell Winborn (657 rushing yards, 14 total touchdowns), who mostly stood on the sidelines, arms folded across his chest, nursing a quad muscle injury.

Sadon was among five different ball carriers who combined for 206 yards, including Kenard Wallington (63 yards) and Tai-Jee Glenn-Akles (62 yards), the latter of whom also scored on a two-point conversion run.

"Russell is a huge part of our team, but we had to prove we could run without him," said Sadon, whose scores from 6 and 7 yards, respectively, gave Parkville leads of 16-0, in the first quarter, and 30-13 midway through the third.

"This was critical for us. We knew our backs were against the wall."

Stokes received the opening kickoff and returned it 20 yards to his own 38, then pitched to Johnson, who raced the remaining 62 yards for an 8-0 lead.

"Daja set up that play in the beginning, and it was really big," said Johnson, whose second-quarter, 91-yard kickoff return made it 22-13. "We knew they would work because they set up wide, and I was able to take it right up the middle, untouched, both times." lem.satterfield@baltsun.com

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