Baltimore Sun’s BEST party in 2 weeks

Dulaney's TD with :39 left upsets No. 9 Perry Hall Berger-to-Landman connect for 21-18 win


Cliff Berger nervously paced the sidelines.

The last three times Berger attempted to pass, he got sacked twice and was called for intentional grounding. Then he had to trot back onto the field with Dulaney 58 yards from a touchdown and 2:02 remaining.

Berger calmly completed two passes for 55 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown pass to Justin Landman with 39 seconds left, as the host Lions upset No. 9 Perry Hall, 21-18. The game-winning score was preceded by a 33-yard pass from Berger to Landman on fourth-and-seven.

"We just had to score," said Berger, who was eight of nine for 141 yards and two touchdowns. "I could see pretty good and knew [Landman] had great hands. We go into games thinking no team can beat us."

At times, it seemed that Perry Hall (2-2) tried to beat itself. In the first half, the Gators fumbled twice and snapped the ball over punter Kevin Znamirowski's head.

On Perry Hall's second play of the game, running back Haki Lee fumbled, which gave Dulaney (3-1) the ball at the Gators' 45-yard line. Six plays later, Berger threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to J. P. Wilson that put the Lions ahead, 7-0.

The other major miscue was the bad snap to Znamirowski, who had to throw the ball out of bounds to avoid a blocked punt and gave Dulaney possession at Perry Hall's 40. On the first play from scrimmage, Berger connected with Wilson on a 38-yard pass, which set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Sean Schroeder and increased the lead to 14-0.

"That's something that's not automatic," Dulaney coach Jeff Mann said. "Our coaches teach our players to capitalize on other's mistakes."

Perry Hall almost overcame its sloppy play on the strength of quarterback Znamirowski, the area's leading passer. He completed 18 of 27 passes for 259 yards, including 10 of 13 for 157 in the second half.

Znamirowski was 3-for-3 in a fourth-quarter drive, including a 9-yard scoring pass to Raffeal Hunter to give the Gators their first lead at 18-14 with 7:58 left.

Perry Hall then stopped the Lions' offense on six plays, sacking Berger on fourth down at the Gators' 37-yard line. The Gators took control and moved the ball 20 yards until the drive stalled.

Facing a fourth-and-three, Perry Hall opted for a fake punt rather than trying to have its punter Znamirowski (39.5 average yards per punt) pin Dulaney deep in its own territory. Dulaney stopped Hunter's run up the middle and gained possession with a little more than two minutes left.

Then Berger engineered the game-winning drive.

"That two-minute offense just didn't happen out there," Mann said. "We practice that two or three times a week."

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad