The greatest season in the history of Harford Tech football came to an end Saturday night in Class 2A state semifinal play.
The Cobras (12-1) were beaten 16-9 by visiting Gwynn Park (11-1), who used extremely good field position to produce more than half its points.
“Honestly, we game-planned for everything we saw tonight, they just wanted it more,” Tech senior Kyle Cicone said. “It comes down to heart, we didn’t have it tonight.”
The scoring drives started at the Tech 30 and 39-yard lines, respectively.
The first scoring drive, the first of the night for the Yellow Jackets, was capped by Terrell Lindsey’s one-yard run. The great field position was created when the Yellow Jackets defense sacked Tech quarterback Ryan Hunt twice in the game’s opening possession.
The Cobras, meanwhile, best offense early was from punter Curtis McKisset, who pinned the Yellow Jackets inside their own 10 twice.
It was his second effort that led to the Cobras first points.
McKisset’s punt rolled out and was downed at the Gwynn Park one.
The Cobras defense stuck Yellow Jackets running back Ryan Clemons to three yards on three carries. Forcing the punt, the Yellow Jackets punter Mohamed M’Baye had the ball snapped over his head and out of the end zone for a safety with 10:37 left in the first half.
Gwynn Park added three more points in the final minute of the half. From the Cobras 39, Kibwe Galloway ripped off 23 yards on first down. The Tech defense stiffened, but M’Baye kicked a 24-yard field goal to boost the Yellow Jackets lead to 9-2.
The Yellow Jackets had an 80-yard touchdown run to open the second half, but a holding call negated the score.
Tech responded, putting together its lone scoring drive of the game to pull even.
Laday Cooper caught two passes on the nine-play drive, but it was Noah Long who hauled in the 20-yard scoring pass from Hunt.
Jordan Bright’s PAT tied the game at 9 with 5:29 left in quarter number three.
Gwynn Park’s winning drive covered 73 yards in six plays. Quarterback Kamari Brown had back-to-back 17-yard runs and the latter had a 15-yard late hit penalty added on.
Two plays later Brown passed 11 yards to Kelvon Brooks for the go-ahead score. M’Baye added the kick with 7:12 to play.
Tech had two more possessions, but the first ended in downs and the other with Galloway intercepting the Hunt pass. Galloway returned the ball to the Cobras 14, where a first down allowed the Yellow Jackets to kneel twice to end the game.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these kids and what they did this year,” Cobras coach Tim Palmer said. “I think we changed the whole view of Harford Tech football across the state.”
Reach Randy McRoberts on twitter. @aegissports