Perry Hall running back Eric Latham, left, tries to break a tackle… (Steve Ruark, Patuxent Homestead )
Catonsville running back Joseth Hylton is only 5 feet 7, 160 pounds, but he came up big when he scored on a 2-yard run with 27 seconds left in regulation to give No. 7 Catonsville a thrilling 28-21 victory over host Perry Hall.
"This team is like my family so I'm going to do whatever it takes to get the win," said Hylton, who ran behind right tackle Mason Klompus and right guard Zack Delker. "I'm kind of small, so I just tried to squeeze in there."
Hylton also had a 26-yard run on the 11-play, 73-yard drive that began with 5:12 remaining. He finished with 12 carries for 116 yards.
The drive started after T.J. Henry sacked Perry Hall quarterback Chris Ricker and forced a fumble recovered by Darius Williams.
It also erased a penalty-filled first half for the Comets.
One week after Catonsville committed just three penalties in a season-opening 27-7 victory over Boys' Latin, the Comets were flagged 12 times for 100 yards in the first half alone.
The Gators seized the momentum late in the first half and built a 14-13 halftime lead on touchdown runs by John Myers (2 yards) and Eric Latham (20 yards) and a pair of extra points by Myers.
"Myers is a kid that leaves his guts out on the field every night," Perry Hall coach Keith Robinson said.
Latham finished with 165 yards rushing on 17 carries.
Myers, who had the distance, but missed a 41-yard field goal on Perry Hall's first possession, redeemed himself with stellar play at linebacker.
The explosive Comets scored first when DeAndre' Lane broke free on an 80-yard touchdown run on the Comets' first play from scrimmage on their second possession.
Garrett Wack's extra point pushed the lead to 7-0 with 7:37 left in the first quarter.
On the Gators' next drive, they went 53 yards and Myers scored on a 5-yard run.
The Comets answered with a 22-play, 80 yard drive that lasted 15:42 and ended with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Justin Sprankle to Teddy Crayton, but Perry Hall responded with a four-play, 39-yard drive, capped with a 20-yard touchdown run by Latham.
The Gators scored on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Iweh to Zach Chmielewski to take a 21-13 lead with 8:35 left in the third quarter.
But, Catonsville tied the game after a 4th-and-1 stop by Marvin Lambert on the Gators' 25 to set up another touchdown from Sprankle to Crayton.
Lane (25 carries, 173 yards) ran for the two-point conversion with 1:04 left in the third quarter and set up the dramatic final quarter.
"It was a great Friday night game, a great atmosphere but these are tough ones to swallow," Robinson said.
C- 7 6 8 7 -- 28
PH- 7 7 7 0 -- 21
C-Lane 80 run (Wack kick)
PH-Myers 5 run (Myers kick)
C-Crayton 7 pass from Sprankle (kick failed)
PH-Latham 20 run (Myers kick)
PH-Chmielewski 5 pass from Iweh (Myers kick)
C-Crayton 25 pass from Sprankle (Lane run)
C-Hylton 2 run (Wack kick)