Panthers double up Pointers

Boys, girls make championship game in same year

November 18, 2009

In last weekend's regional football semifinal, Pikesville probably faced the most highly motivated team in the entire state tournament bracket: Sparrows Point.

A week earlier, the Pointers had a chance to beat Pikesville on the last play of the regular-season finale, but Panthers linebacker Nolan Hart tipped the ball away from a Sparrows Point player in the end zone to seal a 35-28 Pikesville win.

That brought up Part Two for the Baltimore County rivals: the Class 1A North region opener.

"We knew Sparrows Point was going to come out and be excited, because the week before they lost on the last play of the game, so they knew they could beat us and our kids knew that too," said Panthers coach Jamie Willis. "I told them they're going to come out on top of their game, especially emotionally, and they did. They jumped on us. They threw the ball down two series in a row and went up 14-0."

The Panthers didn't fold.

Shortly after Sparrows Point's second touchdown, quarterback Jeremy Downing wanted to pass on third down and 12, but the Pointers covered his receivers, so he scrambled for a first down that led to Pikesville's first touchdown.

The Panthers reeled off five unanswered touchdowns and went on to win, 42-20, and earn a trip to Thurmont Friday night to meet Catoctin (10-0) for a repeat of last season's regional final won, 50-13, by the Cougars.

- Katherine Dunn

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