It took two days and overcoming the loss of starting quarterback Javon Williams for 2006 Catonsville High graduate Jaren Maybin to earn his first victory as the Comets new head coach.
Maybin, who is the school’s all-time leading rusher, had to wait until late Saturday morning to celebrate the 32-6 victory over Sparrows Point.
The Comets were leading the Pointers, 16-0, on Friday night with 2:50 remaining in the first half when the game was suspended because of heavy rain and thunderstorms.
It was resumed at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning.
On Friday, the Comets scored first on a 26-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Javon Williams to junior Marciss Lawson.
Fumbled snaps by Sparrows Point on a shotgun pass attempt and punt led to two safeties for the Comets as junior Michael Bowers made both tackles in the end zone and the Comets led 10-0 after the first quarter.
Catonsville senior Donnell Jones Jr. rushed for 77 yards on six carries in the first half until the game was halted,
His 16-yard run, when he maintained his balance after a pirouette near the goal line, set up a one-yard touchdown run by Williams with 10:58 left in the second quarter.
But, on the last offensive play of the night for the Comets, Williams broke his arm his arm after scrambling for six yards.
He left in an ambulance during the heavy thunderstorms. He finished with 31 yards rushing on four carries and completed 4 of 7 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown.
Backup quarterback Kris McIntee finished the game on Saturday and completed 4 of 11 passes for 89 yards.
“Javon is one of our leaders on our team,” Maybin said. “He was a captain for this week, so obviously to lose a captain was not great for our morale, but also it helped us because we were playing for him. I got a text message from his mom that said all he is asking about is how we are doing, so his spirits are up, our spirits are up.”
The offense was bolstered on day two by the running of Jones Jr., who finished with 124 yards rushing on 21 carries, and Sean Murray-Jones, who ran for 38 yards on 15 carries and scored on a 2-yard run with 24 seconds left in the third quarter. McIntee’s , two-point conversion pass to Parker Douala made it 24-6.
Doula also had a 35-yard reception on a deep pass he deflected twice to himself.
“To be honest, coming into the game yesterday, confidence was a little bit down, but once I took a deep breath, it was a lot easier to start making those plays,” Douala said.
Murray-Jones’ timely score came after Sparrows Point’s Michael Brower had returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown, cutting the Pointers deficit to 16-6 with 7:01 left in the third quarter.
The running of Jones Jr. and Murray-Jones led to a 3-yard bootleg touchdown run by McIntee and another conversion pass to Douala that capped the scoring with 2:48 left in the game.
Jones Jr. was listed as wide receiver on the opening day roster, but moved to running back before the first game.
“It (running back) is something that is very new to me,” Jones Jr. said. “My coaches said it’s something where we need you and as a captain and as a leader of this team I was just like if you need me there, I’m going to be there.”
He knew his role as a captain was even more important because of the loss of Williams.
“The focus of our team is when somebody goes down, somebody else has to step up and I have a lot of confidence in our backup quarterback, Kris McIntee and that’s what he did, he stepped up and he had a very great game,” Jones Jr. said.
The defense was equally as focused.
On Friday night, a sack by Bowers on Sparrows Point’s first possession forced a fumble that was recovered by Douala.
That led to Lawson’s touchdown catch.
In addiction to Bowers two other sacks for safeties on Friday, Doala had two sacks and a tackle for loss on Saturday.
The Comets also got interceptions from Deonte Frederick, Paul Skidmore and Teyonne Bradley and the four forced turnovers were just what the new coach ordered.
“That’s part of our identity as a defense to be takers, we want to take the ball away,” Maybin said. “We’ve kind of got a little thing going on our sideline, kind of like the turnover chain, we’ve got something special that our guys are playing for and they were enthusiastic about it and they were trying to get to the ball whenever they could.”
The coach also praised a defense that didn’t allow a touchdown.
“I think the defense as a whole did a really good job. The defense pitched a shutout,” Maybin said.
While his first win was nice, the coach, who led the state when he ran for 2,466 yards on 419 carries in 2005, admitted it was more nerve-wracking than being a workhorse running back.
“I think it’s more stressful as a coach for me just because I know what I want to happen, I know what is supposed to happen and it doesn’t always work out that way, but that’s what it is to be a coach,” Maybin said. “Something that our whole coaching staff has stressed is that there is going to be adversity always, we’ve got to be able to overcome adversity, not only in football, but in life. No one wants our starting quarterback to get injured, but you’ve got to adapt and overcome and that’s something that we’ve been preaching.”