The coaches and players for No. 12 Broadneck and Meade didn't bother with updates from another key game to get a better idea if they would advance to postseason play following their Anne Arundel matchup Friday night.
Instead, they focused on the most direct route: win and earn a playoff berth.
Visiting Meade held the ball more than twice as long as Broadneck, forced six turnovers and came away with a methodical 14-0 upset victory to clinch a playoff spot for the first time since 2001. No. 15 South River also upset No. 6 Old Mill, 36-35, to secure the final playoff berth in Class 4A East and knock out the Bruins in the process.
"Our defense is outstanding," Meade coach Rich Holzer said. "I think we're the number one defense in Anne Arundel County right now with scoring. They gave us great field position all night and created multiple turnovers. There is not much you can say about them. They're great."
Sophomore Canaan Gebele started at quarterback for Broadneck after senior Grant Hudson injured his shoulder last week against Southern. The Mustangs pressured Gebele, finishing with five sacks and allowing just one first down in the first half and four for the game.
The Mustangs tried to keep Broadneck off-balance with their dual quarterbacks, Tyree Turner, a traditional passer, and Marcus Smith, who can make big plays scrambling out of the pocket. However, it was Meade's special teams that provided a 7-0 lead when Chris Harris recovered the ball in the end zone on a botched punt by the Bruins from their own 2-yard line midway through the first quarter. The score would remain that way until halftime.
"We had to put our hearts into it," Harris said. "This program has been down for awhile. We had to make history tonight. (Broadneck) is a good team and it was a good game."
Meade (8-2) opened the second half with an onside kick and recovered the ball on Broadneck's 37-yard line. The Mustangs took advantage as Smith found Daivon Nixon on a slant for a 25-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead. On the next drive, Hunter Cox intercepted Gebele and ran 35 yards into the end zone, but the touchdown was called back for holding.
Broadneck (7-3) came up with a big play of its own when Michael Hildebrand had an interception and ran 45 yards to Meade's 22-yard line. The Mustangs ended that drive on an interception by Jason Thomas.
Another interception by Harris gave Meade the ball on Broadneck's 14-yard line with 8:50 left. However, Broadneck's defense responded by forcing a four-and-out. By then, Meade had all of the points it would need.
"It was kind of hard because I'm a running quarterback and it was hard for me to stay in the pocket," Smith said. "Every time I rolled out, they had somebody containing me. But I trust my defense a lot."
M -- 7 0 7 0 -- 14
B -- 0 0 0 0 -- 0
M-Harris fumble recovery (Shanks kick)
M- Smith 25 pass to Nixon (Shanks kick)Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun