Catonsville's strategy against local rival Western last night was simple, said running back Chris Wilson: "Line up, pound it down the field."
The plan worked to near perfection in a 14-6 victory as the 12th-ranked Comets (2-0, 1-0) edged their visiting Baltimore County 1A-2A League rivals. The 6-foot, 235-pound Wilson finished with 168 yards on 30 carries, and running mate Josh Desmond added 100 yards on 18 carries.
Each also scored a touchdown as the Comets rolled up 196 of their 280 rushing yards in the first half against 15th-ranked Western (1-1, 0-1). Catonsville also managed to keep the Wolverines' standout running back, Domonique Foxworth (138 yards) out of the end zone.
"We wanted to pound it at them, make no mistakes, no fumbles and we did that," said Catonsville coach Warren Como.
Catonsville led 6-0 with 6:23 left in the first quarter when Desmond's 1-yard run capped an 11-play, 66-yard drive. Western's Chris Barr blocked Jeff Graves' extra-point attempt.
The Wolverines tied the score at 6 with 2:45 left in the first quarter, going 61 yards in 11 plays. Quarterback Justin Mills scooped a fumbled snap and juked his way past defenders into the end zone to finish the drive.
The Comets made it 14-6, however, with 11:31 left in the half. Wilson's 4-yard run completed the nine-play, 66-yard drive. He also added the conversion run.
Western drove to Catonsville's 7-yard line for first-and-goal with 5:59 left in the half, only to have Mills get chased out of bounds at the 10 on fourth down. But the Wolverines also came up with a big play defensively as Barr intercepted a pass at his own 9 with 14 seconds left in the half.
In the third quarter, Catonsville drove to Western's 16 during a 15-play drive that ended with a fourth-down sack by the Wolverines' Ian Gosnell at the 21. But the Comets returned the favor, stopping Gosnell on fourth-and-1 at the Catonsville 16.
Western's final scoring chance, with 2:32 to play, also ended at the Comets' 16 as Schafer recovered a fumble that allowed Catonsville to run out the clock.
"We wanted to tire them out by the fourth quarter, but I have a lot of respect for them for hanging in there, because we beat them handily last year," Wilson said. "But our defense was excellent, especially against Foxworth. We stood up when we needed to."