Seventh-ranked Oakland Mills is a team of many offensive weapons as the Scorpions proved again yesterday during a 28-6 homecoming victory over No. 15 Atholton.
One of those weapons, receiver Antiwan Jones (four catches, 73 yards) ran back a punt for 70 yards and Oakland Mills' first touchdown midway through the first quarter.
Another of the weapons, 220-pound fullback Brian Howard rushed eight times for a season-high 96 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown run for Oakland Mills' fourth score.
"Our game plan was to have him [Howard] run against Atholton's 5-2 defense because we thought their linebackers were kind of small," Oakland Mills coach Ken Hovet said. "We've been trying to get him more involved in the offense, but it's hard when you run a wing-T to use the fullback, so we ran a lot of I-formation today."
Another weapon, Paul Brown, returned from an ankle injury and caught a 45-yard pass and made a 44-yard run to Atholton's 1-yard line, setting up Oakland Mills' second touchdown.
Then there was Scorpions quarterback Irving Conwell, who completed seven of 12 passes for 157 yards and one touchdown -- a 27-yarder to Gene McGill for Oakland Mills' third score with 4:37 left in the first half.
Oakland Mills (3-2 overall, 2-0 league) led 28-0 at the half as the Scorpions racked up 141 yards rushing and 101 yards passing.
The second half was a completely different story.
Atholton (3-2, 1-1) controlled the ball most of that half, and Oakland Mills managed only 28 yards rushing and 56 passing to finish with 169 and 157, respectively, overall. Atholton finished with 99 rushing and 95 passing.
The Scorpions ran only four plays in the third quarter after Atholton began the half with a 13-play, 66-yard touchdown drive. A 12-yard pass to Keith Jefferson from quarterback Jason Sandner (7-for-15, 84 yards, one touchdown) capped the drive.
The drive resembled Atholton's effort on its second possession of the game when the Raiders drove 42 yards on five plays after Oakland Mills' first touchdown. But instead of moving in for a tying score, Atholton's Jon Sanford fumbled, and Oakland Mills then drove 66 yards for another score.
"The fumble was a key play," Atholton coach Kevin Kelly said. "I thought that their using Howard to establish an inside running game in the first half opened up everything else for them. I was disappointed in our first half. We're better than we showed."
After Atholton's touchdown, the Raiders tried an onside kick that appeared to be recovered by them but was ruled touched too soon.
"I think the film is going to show it was first touched by an Oakland Mills player," Kelly said. "If we had gotten that and gone on to score who knows what might have happened? But Oakland Mills deserved to win today."