In the first half of Thursday night's game against visiting Broadneck, third-ranked Arundel's high-flying offense struggled with penalties and an interception inside the red zone that killed a 10-play drive.
The Wildcats' defense, however, was dominant all night, finishing with five takeaways, and set the tone for a 28-6 victory. The Wildcats improved to 3-0 in Anne Arundel County and appear to have all the pieces to make a deep playoff run.
"We need to stop the penalties," Arundel coach Chuck Markiewicz said. "We average almost 11 penalties per game, and we're still 3-0. So we need to cut those penalties out. We're a little banged-up because Broadneck is a physical team. But we're going to be OK. We thought if we were going to have a chance after the first five weeks, we would have to be a least 4-1."
Arundel quarterback Billy Cosh completed 26 of 39 passes for 233 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Wildcats running back Joseph Blackwell had 146 yards on 25 carries with a touchdown.
Bobby Partilla recovered two fumbles and had 11 tackles for Arundel.
The Wildcats scored early, capitalizing on a Broadneck fumble on the game's opening drive. Arundel got the ball on the Bruins' 30-yard line and put together a seven-play scoring drive that ended with 12-yard touchdown pass from Cosh to Jeffery Taylor.
"We came out, played hard defense and had a quick turnover," Partilla said. "That turned the game around. ... We focus on everything in practice - defense, special teams and offense - to make sure everyone is giving 100 percent. Penalties kind of hurt us, but we can get through that."
Arundel increased its lead to 14-0 on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Cosh to Ronnie Harris. The Wildcats appeared to be on their way to a third touchdown midway through the second quarter, but Cosh was intercepted by Domenick Johnson on the 1.
The Wildcats' defense held Broadneck (2-1) to 50 total yards (35 rushing, 15 passing) in the first half. Arundel had 283 total yards in the opening half.
After the Wildcats forced a fumble early in the second half, Blackwell finished a 10-play drive with a 13-yard touchdown run with 6:38 left in the third quarter.
An interception by Raymond Harmon inside the Bruins' 20-yard line set up an 18-yard touchdown pass from Cosh to Harris. The Bruins finally got on the board with 3:44 remaining in the game on a 18-play, 99-yard drive. Quarterback James Mullis scored on a 1-yard run.
B 0 0 0 6 - 6
A 14 0 14 0 - 28
A-Cosh 12 pass to Taylor (Young kick)
A-Cosh 28 pass to Harris (Young kick)
A-Blackwell 13 run (Young kick)
A-Cosh 18 pass to Harris (Young kick)
B-Mullis 1 run (kick failed)