Joppatowne running back D'Angelo Goffigan kept trying to deflect praise from himself, but that's tough to do after the game he had.
Goffigan rushed for 184 yards, scored two touchdowns and made a key interception last night as the No. 5 Mariners football team outlasted visiting Fallston, 15-10.
"The line did a tremendous job," Goffigan said. "We had to step up as a team, and we did."
A tough Fallston defense mostly kept Goffigan from breaking any big plays, but his longest run, a 29-yarder for a touchdown, gave Joppatowne (4-0 overall, 1-0 Harford County) the lead for good in the third quarter.
Goffigan also made one of the game's key defensive plays, intercepting quarterback Fred Dimpfel's pass at the goal line with 18.6 seconds left in the first half.
Fallston (1-3, 0-1) held a 10-7 lead at that point and another touchdown could have dealt Joppatowne a severe blow.
"We play as a team, but he's a great [player]. And we're fortunate to have him," said Joppatowne coach Greg Komondor.
The senior had 28 carries and accounted for more than half of the team's offense. The Mariners finished with 274 yards overall on a night when both teams ran on nearly every play.
Joppatowne escaped with the victory after its defense twice stopped Fallston inside the 15. Fallston finished with 253 yards rushing but was held to just 89 in the second half.
After each team exchanged touchdown drives in the first quarter, Fallston went ahead 10-7 in the second on a 28-yard field goal by Chris Merrick. Joppatowne responded by driving to the 3-yard line. But quarterback Brian Selby fumbled, and Fallston recovered in the end zone for a touchback.
Goffigan's interception spoiled Fallston's last first-half drive; then he gave the Mariners the lead on his 29-yard run on the opening drive of the second half. A two-point conversion boosted their lead to 15-10.
Fallston rallied one last time, but Tom Schruefer was stopped on fourth-and-two from the 3 with 3:11 left in the game.
Fallston got the ball back with 31.1 seconds to go but couldn't threaten.
"When you get inside the 10-yard line, you've got to score," said Fallston coach Dave Cesky.