Suitland adjusts, ends No. 3 Meade's season in 4A football semifinal

November 30, 2013|By Rich Scherr, For The Baltimore Sun

FORESTVILLE — The opening moments of Saturday's Class 4A state semifinal couldn't have gone any more according to script for No. 3 Meade, which exploded for a 70-yard touchdown on the game's first offensive play.

By the second half, however, the Mustangs' fast start was trumped by a Suitland highlight reel.

Running back Robert Wigfall rushed for 134 yards and three touchdowns and quarterback Wesley Wolfolk ran for two scores and threw for another as the Rams, ranked No. 5 in the Washington, D.C., area, ended Meade's season with a 46-25 loss.

After taking a one-point lead late into the second quarter, the Mustangs were outscored, 33-11, the rest of the way. Meade coach Rich Holzer, whose team plays the majority of its games on artificial turf, said poor field conditions played a role in the outcome.

"To be honest with you, I think practicing on their field is a huge advantage. This field is horrible. This is worse than our practice field," Holzer said. "Our kids did not respond mentally to the bad field conditions. Not to make excuses for them, but a state semifinal game probably shouldn't be played on a field like this. But you've got to give Suitland credit. They adapted to the situation and overcame it."

Suitland (13-0) advances to the Class 4A final, scheduled for Friday at 7:30 at M&T Bank Stadium. The Rams, shooting for their third state title, will face Northwest, which defeated Paint Branch in the other semifinal.

The Mustangs (10-3) have never advanced past the semifinals, where they also fell a year ago.

Early, it seemed as though they'd have a good shot.

Running back Kyle Evans — who entered the day just 91 yards shy of 2,000 for the season — took the opening handoff, started up the middle and cut outside into daylight, sprinting 70 yards for the score just 11 seconds into the game.

"At that point, I kind of thought we'd be alright, but we just kind of went in cruise control like last week," Holzer said. "It took us a while to get out of the funk, and by that time they had made it a game again."

Evans finished with 225 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns. But 172 of those yards came in the first half, before Suitland made adjustments.

"They game-planned against it, and they started stopping the run," Evans said. "They made us pass."

Suitland took the lead for good on Wigfall's 22-yard run up the middle with 2:16 left in the half, and later, leading 19-17, pulled away with two straight scoring drives, capped by Wigfall's 78-yard run.

"We just came out and executed," Wigfall said. "The O-line did great. The whole game they were hitting on their blocks, and we just made the right runs."

"Tackling was really an issue today, moreso than anything," Holzer said. "And offensively, the issue was that we just were not physical up front. What was supposed to be our strength was not at all today."

Class 4A state semifinals

Meade 7 7 3 8 -- 25

Suitland 0 19 13 14 -- 46

M-Evans 70 run (Ogo kick)

S-Wigfall 19 run (Singleton kick)

S-Burke 3 run (kick failed)

M-Evans 2 run (Ogo kick)

S-Wigfall 22 run (pass failed)

M-Ogo 26 FG

S-Wolfolk 6 run (kick failed)

S-Wigfall 78 run (Wolfolk run)

M-Chidebe 43 pass from Pate (Evans run)

S-Nelson 50 pass from Wolfolk (kick failed)

S-Wolfolk 47 run (Singleton kick)

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