After going on the road to Howard County for the first two games of the season and returning undefeated, the Catonsville High football team was welcomed home with a spirited homecoming crowd in Friday’s game against neighborhood rival Western Tech.

The host Comets didn’t disappoint and they rolled to a 35-0 victory.

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Defense was dominant for the Comets as they held the Wolverines to 79 total yards from scrimmage, forced three fumbles and kept constant pressure on Western Tech sophomore quarterback Ahmed Oubaid.

Senior nose guard Jamie Taylor, who weighs 140 pounds, was one of the linemen pressuring Oubaid, along with Dashawn Dixon and Parker Douala.

“We had a lot of blitz combos, so we could get me, Dashawn and Parker a lot of one-on-ones throughout the game,” Taylor said. “We would send more then they had, so that’s why we got to the quarterback so easy.”

In addition to two fumble recoveries, Taylor also had a sack and two tackles for loss.

“He’s slippery,” Catonsville coach Jaren Maybin said. “Coach (John) Youngberg always says trying to block Jamie is like trying to block water. He gets slim and he gets pressure on the quarterback. Jamie does a good job for us and Jamie works hard. He wants to be a good football player.”

He was also in the right place at the right time late in the first quarter when he scored the Comets second touchdown after a blocked punt.

“I think it was a low kick and then it just went into my chest,” said Taylor, who recovered the ball in the end zone to give the Comets a 13-0 lead with 1:33 left in the first quarter.

Catonsville scored its first touchdown on an 11-yard run by sophomore Anthony Fliggins (8 rushes, 31 yards).

Jack Krug’s extra point made it 7-0 with 7:34 left in the first quarter.

Western Tech appeared to seize the momentum after Catonsville took a made 22-yard field goal off the board, when the Comets accepted a penalty after Wolverines were called for offsides inside the five.

On fourth down from the two, quarterback Jacob Diluca was tackled for a 3-yard loss by Western Tech’s Michael Manning after a sweep.

Catonsville’s defense turned the tide when James Azbill and company forced a 1-yard loss and, after an incompletion, Taylor and Evan Rogers stopped Joshua Evans for a 3-yard loss, forcing the Western Tech punt from the one that was blocked.

Catonsville extended its lead to 20-0 on a 9-play 54-yard drive early in the second quarter.

The drive was keyed by an 8-yard pass on a slant from Diluca to Douala on third-and-seven.

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Damon Chase (19 carries, 79 yards) added a 22-yard run behind 310-pound right tackle Mateen Kareem, who was joined on the line by left tackle Rogers, guards Adrian Cummings and Steven Johnson Jr. and center Camerian Duncan.

Diluca ended the drive with a perfect 13-yard strike to Marciss Lawson.

“We do work on that one a lot,” Diluca said. “That’s a go-to play for us, depending obviously on the defense, but that is a very good go-to play for us.”

Diluca was 5-for-15 for 47 yards, with two interceptions, and he connected on some key slants.

“For the past two weeks, he has made huge strides on working on his footwork and making sure that he is crisp on his footwork and delivering the ball to where it should be on time,” Maybin said. “We’ve still got work to go with him, but he is doing a great job, just being coachable and being excited about learning how to be a better quarterback. We are excited about him, especially because he is a junior and he will be coming back.”

The Comet offense went into the deep freeze in the third quarter when they committed several procedure penalties, but the defense remained solid.

After allowing two yards in the first half, the Comets yielded 77 in the second half.

“We always have the offenses back,” Taylor said. “If they are not having a good game we are going to step up, if we are not having a good game they are going to step up. It was a complete unit.”

The defense ended the Comets scoring drought in the fourth quarter when Michael Bowers returned an interception 64 yards for a touchdown on a play that Western Tech quarterback Oubaid was injured, but not before he made an impression on Catonsville coach Maybin.

“Coach (Jeff) Mueller made it a point to try and put some pressure on their quarterback and our guys did a good job playing tough and trying to put him under some pressure, but he did stick in there,” Maybin said. “He proved to be a tough kid and made some decent throws and he extended some drives which we wish we could have stopped a little bit earlier.”

Chase added a two-yard run for the Comets’ final score with under three minutes left and he and Fliggins have impressed their coach.

“We’ve got a couple of good backs who are really young, both sophomores, that are learning how to be good running backs,” said Maybin, whose Comets opened the season with a 22-6 victory over Centennial and defeated Hammond 25-14 in week two.

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