Maryland falls to Virginia in Classic, 18-16


COLLEGE PARK -- Last night's inaugural Chesapeake Football Classic was an overwhelming statistical success for Team Maryland quarterback Jason Boseck, but the Pallotti graduate's team fell, 18-16, to Northern Virginia's All-Stars.

Boseck, who is bound for Georgia Tech, delighted the Byrd Stadium crowd by completing 23 of 47 passes for 291 yards and touchdowns of 16 and 17 yards to Eleanor Roosevelt's Mancel Johnson (11 catches, 171 yards) and Kennedy's Ray Hawkins.

Largo's Tony Stringfield caught five passes for 144 yards, but Johnson's performance earned him Maryland Most Valuable Player honors.

Boseck, 6 feet 2, completed 10 of 27 passes for 182 yards in the first half, but Maryland blew three scoring chances -- twice with a scoreless game -- and trailed 6-3 at halftime.

Maryland had out-gained Northern Virginia, 213-131, but didn't score until Jason Williams (Crossland) converted a 29-yard field goal with 4:35 left in the second quarter.

"We'd just give up two or three long touchdowns, and that was the difference," said C. Milton Wright's Steve Harward, who, along with McDonogh coach Mike Working, was in charge of the defense on the seven-member Maryland staff.

Dave Sunderland, Mount St. Joseph's 6-foot-4, 245-pound All-Metro lineman, had nine tackles, including three solos and a sack.

"On most of the downs, we ended up beating them up pretty good," said Sunderland, a Catonsville resident who will play at Lehigh this fall. "It was kind of disheartening the way they'd get those big plays. We just couldn't get the breaks."

Boseck moved quickly in the third period, using a 10-play scoring drive that began at the 2, ending with a 16-yard strike to Johnson, and put his team up, 9-6, with 7:08 left. He completed seven straight passes for 96 yards in the drive -- five of which were first downs -- and ran for another first down.

"After going 99 yards, or whatever, we finally came together," Boseck said. "We just blew a couple of chances in the beginning."

The visitors regained a 12-9 lead in just four plays. Brian Day's 38-yard pass to Virginia Most Valuable Player Tyrone Robinson (five catches, 192 yards) set up Chris Lawson's 2-yard run 5:09 before the final period. It was 18-9 after Marty Riley (Broad Run) capped a five-play, 52-yard drive with his 20-yard pass to Tyrone Smith (Robert E. Lee) with 51 seconds left in the third quarter.

Maryland came within the final margin with 10 minutes left in the game after Boseck found Hawkins to end an eight-play, 70-yard march.

Northern Virginia fumbled on its opening possession and Nolan Duncan (Gaithersburg) recovered 27 yards from the opposing goal line. Maryland got to third-and-goal at the 1, but botched it with an illegal procedure.

Two plays after Williams' first field-goal attempt from 20 yards hit the right post, Maryland paid for its second blunder, and trailed 6-0 with 9:18 left in the half.

With a defender at his back near the Maryland 25, Robinson made an over-the-shoulder catch of Riley's pass, then raced down the Northern Virginia sideline for the score. The play covered 56 yards.

"As it turned out, three points made a big difference," said Williams, who is headed for Delaware State. "After being inside the 20 three or four times and not scoring, they scored and we got a little down."

With 2:30 remaining, Maryland fumbled away another opportunity as Boseck's bad pitch was recovered by Andrew Johnson (Garfield) at the Northern Virginia 12.

Game officials estimated they reached their goal of at least 8,000 spectators to renew the game's one-year contract.

"Any time you lose like this, it's disappointing," said head coach Dave Caruthers, of Linganore. "We were inches away on several occasions, but it was an exciting game. The crowd certainly got its money's worth."

N. Virginia 0 6 12 0 -- 18

Maryland 0 3 6 7 -- 16

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