Less than a week after Halloween costumes were put away for another year, Catonsville High couldn't disguise its ability to score quickly and in bunches.
The Comets broke open a halftime deadlock to race past Parkville, 28-16.
Second-seeded Catonsville (10-0) will host a Class 4A North Region semifinal Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. against third-seeded Paint Branch (9-1) after concluding the first unbeaten regular season in school history.
"It's historic and whatever happens Friday it's a great accomplishment," coach Rich Hambor said.
Against Parkville on Nov. 5, Catonsville led, 7-0, in the first quarter after an Aaron Jones touchdown pass to Sean Lipscomb and Eric Medinger's extra point.
Parkville answered with a touchdown toss from Andy Madore to De'quan Dukes and a conversion run by Desmond Tisdale for an 8-7 lead, putting the Comets behind for the first time this season.
The Comets struck back and regained the lead, 14-8, when DeAndre Lane race 65 yards for a score and Medinger added the extra point.
However, the Knights knotted the score on Ryan Davis' 65-yard interception return.
Just as they did often earlier in the season, the Comets seized control in the third quarter when fullback Julian Singletary raced 35 yards for a touchdown and Josh Hylton scored on a 2-yard run for a 28-14 lead.
It's a formula that has worked well for Catonsville this fall — and will be needed to take down Paint Branch as well.
The Comets head into the playoffs with playmakers on both sides of the ball.
Defensive ends Lipscomb and Julian Jones put quarterbacks on instant sack alert, helping a secondary that includes Lane, Deniko Carter, Joe Tebo, Josh Frazier and Jerome Williams score nine defensive touchdowns.
Moreover, Williams and Lane were the two featured running backs to start the season before Williams broke his collarbone in the third game and didn't return until last week.
Before he was injured, Williams ran for 213 yards (41 carries) and three touchdowns.
Lane picked up the slack, totaling 1,193 yards (9.8 per carry) and 14 rushing touchdowns.
Senior wideout Carter made the most of his 16 catches on offense, turning eight into touchdowns and averaging 28.6 per catch (457 yards). He also added a punt return and interception return for touchdowns.
Julian Jones (24.6 yards per catch) contributed five touchdown receptions and Lipscomb added a pair.
Running back Josh Hylton added seven TDs and quarterback Aaron Jones contributed three rushing touchdowns and 15 more through the air.
The Comets quick-strike ability helped them build big leads and a whopping 382-111 points advantage this season, yet it did have its drawbacks.
"We didn't get a chance to work on a lot of our packages or use all our plays," Hambor said.
Which means, what Paint Branch sees on film won't automatically translate into what it will witness on the turf Friday night.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun