Urbana edges Wise for 4A state title, 6-0

Michael Spahr threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jude Merkel on the opening drive of the second half to lift Urbana to a 6-0 victory over Wise in the Class 4A state championship game Friday night at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Hawks of Frederick County, led by first-year coach Ryan Hines, finished their season at 13-0 as they took home the program's fourth state title.It was the ninth shutout by Urbana's defense this season.

"We just kept our heads up. Coach told us to believe," said Merkel. "This was the last half of football we were ever going to play together. Everybody did their job and believed."

The scoreless first half consisted of seven punts and two turnovers. The Pumas of Prince George's County put together a promising drive that began with just over five minutes remaining in the half, but it ended in frustration.

Ryan Smith dropped a 30-yard pass from DeAndre' Smith in the end zone, and later on the same drive, Urbana's Bing Aaron forced Wise's Kevin Staton to fumble at the 3-yard line, and Blake Gatewood recovered for Urbana with just over two minutes left in the half.

"Someone's looking out for us," Hines said. "Theres a lot of things that go on and you don't have an explanation for it. It all happens for a reason."

The Pumas (12-2) were seeking their first state championship in their fifth year in existence.

The 6-0 score ties the mark for fewest combined points in the 4A finals and fewest points by the winning team.

Wes Gray led the Hawks with 92 yards rushing on 23 carries.

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