Over the final six games the offense averaged 20 points per game and the defense averaged four takeaways per game. Two of Hammond's losses were by one score or less.
"The team was tough and really battled hard late in some games," Burnett said. "I think that dealing with that type of adversity and continuing to work hard and improve is indicative of players with very strong character."
Howard finished 7-1-1 while scoring 27.8 points per game and allowing only 10.5, with two shut outs.
Sophomore captains QB/LB Neil Caruso (team leader in passing yards and TDs), OL/DE Mac Lee (top lineman, hardest worker on team), FB/TE/LB Eric Martinez (tough tackler, solid athlete, emotional leader) and WR/DB/K/P John Travisano (team leader in receptions and TD receptions) were chosen for their work ethic, attitude and performance on and off the field.
Other players that played a key role in the team's success included sophomore RB/DB Terrell Charles (team leader in rushing yards and TDs), whose athleticism and breakaway speed make him a player to watch.
The team's top freshmen included: RB/DB Najee Savage (second on the team in rushing yards and TDs, athletic and hard runner, improved each and every week), TE/DE Adam Friedman (made some huge catches and was stout on defense all season), WR/FS Isaiah Stokes (led the team in interceptions, was a huge addition to the defense down the stretch) and FB/DL Craig Brauer (tough runner, opened up big holes for running backs all season and was often in opposing backfields making plays from his defensive tackle position).
Sophomore FB/LB Mike Stylc and freshman MLB Shane Kieta sured up the middle of the defense and were both near the top of the team's list of leading tacklers.
Second year coach Jimmy Creighton particularly remembers a 7-0 win over Glenelg, another of the top teams in the league.
Howard scored the only TD of the game on a first quarter fumble recovery in the end zone by freshman DT Saif Bryant. After that the Howard offense controlled the clock and kept the ball away from Glenelg by converting on numerous third and fourth down situations. Isaiah Stokes had an interception to hold Glenelg from scoring a potential touchdown inside the five yard line, and later intercepted another pass, sealing the game.
"Our defense played great ... this was a great win for our JV team and for the Howard football program," said Creighton, who was assisted by Mark Caruso, Jon Pieper and Tyler Wade.
The Howard sophomores finished their time on the JV with a 15-3-1 record over the past two years and have a lot of potential to do good things for the Howard football program.
Mt. Hebron had an admirable season, finishing with a 4-5 record, while only playing two home games.
Freshman Austin Day was a standout at linebacker, finishing the year with 86 tackles, six sacks and three fumble recoveries.
Sophomore WR Chris Anderson made 11 catches for 124 yards, rushed for 122 yards and returned a punt 64 yards for a touchdown.
Sophomore RB Brandon Anthony rushed for 663 yards and seven touchdowns, and also returned a kickoff 83 yards on the opening kickoff against Howard.
Sophomore Urek Bradshaw rushed for 258 yards and four touchdowns, and on defense had one interception and 48 tackles.
Sophomore QB Michael Lettieri had 225 passing yards, 135 rushing yards and one rushing TD. He also started a 46-yard flea flicker pass to Chris Anderson.
Sophomore NG Ryung Lee made 65 tackles with nine sacks, blocked a punt and recovered two fumbles.
Sophomore David Niezelski anchored the offensive line.
Sophomore G/DT Rahman Omar made eight sacks, recovered two fumbles and made 58 tackles.