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Defense, special teams lead Big Red to victory

By Craig Clary, cclary@patuxent.com

2:11 PM EDT, July 19, 2011

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Defense and special teams set the tone for a great home opening night for the Arbutus Big Red semi-pro Mason-Dixon Football League squad as they dispatched the D.C Falcons, 28-0, at Catonsville High, July 16.

Charles "Big Daddy" Kirby got the Big Red on board early when the 41-year-old secured a sack for a safety.

Ryan McGowan booted two field goals in the first half as the hosts built an 8-0 lead behind a stifling defense led by linebacker Brendon Twilley.

McGowan finished with four field goals, including a 55-yarder, and two extra points.

The Big Red offense came alive in the second half on a three-yard touchdown run by Calvin Collins and a 15-yard TD scamper by Travis Spencer.

The win improved the defending Mason-Dixon League runners-up to 2-0.

In the season opener on the road, July 10, the Big Red defeated the New Jersey Broncos in a thrilling comeback.

Trailing 12-0, the Big Red scored two touchdowns in the final six minutes to steal a 13-12 victory.

Mario Epps returned an interception 57 yards for a touchdown, but the extra point was blocked.

After a tough defensive stand, the Big Red scored on a 50-yard pass from Rocky Brown to Stewart Long.

McGowan's extra point kick proved to be the game-winning point.

Arbutus, winners of four Mason Dixon Football League titles, most recently in 1999, faces the Maryland Blackhawks in the road July 23, and following a bye week, returns home Aug. 6 (7 p.m.) against the Virginia Hornets.

That game will be played on their traditional home field at Arbutus MIddle School.