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Joppatowne's Shakur Johnson makes a move as he sees a hole in the line during Friday night's Class 1A East playoff game at Perryville.
Joppatowne's Shakur Johnson makes a move as he sees a hole in the line during Friday night's Class 1A East playoff game at Perryville. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

The high school football season for Harford County gridders came to an abrupt end Friday night in three games on the road.

Joppatowne (5-6) fell at Perryville (7-4), 33-20, in a Class 1A East second round game, while Fallston (5-6), also playing in 1A East, lost at Cambridge-South Dorchester (9-2), 48-14. Harford Tech (9-2) was beaten in 2A East second round action. The Cobras lost at North Caroline (11-0), 42-21.

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In Perryville, the Panthers scored 15 unanswered fourth quarter points to slide past visiting Joppatowne. “I thought our Mariners fought well tonight, I told them coming in that they’ll have to play hard for four quarters, nobody comes to the playoffs to pack it up early,” Mariners coach James Murray said. “Perryville made less mistakes than us tonight and that probably was the outcome of the football game.”

Joppatowne, on a pair of Alan Brown touchdown passes, led 14-12 at half and after trading scores in the third quarter, still led after three quarters, 20-18.

The Mariners scored on their first possession, using late hit and face-mask penalties against Perryville to their advantage. On first down from the Panthers 15, Brown (10-14, 232 yards) lofted the ball up toward the corner of the end zone, where Jaylen Jones (6 catches, 134 yards) leaped up to make the catch.

The Mariners defense, meanwhile, forced Perryville out of possessions with fourth down stops, twice. The latter, though, left the Mariners with first down at their own one. Failing to gain more than a yard, the change of possession gave Perryville the ball back at the Joppatowne 39.

Perryville took advantage and a 23-yard pass play from Tyler Nasuta to Daniel Tserkis on fourth and 11 set the Panthers up at the five. Skyler Skapka bulled his way into the end zone on the next play to tie the game 6-6.

The Mariners responded. On third and 16, Brown dropped a screen pass into the hands of Shakur Johnson. John seemed to have no where to run, but the shifty receiver wiggled his way free. He broke left and headed down the sideline for a 44-yard touchdown.

Brown added the conversion run and Joppatowne led 14-6 with 5:41 left in the half.

The Mariners were moving the ball again with their next possession, but Brown had his pass picked off inside the Panthers 10 by Emarion Hampton. Hampton had a nice return out near midfield and the Panthers tightened the score from there. Tserkis out-dueled a Joppatowne defender in the end zone to grab a 24-yard scoring pass from Nasuta.

Brown was picked off again, this time in the end zone, to open the second half. A fumbled punt moments later extended a Perryville possession. They cashed it in on Hampton’s 14-yard scamper for a 18-14 lead.

Brown answered. His 10-yard touchdown run had the Mariners back ahead, 20-18, with 3:21 left in the third quarter, but there was no scoring for the Mariners.

Perryville, got a 17-yard touchdown pass from Nasuta to Skapka on the first play of the fourth quarter. A two-point pass on the conversion to Rob Wagner put the Panthers ahead 26-20.

Hampton (11 carries, 94 yards) raced 30 yards four minutes later to extend the lead.

The Mariners ensuing possession and last chance, came up hairs short on a fourth and nine call. The ball went back to the Panthers at their own nine and with two first downs, locked up the win.

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