Catonsville senior running backs DeAndre' Lane and Joseth Hylton made sure the Comet offensive line went home happy during Friday night's 34-14 victory over Kenwood.
The dynamic duo rushed for 248 of the Comets' 273 rushing yards and combined to score all five touchdowns as the Comets improved to 6-3 with one regular-season game left at home on Friday, Nov. 2 (7 p.m.) against Parkville.
Catonsville (6-3) came into the game tied with Perry Hall for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Class 4A North Region, but the Gators lost to Franklin, so a win over Parkville should give the Comets a playoff berth.
They could improve their seed depending what third-seeded Blake and second-seeded Sherwood do this weekend.
The running game has been the key ingredient for the Comets all season and it was against Kenwood (3-6).
"We all like to see the run go far," Catonsville senior guard Brandon Dixon said. "We don't care if our name gets in the paper and we don't care how our offensive line is viewed, as long as the ball goes down the field and we score. Then, we are all happy."
Dixon, sophomore guard Zack Delker, senior tackle Mason Klompus, junior tackle Julian Robinson, freshman center Jake Faircloth and junior tight end Teddy Crayton provided the holes despite some uncharacteristic penalties.
"The penalties came at inconvenient times, but, after a lot of those penalties, we had a lot of big plays," Klompus said.
"We have one of the best offensive lines in the county and they are very resilient and when they make mistakes, they don't get down on themselves," Catonsville coach Rich Hambor said.
Crayton added two big plays in the passing game.
He caught a 47-yard option pass from Hylton during a first half drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown run by Hylton (11 carries, 98 yards).
In the fourth quarter Crayton made a one-handed snatch of a 31-yard pass from reserve quarterback Joey Getzendanner that led to a 7-yard touchdown run by Lane for the Comets final touchdown.
Lane (21 carries, 150 yards) also had a 6-yard TD run in the first half and Hylton had a 7-yard touchdown in the first half and 28-yard spinning twist to paydit in the second half.
Kicker Garrett Wack nailed 4 of 5 extra points to complete the scoring.
Kenwood's scores came on a first-half touchdown pass of 16 yards from quarterback Jaleel Figgins to Willie Johnson and a 60-yard bomb from reserve quarterback Chrishawn Lewis to A'Donta Thomas late in the second half.
Catonsville's depleted defense, which was missing senior middle linebacker Julian Singletarty after he was ejected in the previous game, took some injury hits.
Defensive end TJ Henry, defensive back Hylton and linebacker Devin Ray all missed periods of the game with injuries.
Junior Steve Ruppel filled in admirably for Singletary and the Comets also got an interception from Nigel MInter and fumble recovery by Calloway Lee.
Lee also made three consecutive tackles for losses in the fourth quarter.
Defensive end Marvin Lambert had a sack and Henry and had a tackle for a 2-yard loss in the first quarter, which the Comets led, 7-0.
They expanded the lead to 20-6 by halftime and put the game away with the first two scores of the second half.
In the second half, the Comets got solid play from linebacker Adam Dye and defensive linemen Darius Williams, Norris Holloway and Cheldon Simon.
Simon put heavy pressure on quarterback Figgins on a third-down play early in the fourth quarter that led to an incompletion and punt.
On the next series, Hylton scored from 28 yards out and the Comet reserves got some quality playing time.
"Every kid made a contribution in some kind of way on the field," Hambor said.