Chestnut, Spalding in midseason form at Annapolis

Julius Chestnut rushed for 942 yards and 21 touchdowns as a junior. If the first half of the first game of his senior season is any indication, those numbers will seem minuscule come November.

Archbishop Spalding’s lead running back had 95 yards and four touchdowns in the first two quarters and the Cavaliers won their season opener over the Panthers, 56-14.

Jayden Umbarger ably stepped into Evan Fochtman’s shoes as starting quarterback, throwing for one touchdown and rushing for 77 yards and another score for the Cavaliers (1-0). He combined with freshman Austin Tutas, who played the bulk of the second half. Tutas threw for 124 yards and a touchdown.

“Everyone was saying I had big shoes coming in and I knew that, but it was really just about getting the offense going and going fast,” Umbarger said. “We want to speed the game up and make the other team nervous.”

Annapolis opened the game with possession of the ball, but quickly punted, which was a common theme in the first half. Umbarger hit Jamari Jones from 32 yards five plays later to open the scoring, and Archbishop Spalding never looked back. The Panthers punted five times in the first half and six times in the game.

“Our kids were in position to make plays, but things happen much faster on Friday nights,” Annapolis coach Nick Good-Malloy said. “We did not adjust to the speeds, but we will moving forward.”

Chestnut scored from two yards out in the first quarter and added touchdown runs of one, eight and 21 yards in the second quarter to finish his evening.

“I wanted to get Julius and Jayden going a little bit. They did great and the O-line played well,” Archbishop Spalding coach Kyle Schmitt said. “We felt like, if the game was a track meet, it would be in our favor.”

Schmitt killed any talk of a quarterback battle, saying Tutas earned reps, but Umbarger is the starter.

“We only had one scrimmage with one canceled last week, and Austin earned some reps,” Schmitt said. “Jayden is our starter, but it was important to get Austin some game reps, since he is only one play away. This was a good start for us.”

Annapolis (0-1) graduated a ton as well, especially in the skill positions. The strength and experience is in the trenches, as both lines return multiple starters, but the Panthers could not give quarterback Ahmon Middleton enough time, and the junior was often on the run, whether by design or necessity. He went 10-for-13 for 70 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 42 yards. Delvin Johnson recorded the Panthers’ first score, returning a fumble 52 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Annapolis won 11 games and its first region crown in 17 years last fall, and starting with the talented Cavaliers gives the team a base to learn from and move forward.

“The way I am wired, I wish we could play them every week,” Good-Malloy said. “We want to play the best competition we can. Are we disappointed we lost? Of course, but we are competitors and we are going to get better.”

Good-Malloy was happy with Middleton’s play.

“He kept his poise throughout, and never got frustrated. We are going to keep moving forward having each other’s back.”

Ethan Paige and Matt Mancuso recovered fumbles in the first half for Archbishop Spalding. Both turnovers led to scores. Omar’od White led Annapolis with 47 yards receiving on five catches. T-Nae’Jah Watts had a touchdown catch for Annapolis. Roman March added a late, 60-yard touchdown run for Archbishop Spalding.

The Panthers come right back against Old Mill, while the Cavaliers host Bishop Moore out of Orlando, Florida.

“I love playing in the county and coming down here, as it puts the kids in different environments, and it will be the same next week,” Schmitt said. “Bishop Moore reminds me of our team, with a couple of Division I players and a bunch of guys who play hard. It will be fun.”


Spalding (1-0) 21 21 7 7—56

Annapolis (0-1) 6 0 0 8—14

First Quarter

AS – Jones 32 pass from Umbarger (Price kick)

AS – Chestnut 2 run (Price kick)

AN – Johnson 52 fumble return (run failed)

AS –Umbarger 52 run

Second Quarter

AS – Chestnut 21 run (Price kick)

AS – Chestnut 1 run (Price kick)

AS – Chestnut 8 run (Price kick)

Third Quarter

AS – Easton 48 pass from Tutas (Prick kick)

Fourth Quarter

AN – Watts 15 pass from Middleton (White run)

AS – March 60 run (Price kick)

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