No. 10 Perry Hall shut out five opponents this season, but its defense had no answer for Thomas Johnson's formidable running game last night in the Class 4A North regional final.
The host Patriots of Frederick County rushed for 266 yards on 33 carries and cruised to a 35-3 victory over the Gators. Perry Hall (10-2) had success moving the ball between the 20-yard lines but could not find the end zone and fell short in the regional final for the second straight season.
"Thomas Johnson is a good football team and they know how to run the ball real well," said Perry Hall coach Bob Hruz, who took over the team after Nick Arminio was asked to step down at midseason. "This season has nothing to do this final game right here. This season has to do with what [the players] faced. They have had deaths in their families and they had a coach change in the middle of the season. They faced so much, it is not even funny."
Corey Hunt took a handoff from James White on a third-and-seven and ran 62-yards to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
After Brett Ullman got Perry Hall on the board with a 30-yard field goal, the Patriots responded on its next possession when White found D.J. Scott streaking down the sideline for 41-yard touchdown pass and a 14-3 lead with 11:13 left in the half.
The Patriots (10-2) then used another big play to set up their third score. A 55-yard run by Nick Forbes moved the ball to Perry Hall's 24-yard line and Chris Johnson ran for a 5-yard touchdown four plays later with 3:31 left in the half.
No. 5 Hereford 49, Catonsville 3 -- The Bulls (12-0) used a team effort to defeat the visiting Comets (8-4) for the second time this season, this time for the Class 3A North title. "We had all three phases of the game working tonight," said Bulls coach Steve Turnbaugh, whose team scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams. Six players scored for the Bulls (12-0), who will face 3A South champion Lackey (10-2) Friday in the state semifinals.
Joppatowne 35, Snow Hill 14 -- The Mariners (11-1) relied exclusively on their rushing game to defeat the visiting Eagles (9-3) and capture the Class 1A East title for the third time in four years. Keon Adams led Joppatowne with 122 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
South Carroll 7, Catoctin 6 -- Ryan Weaver's 20-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Terpening in the second quarter staked host South Carroll (7-5) to the early lead, and the Cavaliers' defense took care of the rest in the Class 1A North final. South Carroll stopped a two-point conversion attempt by Catoctin (6-6) later in the quarter to preserve the lead.
Sun reporters contributed to this article.