Meade had four turnovers and made several mistakes Friday night against visiting Broadneck. Despite those problems, the Mustangs still came up with enough big plays to pull out a victory.
Quarterback DJ Pate threw two touchdown passes, including one that gave the Mustangs the lead for good early in the fourth quarter, and Gio Ogo added a late field goal that helped No. 4 Meade defeat No. 6 Broadneck, 26-20, in an Anne Arundel County game.
The victory gives Meade (8-1) a better shot at hosting a regional playoff game this season. Broadneck (7-2) also is battling the Mustangs in the Class 4A East Region with one game remaining.
Meade fumbled two first-quarter kickoffs and turned the ball over three times in the opening period alone. Still, the Mustangs' defense slowed the Bruins, kept the game close and let Meade rally in the second half.
"This was probably the sloppiest game we've played this year," Meade coach Rich Holzer said. "But we overcame it. It's a huge win."
Meade picked off Broadneck quarterback Canaan Gebele five times, disrupting the Bruins on offense. The other turnover came when Gebele fumbled after being sacked, and the Mustangs ran it back for a touchdown. Six turnovers proved too much for Broadneck to overcome.
"We didn’t play our best," Broadneck coach Rob Harris said. "Give Meade all the credit. They made more plays than we did."
Meade also had to overcome the loss of starting running back Kyle Evans, who ran for 62 yards, but touched the ball just once in the second half due to a sprained ankle that's been bothering him.
Travis Chidebe filled in and ran for 100 yards – 81 in the second half as Meade rallied.
“I just go with the flow,” Chidebe said. “I knew I was going to have to step up.”
The Mustangs actually made all four turnovers in the first half but still held a 9-7 lead at the break. Linebacker Jamarkeus Hammond tackled Broadneck running back Thor Ferriera for a first-period safety, and Pate threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to David Richards with 48 seconds left in the half.
Daniel Butler made it 16-7 when he picked up Gebele’s fumble after an early third-quarter sack and raced 42 yards for a touchdown. The Bruins quickly bounced back with touchdown runs from Gebele (49 yards) and Doakota Siok (52 yards) for a 20-16 lead with 5:38 left in the period.
Pate then led a 10-play, 64-yard drive that ended with his 6-yard scoring pass to Tyree Turner. Ogo’s kick gave the Mustangs a 23-20 lead with 9:52 left.
Kavon Witherspoon intercepted Gebele on the following Broadneck drive – his second pick of the night -- which helped set up a 33-yard Gio field goal for a 26-20 lead with 7:07 left. Robert Hogan later added one more interception to help seal the win. The big plays simply added up.
"Coming in, we knew this was going to be a big game," Pate said. “We were able to stay calm."