Mason Putney’s interception in his own end zone in the final seconds lifted host Edgewood (2-3, 4-4) to an 30-25 win over Aberdeen (2-3, 3-5) Friday evening in UCBAC Chesapeake Division play. The game was also impactful on the Class 3A North Region standings, with both teams trying to secure a top eight spot.
Other Harford teams to find a spot in the win column Friday were Fallston, Harford Tech and John Carroll.
In Edgewood it was the defense that got the night started, so it was more than appropriate that the game ended on a defensive stop.
“I thought we would have a fight tonight, I did,” Rams coach Bryam Hanrsote said. “I thought it be lower scoring the way we both play defense.”
The Rams opened the game on defense and three straight Aberdeen snaps resulted in a loss of 10 yards and the Eagles were forced to punt from their own four. The punt snap was high and out of the end zone, giving Edgewood a very quick 2-0 lead.
Following the free kick from Aberdeen back to Edgewood, it was the Eagles defense that rose up. The Rams drove the ball inside the Eagles five-yard line, but the defense allowed no yards from the two on third down and Tommy Fisher dropped Putney for a one-yard loss on fourth down.
The Aberdeen defense thwarted the next Edgewood possession as David Blackwell picked off a Tyreak Carey pass at the Eagles 35.
The Rams went back to the air on their next possession and Carey (9-15, 152 yards) connected with Tristan Park for a 35-yard touchdown. Carey then passed to Randy Hughes for two points and a 10-0 Edgewood lead with 8:23 to play in the half.
Aberdeen responded, taking advantage of a Jaheim Jones kickoff return to the Edgewood 20.
Aided by a facemask penalty, Aberdeen found the end zone with quarterback Silas Jenkins (10 carries, 48 yards) stretching the ball over the goal line from three yards out. The extra-point kick was no good.
Aberdeen, taking advantage of a very short punt, also scored on its next possession. Malachi Stewart-Lesesne raced 21 yards for the score and Aberdeen had its first lead, 12-10, with four minutes to play in the half.
The lead lasted a whole eight or so seconds. The Rams Lavar Banks ran the ensuing kickoff back 74 yards to put the Rams back ahead, 16-12.
Minutes later, Aberdeen fumbled away a scoring chance at the Rams 10 with 1:10 left, but with :13 remaining, Aberdeen’s Jones picked off a Carey pass across the middle. Jones broke back to the near sideline and raced into the end zone with a 45-yard interception return for touchdown.
The two-point conversion was again no good, but Aberdeen was back on top, 18-16, at the half.
The Eagles extended their lead late in the third quarter. Stewart-Lesesne (13 carries, 66 yards) added his second touchdown run from three yards out and Robert Slatwinski added the kick for a 25-16 lead.
Edgewood, though, scored on back-to-back possessions to slip back ahead and for good.
A 34-yard pass play from Carey to Keyon Brown on third and seven put the Rams at the Eagles 27. Antonio Powell (13 carries, 59 yards) ran 19 yards to the Eagles eight-yard line and then the final eight yards into the end zone on the next play.
Aberdeen still led 25-22, with a failed two-point conversion pass, but it was about to change.
The ensuing kickoff was a low, hard kick that caromed off a Aberdeen front line player. Edgewood recovered the ball at the Aberdeen 44 and with a personal penalty against Aberdeen on the play, the ball was moved to the Eagles 29.
In four plays the Rams were back on top. Hughes scored on a seven-yard run and Putney added the conversion by run for the 30-25 lead with 11:11 to play in the game.
Aberdeen’s final possession started at its own 23 with 6:24 left. The Eagles ran the ball 13 straight downs and they were given 10 free yards when Edgewood was off sides on two straight plays.
With the running plays, though, Aberdeen was forced to call its timeouts, leaving the final play to be a pass. Jenkins (2-10, three yards) had his pass tipped and then caught by Putney with 3.6 seconds to play.
“We’re just two good defenses, we did a nice job, I thought, all the way around, we played a complete game,” Eagles coach Chris Matlack said. “That’s how football is supposed to be played, two tough defenses going at each other and really just coming down to the last drive, that’s great.”
Cougars beat Eagles
Fallston quarterback Justin Weigand passed for two touchdowns and he also ran for two to lead the Cougars (2-4, 3-5) past host Bo Manor (1-5, 1-7), 36-16, in Susquehanna Division play.
CJ Turner added a rushing touchdown, while Neil Gill and Nick Curry had a receiving touchdown apiece.
Other Susquehanna scores
Patterson Mill (4-2, 5-3) was beaten by visiting North East (5-1, 5-3), 20-12. The game as played at North Harford. Also, Joppatowne (2-4, 3-5) was beaten by visiting Rising Sun (5-1, 7-1), 45-8, and North Harford (2-4, 3-5) fell at Perryille (3-3, 4-4), 44-0.
Harford Tech (5-0, 8-0) won at Havre de Grace (1-5, 2-6), 40-15, while Bel Air (1-4, 3-5) lost at Elkton (5-0, 8-0), 56-12.
C. Milton Wright (4-4) lost at Potomac in non-league play, 40-7, and John Carroll (5-3) won at home, beating Annapolis Area Christian School, 38-0.