When Annapolis Area Christian School's football program moved from the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference to the B Conference this fall, the Eagles knew the competition would be a step up.
At the Patriot Classic on Saturday, the competition was several steps up.
The Eagles faced Red Lion Christian Academy, from Bear, Del., and its freshman quarterback David Sills, who committed to the University of Southern California when he was a seventh grader and started for the Lions as an eighth-grader.
Sills threw for four touchdowns as the Lions (2-0) scored the first 27 points and rolled past the Eagles, 41-6, at Navy-Marine CorpsMemorial Stadium.
The loss ended an 18-game Annapolis Area winning streak, which has been the area's longest active streak.
"It was pretty emotional in there," Eagles center Kyle Davis said of the postgame locker room scene. "We felt like we could have won that game if we were there."
The Lions, who had a sizable advantage up front, scored their first two touchdowns within 23 seconds in the first quarter, as Wendell Smallwood ran for a two-yard score and, after one of five Eagles turnovers, Sills hit Freddie Canteen with a 30-yard touchdown strike.
With 20 seconds left in the quarter, Smallwood scored on a five-yard run. Sills' two-yard touchdown pass to Daikiel Shorts put the Lions up 27-0 five minutes into the second quarter. He threw for two more touchdowns in the quarter.
Neither team scored in the second half, which was played with a running clock because of the Lions' 35-point lead.
The Eagles (1-1) had a few plays for the highlight reel, including Taylor Leabhart's 49-yard run that set up their only touchdown. Leabhart's three-yard touchdown pass to Perez Mackell brought the Eagles within 27-6 with 7:59 left in the first half.
Later, Josh McPhearson had a terrific defensive play, making an interception after Sills' pass was tipped by Eagles teammate Jathan Mahaffey. But the Eagles could not convert the turnover.
Eagles coach Ken Lucas tried to shake things up from the start with a trick play on their first drive, but their fake punt failed. Red Lion's offense was no surprise to him, so he wanted to give his team a chance to score early.
"I thought if we could get on the board [early] it would have boosted our spirits a little bit, given us a little more confidence and then you never know," Lucas said.
Lucas said his team, which won the C Conference last season, is looking forward to its B Conference opener against John Carroll on Friday, while the Lions play at Calvert Hall Friday night.
"We just have to learn," Lucas said. "Practice isn't going to be any different. We didn't go out there and just blow it. That was a good team. We can't let that hold us up. We have the MIAA B Conference to worry about. If we can take something away from this game, we're going to be fine. We're not going to see another team like that this year."
Red Lion (Del.) 41, AACS 6
RL 21 20 00 00 -- 41
AA 0 6 00 00 -- 6
RL—Smallwood 2 run, Decloux kick
RL—Canteen 30 pass from Sills, Decloux kick
RL—Smallwood 5 run, Decloux kick
RL—Shorts 2 pass from Sills, Decloux kick
AA—Mackell 3 pass from Leabholt, kick failed
RL—Creamer 1 pass from Sills, Decloux kick
RL—Wilson 15 pass from Sills DeclouxCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun