Friday night’s football game between Marriotts Ridge and Wilde Lake was ugly.

There were as many punts (10) as plays of 10 or more yards, and penalty flags were thrown early and often.

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Through the displeasing game, however, was dominance by the Marriotts Ridge defense, which totaled eight sacks and held Wilde Lake to 72 yards of offense to lead the Mustangs to a 7-0 win over the visiting Wildecats.

“The defense was lights out,” said Marriotts Ridge head coach Marcus Lewis. “…It’s good for these guys, because they deserve it. They’ve been working really hard.”

Marriotts Ridge defensive lineman Jack Baxter talks Marriotts Ridge football after the Mustangs' 7-0 win over Wilde Lake on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019.

The Mustangs defensive line, which consists of Jack Baxter, Braden Savoy and UConn commit Nick Harris, was especially relentless in penetrating the backfield and pressuring the quarterback.

“We’ve been working really hard as a defensive line,” Baxter said. “Nick and Braden also had great games. We work well together. I love those guys.”

The lone touchdown of the night was a 3-yard run by Marriotts Ridge fullback Ryan Reeling, which capped off a 12-play, 81-yard drive in the second quarter. Reeling ended his day with 13 carries for 59 yards.

“What we were running at the beginning wasn’t working, so they put me back in at fullback,” Reeling said. “It felt unreal, and I couldn’t have scored without our offensive line. They were unbelievable on that drive.”

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Howard County varsity scores and highlights from Friday, Sept. 13, 2019.

Both teams started the night at Marriotts Ridge High School with two punts apiece on offense. Mustangs defensive back Jericho Garvin ended the punt parade with an interception on Wilde Lake’s third drive.

The turnover gave the Mustangs offense the momentum it needed for its eventual scoring drive, which featured 11 running plays out of the Wing-T. Reeling ran for 36 yards on five carries on the drive, while running back Quinn Kelley totaled 26 yards on five rushes.

“If you’re going to be a good team and beat good teams, you are going to have to be able to transition like that,” said Lewis, who is in his seventh year at the helm.

Wilde Lake running back Izair Perry broke off a 28-yard run on the Wildecats’ next drive, but a penalty, a rush for negative yards and a sack by Baxter ended the scoring threat. Perry totaled 50 yards on 12 carries, while fellow tailback Allen Ngue ran for 32 yards on 11 totes.

Wilde Lake’s best chance to score was in the fourth quarter. The Wildecats took over on their own 32-yard line with about eight minutes remaining. The drive featured solid runs from Perry and Ngue as well as a 19-yard pass from Kofi Boampong to Amari Hutson on fourth-and-18. The Wildecats reached the Mustangs’ 2-yard line, but a negative rushing play, a penalty and a sack ended the Wildecats’ scoring threat.

“Right now, Wilde Lake is beating Wilde Lake. We’re beating ourselves,” said Wilde Lake head coach Brian Henderson. “Marriotts Ridge had a great game plan, and coach Lewis does a great job. That was a tough defense. But bottom line, we had opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them.”

A Marriotts Ridge ball carrier fumbled on the second play of the its next drive, which gave the ball back to Wilde Lake on the Mustangs’ 45-yard line with about 90 seconds remaining.

However, the Marriotts Ridge defense didn’t flinch and sealed the victory, forcing two sacks and two incomplete passes.

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“I think our guys showed a lot of maturity in those moments, especially a young defense like we are,” Lewis said.

Marriotts Ridge visits Long Reach next Friday, while Wilde Lake hosts Atholton on Saturday for its homecoming game.

Box score:

Marriotts Ridge 7, Wilde Lake 0

WL — 0 0 0 0 — 0

MR — 0 7 0 0 — 7

Scoring plays:

Second quarter:

MR: Ryan Reeling 3-yard run, Alan Zhao kick [7-0]

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