Gray carries McDonough to 21-14 win over Middletown for 2A state crown

December 04, 2010|By Sam Smith, Special to The Baltimore Sun

Senior Devonte Gray staked McDonough of Charles County to a lead in the Class 2A state final Saturday night, and then with the game on the line, he preserved it.

Gray, who caught three touchdown passes to give the Rams a 21-point lead over Middletown, sacked Michael Pritts on a fourth-and-11 at the Middletown 42 with 23 seconds left, and McDonough prevailed, 21-14, at M&T Bank Stadium.

"I just realized once I got him the game was over," Gray said. "I knew in my head I was going to get him. I was going my hardest to get him."

Gray — who caught touchdown passes of 43, 25 and 15 yards — finished with five receptions for 109 yards for McDonough (13-1), which won its first state championship.

After McDonough built a 21-0 lead over the Frederick County school in the third quarter, the Knights (12-2) gained life when they recovered a fumble on the Rams' 19. On the next play, halfback Sam Michaels took a sweep to the end zone to give the Middletown their first score.

On the next McDonough drive, halfback Justin Brooks fumbled, and the ball was recovered by the Knights at the Rams' 32. Pritts then threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Chris Pirrone to cut Middletown;s deficit to 21-14.

McDonough answered by driving into the Middletown red zone, but the Knights made a big stop on fourth-and-2, as Brooks was brought down in the backfield by linebacker Ian Tolino.

The Knights got the ball back with 2:37 remaining, but Gray dashed their hopes with his game-clinching sack.

"We have been in some stinky situations," Rams head coach Luke Ethington said. "We have had to battle ourselves out of some grinds like that. It's the idea of us being able to battle through and not getting too high or too low in situations, and they just held true."

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