Never ever take points off the board. It's a lesson Broadneck football coach Jeff Herrick has learned through experience, and it paid off last night in a 22-20 win for his Bruins (5-2) over Northeast (2-5).
Broadneck's passing combo of Sean Ryan (16-for-22, 216 yards, three touchdowns) to Jason Smith (10 receptions, 143 yards, two touchdowns) continued their assault on the school record book with Smith breaking the school record for points scored (78) in a season with two touchdowns. And junior Jacob Schaeffer booted a 20-yard field goal for the margin of victory.
Trailing 14-13 at the half on a missed extra-point kick by Schaeffer, the Bruins got an interception from Mike Chaney early in the third period for a first down at the Northeast 21. Damian Watkins carried five straight times for a fourth and goal at the three.
Herrick sent in the field goal unit and Schaeffer's kick was high and true through the uprights from 20 yards out for a 16-14 Broadneck lead with 6:44 left in the third period. However, Northeast was guilty of roughing up Schaeffer.
A penalty and a first-and-goal at the two was in order if the Bruins wanted it, but Herrick took the three points rather than take another shot at a touchdown.
"We're not that good yet that we can afford to gamble," said Herrick. "I didn't think twice about taking the points and am glad we did. I learned that a long time ago."
Broadneck struck on a Ryan-to-Smith touchdown pass from 12 yards out with 7:48 left in the game, but Schaeffer missed the extra point. It was Smith's second touchdown reception of the game, giving him a school-record 78 points on 13 touchdowns, also a school record.
Ryan tied his own school record for touchdown passes in a game (three) and now owns school records for touchdowns thrown (14) and yards passed (1,625).
Northeast staged a relentless 13-play drive, going 62 yards and scoring on a 3-yard plunge by Lawrence Morris with 1:54 to go, but Todd O'Brien's attempted two-point conversion run was stopped short.
The Eagles threatened after stopping the Bruins on downs at the Northeast 44. Eric Elston picked off a Dolch pass at the 15 on the game's final play.
"We were flat, and maybe because they have only 19 players [eight going both ways], we took them lightly," said Smith.
Northeast coach Bart Rader said, "I'm proud of the kids, we took them right down to the last play."