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Sparrows Point football’s stout defense comes up big in 10-6 victory over Towson

Sparrows Point — the former home of Bethlehem Steel — is known for its grit and determination as a steel town on the shores of the Patapsco River.

That steely perseverance became evident in the Pointers football team’s 10-6 victory over Towson (0-3) on Thursday night.

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Sparrows Point’s defense stifled the Generals all night, and Swiss Army knife Bryce Hines ran for a 42-yard touchdown on a direct snap for the lone touchdown of the game for the Pointers (2-1). That’s all they’d need.

“[It’s] just hitting the hole honestly,” Hines said. “When I was coming up and I saw it, it was coming to me. I had to hit the hole because if I cut back in, they were going to get me.”

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There were hard hits throughout the game, resulting in shouting back and forth between the sides. As fog blanketed the field, the offenses struggled to gain ground amid the murky conditions. One thing for certain was Sparrows Point’s ability to stay calm under pressure.

“Usually, we have a lot of problems with that [keeping our heads in the game] and our coaches tell us all of the time that we have to work on that because it won’t get us anywhere,” Hines said. “Honestly, we’ve been practicing to keep our heads on our shoulders and to show restraint.”

Pointers coach Lamar King took over in May 2020. His biggest goal was to create a winner out of a program that hasn’t been known as a football powerhouse. After going 2-6 in 2019, the Pointers have already matched that win total in a pandemic-shortened spring football season.

“It’s a process. It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” King said. “So, we just continue to get better each and every day. We do a pursuit drill each and every single day. We discuss fundamentals every single day. We stress the point to working together as a team and a unit and the guys came through big time. We put ourselves in certain situations and they fought together to get the win.”

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As fog rolled onto the field, both teams played stout defense. There were several turnovers, and good field position came at a premium. The end of the first quarter was a stalemate, a 0-0 tie.

Sparrows Point pushed the ball downfield early in the second quarter and kicked a field goal with 10:07 remaining to go up 3-0. As Towson drove down the field, Sparrows Point punched the ball loose to regain possession at its own 31-yard line.

Towson’s Kane Howe immediately intercepted a pass to give the Generals the ball back at the Sparrows Point 45, but a turnover on downs after an overthrow by quarterback Seydina Sarr returned the ball to the Pointers.

Then it became the Hines show, as he took a direct snap on fourth down for a 42-yard touchdown to give Sparrows Point a 10-0 lead with 2:24 left in the half. Towson answered with a 50-yard touchdown strike by Sarr to Diquann Baker to end the half trailing 10-6.

After a scoreless third quarter, Towson had a chance to come back for the victory with a little over four minutes remaining in the game. The Generals drove down the field, but missed a few chances to pick up a first down. Sparrows Point took over and rushed the ball deep into Towson’s territory to milk the clock and win the game.

“Our defense — Cheddar [Chidera Ewuzie], Tommy [Thomas Welling], Quan [Diquann Baker] did a hell of a job today,” Towson coach Kelly Bryant said. “Jake Vanik also did a great job today — Blake [Bangay] did a great job on the back end. It was just missed opportunities, especially on offense. Those two touchdowns [we could’ve scored] really hurt us. That’s how it goes.”

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