With his 0-3 team trailing visiting Atholton 14-0 at halftime Saturday, Long Reach senior Rob Carter had cause to be dismayed.
But rather than get down, the running back got to work, rushing for two fourth-quarter touchdowns and leading his team to a 15-14 win on homecoming.
"We just had to keep playing. We already knew the talent we had on this team, we just had to keep fighting. I never gave up on my team," said Carter, who gained 80 yards on 16 carries in the second half alone. "This was just an altogether team win. … I could not do anything without this line. We just started fighting, we kept pushing and we kept running the same play."
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Atholton, which was 10-2 last year, fell to 0-4 with the loss.
"We're decimated up front," first-year coach John Swigart said. "We're not healthy, we've got eight significant injuries right now so we're just looking for answers. … But the kids fought hard and in the second half they ran the ball down our throats and we're not very deep in the middle."
The Raiders scored twice in the first half, on a 5-yard run by Jordan Mason, and a 7-yard touchdown pass from Lamarre Whitlock to C.J. Williams five seconds before halftime.
In the second half, Long Reach's Troy Roundtree blocked a punt that set up the Lightning's second touchdown, then quarterback C.J. Smalley hit Brandan Barrington over the middle for the go-ahead 2-point conversion.
Atholton's ensuing drive pushed all the way inside the Long Reach 10-yard line after a 36-yard gain on a fourth-and-10 pass from Whitlock to Mason, but Long Reach's Darryl Montgomery blocked the Atholton go-ahead field-goal attempt with less than three minutes left.
Randallstown 32, Towson 14: Daryl Pratt threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for one to lead the Rams (3-1) past the Generals (1-3).
Severn 1, Boys' Latin 0: Zac Davliakos scored in the 49th minute on an assist from Jon Garske for the visiting Admirals (8-0, 6-0 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference). The Lakers fell to 3-1 and 1-1.
No. 11 Mount de Sales 3, Seton Keough 2: The visiting Sailors (6-0, 3-0 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference) stayed unbeaten behind a two-goal performance by Mandy Ignacio.
No. 2 Severna Park 2, Cape Henlopen (Del.) 2: Coach Ann Andrews gave credit to the Falcons defense anchored by Liz Mata with 18 saves in a stalemate against the host Vikings.
Cape Henlopen took a 1-0 lead on Allie Yeager's first of two goals before Severna Park answered.
Baltimore Sun staff contributed to this article.