Oakland Mills coach Tom Browne hadn’t seen a complete 48-minute game from his team through the first two weeks.

There were turnovers that led to short fields and special team gaffes that led to touchdowns. Browne didn’t see any of those issues Friday night against visiting Mt. Hebron, as the Scorpions scored 27 points in the second quarter and shut out the Vikings, 42-0.

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“That was what we preached to them all week,” Browne said. “Let’s put together a full game, all three phases for four quarters, and I thought we did a good job with that.”

Howard varsity roundup (Sept. 20): Offensive battles highlight Friday night football

Howard County varsity scores and highlights from Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.

After failing to pick up a first down and turning it over on downs on their opening possession, the Scorpions (2-1) marched 61 yards on 12 plays.

Castle had six carries for 31 yards, but most importantly, Browne said, others got involved. Antoine Holmes got three touches and Damion Hopkins, Isaiah Williams and Devin Williams each got their hands on the ball once. Williams’ went for an 8-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.

“We just got that juice,” Castle said about the first score. “You know, it’s all about the juice.”

Castle had 64 carries the first two weeks, double Holmes’ total, so finding others to gain positive yardage was key in the eyes of Browne.

“For me, it’s trying to be more balanced and it’s not easy to do because you got a kid who is tough as nails back there. You like to give them the ball as much as you can, but you got to have some balance,” Browne said. “We have a bunch of kids that are capable of running back there and they’re all familiar with what to do. They're all kind of quarterbacks; they're all kind of running backs.”

Once Oakland Mills found the end zone, the floodgates opened. Castle capped a seven-play, 49-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to double the lead, and Castle turned on the burners and scored on a 57-yard run on the second play of the next drive. It became 27-0 after Hopkins juked several defenders during a 32-yard run to setup a 13-yard scoring run by Castle.

Castle carried the ball once in the second half and finished with 15 carries for 128 yards and three touchdowns while going 2 of 4 passing for 12 yards. Hopkins added 50 yards on just three carries in the first half.

Holmes, who shares the backfield with Castle and often takes direct snaps, gained 18 and 34 yards — the latter a touchdown — on back-to-back carries to cap a three-play drive to start the second half. A two-point conversion run by Hopkins sparked a running clock.

While the starting offense’s day was done at that point, Holmes’ wasn’t. Taking snaps in the shotgun, he broke free for a 55-yard scamper during a seven-play, 84-yard scoring drive that ended when Aki Harvey ran it in from 12-yards out.

Holmes finished the night with two a touchdown and a game-high 135 yards rushing on nine carries.

“I think we need to be balanced on the number of guys who are touching the ball, more so than run-pass,” Browne said. “I don’t care if we throw the ball every time or we run the ball every time if we’re successful. I thought we did a good job of letting different guys touch the ball tonight, so we were balanced from that perspective.”

The Scorpions’ defense had little trouble slowing down the Vikings (0-3). Jaelan Mathews intercepted a pass on the third play of the game and Kanye Holland got one midway through the second quarter when it was 21-0. For good measure, Holland picked off Mt. Hebron quarterback Finn Devine’s final pass of the night as the clock ticked away the final seconds.

Securing the shutout was an added bonus for a unit that has played better than the 46 points the team had allowed the first two weeks. Browne said they were “overshadowed” in a disappointing Week 1 loss to Hammond.

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“I just think we have a decent amount of speed on defense. We’ve got some got smart kids,” he said. “It’s just about getting guys reps in practice, understanding what the other team doing and just playing fast. I think that the defense has played well.”

Vikings coach Shawn Frederick said it’s been a difficult adjustment for everyone on his first year leading the program. He credited his team’s no-quit attitude and that they played the full 48 minutes considering the score.

“They come out and they fight and they never give up,” he said. “They don’t give up on each other, nobody turns on each other, and there’s no negativity on the sideline. So that’s what I’m most proud of. But the way we finish is the way we need to start games. We’re getting there. We’re young.”

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