Owings Mills football coach Travis Hall finished addressing his Eagles after their 28-25 win over Baltimore County rival New Town in Friday night’s Class 2A North region playoff game with a basic message: “It ain’t got to be pretty, just fun.”
The host Eagles made game-changing plays, most notably Kenny Wilson’s 80-yard kickoff return to start the second half, to build a 10-point lead. And when they needed it most, they grinded out a 16-play drive — all on the ground — in the fourth quarter that ate up close to 10 minutes.
Quarterback Kamar Cosby ran for two scores, Amari N’namdi-Hall scored a touchdown and Wesley Beckett ran for 81 yards in the collective effort on the ground behind a veteran offensive line. Owings Mills improved to 10-1 and advances to next week’s state quarterfinal round. Seedings will take place after all the region play is complete.
Cosby is confident the Eagles aren’t done winning just yet.
“There’s a brotherhood that we have — we’ve been together this we were children,” he said. “Our bond is so tight, we can get on each other and still come out on the end as brothers. It’s just great.”
After handling New Town, 20-8, in the regular season meeting Oct. 23, the Eagles had a much more difficult time Friday.
They had a 28-18 lead entering the fourth quarter when Cosby and N’Namdi-Hall helped eat up most of the fourth quarter. But when they turned the ball over on downs with 2:20 to play, the Titans (7-4) made chunk plays to get down the field quickly. When quarterback Jah’Kem Allen threw to Akeem Wright for a 20-yard score, Owings Mills’ lead was suddenly down to 28-25 after Dominic Johnson’s extra point with 1:24 to play.
The Eagles made one final big play on special teams to secure the win, as Elliott Bourne pounced on the onside kick. Thanks to the long drive the Eagles’ offense enjoyed to start the fourth quarter, the Titans were out of timeouts, which allowed the home team to run out the remaining time in victory formation.
Hall praised his offensive line with Keon Massey, a four-year starter, taking on the lead role.
“I got to give it to my offensive line,” Hall said. “It’s a veteran group, we got mostly seniors and two juniors. That’s how they’ve been all season. When we needed a drive or a play, those guys have locked in and done that for us.”
The Eagles, who opened the playoffs with a 56-0 win over Lansdowne last week, will take a seven-game winning streak into the state quarterfinals. Their best showing in state play came in 1990, when they reached the semifinals.
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For New Town, Allen threw two touchdowns passes and scored on a 12-yard run, while Shane Johnson returned a kick 73 yards for a score in the first quarter. The Titans were making their ninth playoff appearance, advancing to the second round of region play with a 20-6 win over Patterson in last week’s opening round.