Marriotts Ridge football coach Marcus Lewis talks about the Mustangs after the team's 42-0 loss to Frederick Douglass High School Saturday, Nov. 15.
UPPER MARLBORO, MD — The Marriotts Ridge football team's best season in school history came to an end Saturday afternoon on the sun-bleached field at Frederick Douglass High School in Upper Marlboro.
And while the Mustangs' 45-0 loss showed that there is a difference between qualifying for the playoffs and being competitive in them, second-year coach Marcus Lewis kept things in perspective.
"It was a great season. We ran into a buzzsaw today, and they're going to give a lot of people problems, but that doesn't put a damper on what we were able to accomplish this year," said Lewis, who was the Howard County Player of the Year for Oakland Mills in 1988. "We're trying to change the outlook of the program and that's a hard thing to do ... the senior class deserves a lot of credit, led by Cully Desautelle, Brandon Lowe, Eric Skogmo and Asad Dar."
Marriotts Ridge (7-4) struggled through a 32-game losing streak between 2009 and 2012, and won only two games each of the last two seasons before going 7-3 this fall, including a win over defending county champion Glenelg in mid-October. The Mustangs ended the regular season on a five-game winning streak.
"We know what we need to do," said Lewis, who played collegiately for the University of Delaware. "It's just a matter of doing it now."
Lewis played for coach Ken Hovet at Oakland Mills and later served as Hovet's defensive coordinator on Oakland Mills' 1998 state championship team. Hovet went on to become the first athletic director and football coach at Marriotts Ridge, but died of cancer at age 49 in 2010. His legacy still ripples through Howard County football, with Reservoir coach Bryan Cole, Oakland Mills coach Thomas Browne and Lewis representing Hovet's former players to lead teams into the 2014 playoffs.
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"There were three of us in the playoffs," Lewis said. "Coach Hovet set the blueprint for all of us, so hopefully we're making him happy up there and proud to have coached under him."
Douglass, a 2012 state finalist, moves on to host Patuxent — which defeated Oakland Mills, 60-41, Friday night — next week for the 2A South regional championship.
"They're big, they're physical, we couldn't stop the run," Lewis said. "They're tough. I can't really see them not winning. I'm sure Patuxent's going to have something to say about that, but I'd be shocked if they didn't win it all."
Douglass junior quarterback Devin Butler hurt Marriotts Ridge with his arm and legs on Saturday, but had nothing but respect for his opponent's accomplishments.
"I heard that they had a lot to prove in their hometown ... I heard that they were the laughingstock the last couple of years and I'm proud of them for at least making it to the playoffs," Butler said.
Butler threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Kollin Smith with 45 seconds left in the second quarter, then ran for a two-point conversion, to put Douglass ahead 32-0 at halftime.
In the second half he rushed for 31 yards and a touchdown on two carries, and threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to senior Quinton Jordan. Senior Mikale Makle rushed four times for 38 yards and intercepted a Marriotts Ridge pass late in the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs had four carries for nine yards in the second half, and junior quarterback Zack Page completed an 18-yard pass to junior Bladen Miller.