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Atholton football forces three turnovers in last six minutes to beat Mt. Hebron

ELLICOTT CITY, MD — As a former tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions from 2002 to 2008, first-year Atholton football coach Damion Cook has played the game at the highest level, and for the highest stakes.

It allows Cook to keep the perspective that no matter how serious a high school football game gets, it's still a game that should be fun.

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It's why, even in the most tense moments of his team's 13-12 victory at Mt. Hebron (3-5) on Saturday, Cook was still keeping it light with his players, the officials and his coaching staff.

"One thing I know is that I can't let this game take control of me. You've got to have fun with it and take the good with the bad," said Cook, whose team improved to 3-5. "Things could be a whole lot worse, but you're out here doing a thing that you enjoy doing, you're passionate about it. We're just out here trying to make these boys men. We just have fun out here. If something bad happens, you move on to the next play."

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Cook's players helped him have fun on Saturday.

Junior Collin McMahon threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to classmate Alex Myers — their second scoring connection of the game — with three minutes left in the third quarter to put the Raiders on top, 13-12. It took three Mt. Hebron turnovers — a fumble forced by Diego Bonilla and recovered by Casey Kelly, and interceptions by Danny Martin and Kane Jackson — to make the lead stand up.

"The defense came out there and when it was time for them to step up, they stepped up and made the plays, and that's something that we can hang our hat on," Cook said. "But we need to build on top of that because we play a tough Reservoir team next week."

Mt. Hebron scored its first touchdown on a dump over the middle from sophomore quarterback Rickie Williams to sophomore receiver Darnell Pratt Jr that went 57 yards with 16 seconds left in the first half.

The Vikings then took the lead early in the third quarter on a 36-yard touchdown run by junior Brennen White.

But the Raiders responded with a 12-play, 80-yard drive, capped by McMahon's touchdown pass to Myers on 4th and 10 from the 30 which proved to be the game winner.

McMahon's older brother, Brian, led the Raiders to a county title in 2011 and now is a tight end for the University of Maryland.

"I'm starting to see him come into his own. He stays poised and keeps his composure, and he's learning how to be a leader out there," Cook said.

A (3-5) 0 7 6 0 - 13
MH (3-5) 0 6 6 0 - 12

Second quarter
A: Myers 13 pass from McMahon (Kim kick), 4:54. [7-0]
MH: Pratt Jr. 57 pass from Williams (kick failed), :16. [7-6]

Third quarter

MH: White 36 run (pass failed), 9:30. [7-12]

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A: Myers 30 pass from McMahon (pass failed), 2:59. [13-12]

Around the league

Glenelg 48, Centennial 7

Standings as of Oct. 25

Howard, 8-0

Oakland Mills, 7-1

River Hill, 7-1

Glenelg, 5-3

Marriotts Ridge, 5-3

Atholton, 3-5

Hammond, 3-5

Mt. Hebron, 3-5

Reservoir, 3-5

Wilde Lake, 3-5

Long Reach, 1-7

Centennial, 0-8

Week 9 schedule

Friday, Oct. 31, 4:30 p.m.

Glenelg at Long Reach

Hammond at Wilde Lake

Howard at River Hill

Marriotts Ridge at Centennial

Oakland Mills at Mt. Hebron

Reservoir at Atholton

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