If the early part of its schedule is any indication, No. 8 McDonogh is headed for an outstanding football season in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.
The Eagles (4-0) produced their third straight decisive victory, routing Penn Charter, 35-0, Friday afternoon in Owings Mills .
“We started playing really good football the last four games of last season,” McDonogh coach Dom Damico said. “So the last eight games we have played well. Our young kids are better and stepping up. We have a pretty good team.”
Not even a hamstring injury to top senior running back Syl Brown slowed down the Eagles
Brown left the game late in the first quarter after rushing for 82 yards on eight carries.
Senior back Alex Hurdle kept the ground game going strong, rushing for five touchdowns, four of which were in the first half.
He scored on runs of 1, 2, 8, 11 and 41 yards to finish with 123 yards on just 11 carries.
“He a great, hard-nosed, straight-ahead runner,” Damico said. “And surprisingly very fast. He is probably one of the fastest kids in the MIAA.”
McDonogh’s big and physical line of Joe Fiorino, Jared Cohen, Chase Kirol, Ryan Ford and Gavin Clarke wore down Penn Charter’s defensive line, paving the way for 308 yards on the ground.
“We have the most talent McDonogh has ever had on the offensive line,” Hurdle said. “The line was pushing them around all over the field. They made it easy for us.”
McDonogh pinned Penn Charter (1-1) deep in its own territory on the first series of the game while forcing a three-and-out.
The Eagles then over at Quakers’ 45 and drove for a touchdown in six plays, finishing on Hurdle's 1-yard run. Brown ran five times for 32 yards on the drive.
Brown left with 1:16 left after a 40-yard run, which helped set up McDonogh’s second touchdown.
Hurdle scored five seconds into in the second quarter on an 11-yard burst to put the Eagles ahead, 13-0.
McDonogh took over at the Penn Charter 18 about three minutes later after a bad snap on a punt. Two plays later, Hurdle scored on an 8-yard run.
The Eagles boosted their lead to 27-0 late in the second quarter on a 2-yard Hurdle run.
Led by linebackers Connor Young and Wyatt Cook and lineman Mike Smith, McDonogh's defense limited Penn Charter to a mere 22 yards of offense in the first half.
The Eagles scored on its first possession of the second half as Hurdle burst up the middle for 59 yards, forcing a running clock the rest of the way.
M 7 21 7 0 -- 35
PC 0 0 0 0 -- 0
M—Hurdle 1 run (Supovitz kick)
M— Hurdle 11 run (Supovitz kick)
M —Hurdle 8 run (Supovitz kick)
M—Hurdle 2 run (Supovitz kick)
M—Hurdle 59 run (Supovitz kick)