Severna Park outlasts North County in opener

Tons of points were scored in games involving county teams on the first night of high school football on Friday.

The game between Severna Park and North County might not have been the highest scoring, but it was the best.

After all the offense between the teams, a blocked extra point sealed Severna Park’s 49-48 victory over North County on Friday night in the season-opener for both teams.

Garrett Edwards hooked up with Josh Coffman for a 91-yard touchdown that gave the Falcons a 49-42 lead with 2 minutes, 4 seconds left. After the Knights rallied again to pull within a point, the Falcons blocked the extra-point attempt and held on for the wild win.

“It was a track meet, but we knew it would be,” said Coffman, who had four catches for 126 yards, scored a pair of touchdowns and returned a punt for a score. “This win is huge for us going into Chesapeake next week.”

Edwards threw for 231 yards, threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores for the Falcons, who trailed for most of the first half.

“I’m proud of our kids. They went down early, but battled back,” Severna Park coach Will Bell said. “We’ve been talking about finishing, and they battled back and continued fighting all the way through the fourth quarter.”

Severna Park appeared to be in control after it scored 28 straight points to turn an early 13-point deficit into a 15-point lead four minutes into the second half. The Knights cut into the lead, but the Falcons struck quick and built their biggest lead at 42-26 with 10 minutes left in the game.

North County scored on its next two drives and converted the 2-point conversions each time to tie the game sandwiched around a fourth-down stop.

Severna Park took over with 2:33 left in the game. After a no gain on first down, Edwards, making his first varsity start, found Coffman streaking down the sideline and hit him in stride and Coffman did the rest and put the Falcons back up by a touchdown.

“It was the best experience I’ve ever had,” said Edwards, who threw for 231 yards and also scored on a pair of short runs. “I’ve won state championships in lacrosse, but it did not match up to this. We clicked in the second half, our line was blowing them off the ball, I had plenty of time to throw and we had plenty of time to run.”

After the teams traded punts on their initial possessions, the Falcons turned the ball over on downs at midfield when Maurice Washington stopped Edwards short of a first down on fourth down. The Knights needed just three plays to get on the board and took a 6-0 lead on Chris Leslie’s 3-yard run. Deontez Parker hit William Roberts for a 53-yard gain to set up the score.

The Knights increased their lead to 13-0 when Parker and Jamare White hooked up for a 51-yard score in the final seconds of the first quarter.

Joe Jennings answered with his first touchdown of the night, a 2-yard run, to get the Falcons on the board at the 10:31 mark of the half.

North County answered with an 8-play, 65 yard drive that ended with another touchdown pass from Parker to White for a 10-yard touchdown and a 20-7 North County lead. The score was set up by a 47-yard run from Leslie on the first play of the drive.

Things looked bleak for the Falcons midway through the second, but they took advantage of a pair of North County special teams mistakes to take a one-point lead at the half.

With the Knights lining up to punt deep in their own territory, a mishandled snap led to an incomplete pass and the Falcons took over at the North County 18. After an offside penalty on fourth down gave the Falcons a first down, Chase Cope scored on an 11-yard run two plays later to cut the North County lead to 20-14.

North County was forced to punt on its next possession, but the ball deflected off a North County lineman and out of bounds and set the Falcons up at the North County 35. Edwards hit Cope for 33 yards to the 2, then Jennings rumbled in for the touchdown that gave the Falcons their first lead of the game.

The Falcons added to their lead two minutes into the second half when Coffman returned a punt 45 yards for a touchdown. After forcing a North County punt thanks to sacks on back-to-back plays by Connor Becker, Coffman was in the end zone again when he hauled in a 25-yard touchdown pass from Edwards on the Falcons first play to push the lead to 35-20.

North County ended a 19 minute, 39 second scoring drought when Leslie scored on an 11-yard run on fourth down 23 seconds into the fourth. The extra point attempt went off the right upright, so the Falcons maintained a two-score lead, 35-26.

The Falcons went up by 16 when Drew Betch's 39-yard run set up Edwards' 1-yard touchdown run that made it 42-26 with 10 minutes left.

The Knights scored 16 points to tie the game, but Edwards and Coffman hooked up for the long score to put the Falcons ahead.

North County scored 28 points in the fourth quarter, including Parker’s 74-yard scoring strike to White and a 12-yard touchdown pass to William Roberts. Parker also scored on the 10-yard run that pulled the Knights to within one.

Leslie finished with 181 yards rushing, while Parker threw for 217 for the Knights.

One of the most important stats of the night for the Falcons belonged to kicker Travis Victorio, who went 7 for 7 on extra points.

“This win is real important. We haven’t started out 1-0 since I’ve been here,” Bell said. “Getting in the win column right away was a big point of emphasis. We’re closing the book on this one and getting ready for Chesapeake.”

Severna Park (1-0) 0 21 14 14 --49

North County (0-1) 13 7 0 28 --48

First Quarter

NC — Leslie 3 run (kick failed)

NC — White 51 pass from Parker (Lewis kick)

Second Quarter

SP — Edwards 2 run (Victorio kick)

NC — White 10 pass from Parker (Lewis kick)

SP — Cope 7 run (Victorio kick)

SP — Jo. Jennings 2 run (Victorio kick)

Third Quarter

SP — Coffman 45 punt return (Victorio kick)

SP — Coffman 25 pass from Edwards (Victorio kick)

Fourth Quarter

NC — Leslie 11 run (kick failed)

SP — Edwards 1 run (Victorio kick)

NC — White 74 pass from Parker (Parker run)

NC — Roberts 12 pass from Parker (White pass from Parker)

SP — Coffman 91 pass from Edwards (Victorio kick)

NC — Parker 10 run (kick blocked)

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