Damascus, Jake Funk run over No. 7 Dundalk in Class 3A football final

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Like every other team Damascus has played this season, Dundalk built its defensive game plan for the Class 3A state football championship around stopping running back Jake Funk.

As in every other game, it didn't work.


The Maryland-bound Funk — 5 feet 11, 205 pounds of downhill runner — shredded the Owls defense for seven touchdowns, a state title-game record, in leading the Swarmin' Hornets (14-0) to a 55-14 victory and their eighth state championship Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium.

Dundalk coach Sean Sandora said the No.7 Owls (12-2) didn't execute the game plan and senior defensive end Kobi Eure agreed.


"Our linebackers couldn't get off their blocks," Eure said. "Our line was getting pushed back, and it was hard for us to contain the cut-back lane. After that, it was hard trying to tackle him because he was a powerful kid. He ran pretty low."

Funk, who scored six touchdowns and gained 211 of his 270 rushing yards in the first half, increased his single-season state record to 57 touchdowns. The seven he scored in the final, including one touchdown reception, tied the record for all tournament games.

"To be honest, during the game that never goes through my mind," Funk said. "The only thing I'm focused on is winning, and then people come up to you and tell you about the records after the game [and] it puts the icing on the cake."

The Hornets, who last won a title in 2007, fell in last year's final to Franklin. Funk said that experience helped.

Dundalk dethroned two-time defending champion Franklin in the regional final, one of the key wins in the best season in school history. No other Owls team had ever won 12 games.

"We've had a great season," Sandora said. "It didn't end the way that we wanted it to, but hats off to Damascus. They're a great team, and my guys had a great season. I'm very proud of them."

The Owls, in pursuit of their first state title, turned the ball over four times. Funk turned three turnovers into touchdowns in a matter of seconds.

Early on, the Owls had a little success containing Funk. Linebacker Chrys Lane stopped him short on fourth down midway through the first quarter. But, for most of the first three quarters, Funk ran over Dundalk.


Owls junior quarterback Darrius Sample, who set a school record with 42 combined touchdowns this season, was sacked five times. Sample scored Dundalk's first touchdown on a 4-yard scramble early in the second quarter. He also threw a touchdown pass as time expired in the game.

The Owls fell into a big hole early after turning the ball over on downs on their first drive and fumbling it away on their next two. The Hornets took advantage of the short field to score twice.

After Dundalk went three-and-out on its first possession, a 28-yard punt set up the Hornets at the Owls' 44-yard line. Funk gained 37 yards on the 10-play drive and finished it off with a 1-yard run for a 7-0 lead with 5:48 left in the first quarter.

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The Owls fumbled the handoff on the first play of their next drive, but Lane stopped Funk short on fourth-and-5 to get the ball back. Two plays later, Sample lost the ball when Jake Bradshaw sacked him and Mike Bradshaw recovered on the Owls' 13.

After two carries by Funk, including a 4-yard touchdown, the Hornets led 14-0 with 2:37 left in the first quarter.

The Owls finally started moving the ball late in the first quarter, mounting a 17-play drive capped by Sample's touchdown run. Sample then hit Kobi Eure with the conversion pass to cut the Hornets lead to 14-8 with 9:09 left in the second quarter.


Then Funk slammed the door, running for three more touchdowns and catching a 9-yard touchdown pass from Julian Kinard in the final 8:23 of the half to go into the break with a 41-8 lead. His longest touchdown run was 39 yards in the third quarter which gave the Montgomery County team a 48-8 lead and kicked in the running clock.

Sample, who went 10-for-18 passing for 145 yards, finished off the game with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Daquan Thomas.