Mavs earn repeat trip to title game

class 2a

November 29, 2008|By Patrick Gutierrez | Patrick Gutierrez,patrick.gutierrez@baltsun.com

CENTREVILLE - The final seconds had barely ticked off the scoreboard when Eastern Tech coach Mark Mesaros began focusing on next week's opponent.

By virtue of his team's 28-6 win over host Queen Anne's last night, Mesaros and his No. 4 Mavericks earned their second straight trip to the Class 2A state title game and will face the team that defeated them last season, River Hill.

"We're going to have our work cut out for us," said Mesaros, whose team improved to 13-0. "It's our second bite at the apple, and we're going to try not to waste it."

The Mavericks used a rushing attack that got stronger as the night wore on along with a punishing defense to earn that second chance. They rushed for 201 yards while repeatedly denying Queen Anne's attempts to establish its own running game. On three occasions in the first half, the Lions (12-1) were stopped on third- or fourth-and-short, twice by linebacker Aaron Wilson. The senior had six tackles and two sacks.

The Mavericks were unable to capitalize, however, missing out on two chances to score. The first came when they turned the ball over on downs deep in Lions territory after recovering the opening kickoff. The second came in the second quarter, when Luke Horner fumbled a backward pass at the Lions' 34-yard line after a would-be touchdown was negated by a penalty. The score was 0-0 at the half.

Horner made up for that play early in the second half, taking a handoff and racing 34 yards for a touchdown, and the Mavericks went up 7-0. He said he was glad to get the opportunity to make up for his earlier mistake.

"I was really [upset] at myself," said Horner, who finished with 44 rushing yards. "Coach told me to let everything go and play my game."

Wide receiver Rob Kyle also made up for a previous mistake, catching a 28-yard touchdown pass from Joe Jones to give Eastern Tech a 14-0 lead. Kyle had muffed a punt in the first half. He finished with five receptions for 71 yards. Darian Conners tacked on a pair of touchdowns late in the game.

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