Catonsville sophomore running back Tyler Boyd rushed for more than 200 yards for the second straight game Friday night and the host Comets rolled to a 41-6 victory over Towson on homecoming.
Last week, Boyd rushed for 235 yards on 17 carries but the Comets lost to Dulaney, 22-12, thanks in part to committing four turnovers. Against Towson, he rushed for 221 yards on 18 carries and scored two touchdowns and the Comets (2-1) did not commit a turnover.
On the Comets’ second play of the night, Boyd took a pitch from quarterback Gunnar Gemmell and raced 75 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown.
“I saw a wall of blockers and the opportunity to score a touchdown,” Boyd said.
“They had a good week of practice and they’ve had a different level of focus after losing to Dulaney, so we made a point of emphasis to come out strong early. ... But that big play definitely boasted morale and we kept it going for the next three quarters,” Catonsville coach Jaren Maybin said.
On Towson’s next possession, Catonsville senior strong safety Daniel Heffern made back-to-back big plays to force a Towson punt.
On second-and-4, he tackled Shane Lawson for a 2-yard loss and on third down he forced an incompletion. He also led the team in tackles.
“They call my position a savage, strong safety, and their job is to basically be the best tacklers on the defense and make the big plays and be a leader on the defensive side of the field,” Heffern said.
Heffern took over the job from Josh Williams, who graduated after leading the team in tackles the past two years.
“Josh Williams was a strong safety and I learned a lot from him. I watched his film and talked to him because he was great when he was here and if I can replicate what he did I think we will have a great season,” Heffern said.
Catonsville’s next position ended in a touchdown after eight plays and 54 yards. The key play was a fourth-and-8 completion from Gemmell to Will Roberson, who caught the pass for 13 yards after it deflected off Boyd’s hands.
Boyd’s 1-yard TD run was followed by Maxwell Muempfer’s extra point and the Comets led 14-0 with 1:34 left in the first quarter. Muempfer was 5 for 5 on extra points.
Early in the second quarter, running back Carlito Jones got on the scoreboard with a 1-yard TD run and the Comets led 21-0. Jones, the Comets leading rusher last year, finished with 109 yards on 20 carries.
“We’ve got some pretty good running backs in that backfield and I trust any of those guys with the ball and they ran the ball well and I told them earlier this week we are trying to get a bunch of guys over 1,000 yards,” said Maybin, who is the all-time leading rusher in Catonsville history. “Something I pride myself on is making those guys good running backs and they are stepping up to the challenge for sure.”
Catonsville finished with 363 rushing yards behind a line that included center Allen Kohel, guards Maurkeis Gary and Evan Judd and tackles Gabe Wallman and Shawn Traynham.
Towson’s best drive of the night covered 68 yards in 11 plays and ended with a 4-yard touchdown run by Shamar Molock (17 carries, 83 yards), who started the game at blocking back.
“We had to make the adjustment because he was actually the blocking back and we just weren’t running the holes like we were supposed to, but as soon as he got in he was just moving the pile,” Towson coach Kelly Bryant said. “It’s just adjustments I’m trying to make and that got us a little wind, but we just couldn’t finish in the red zone.”
Heffern blocked the extra point and the Comets led 21-6 at halftime.
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The Comets opened the second half with an 87-yard kickoff return from sophomore Jeff Lemon, who reversed his field and found a lane.
“I actually thought we had him down, but he just popped open and got the edge,” Bryant said. “It’s tough, we’re young and we’re still learning football, a lot of the guys have stepped up, but we’ve just got to keep grinding.”
Towson got strong second half running from Shane Lawson, who gained 68 of his 95 yards in the half, but the Generals best drive ended with an interception by Ja’von Cole-White at the Comet 15.
“That was a backbreaker,” Bryant said. “I think he (quarterback Jake Dudley) misjudged the cornerback. He didn’t think the cornerback was going to jump up that high.”
Jones scored the final two touchdowns for the Comets on short runs.