Douglass senior running back Maurice McFadden ran for 274 yards in a 26-0 win over Cambridge-South Dorchester. The Ducks will face Fort Hill, the team that beat them last year, for the state title. (Katherine Dunn/Baltimore Sun video)
CAMBRIDGE — Even though this is his first season at Douglass, Maurice McFadden has had a little experience in the state football championships.
Last season, he played a back-up role on Franklin's Class 3A championship team. Friday night, the senior ran Douglass into the Class 1A final for the second straight year.
McFadden, a 5-foot-7, 185-pound running back, carried the ball 24 times for 273 yards and three touchdowns to lead the No. 14 Ducks to a 26-0 win at Cambridge-South Dorchester in the Class 1A state semifinals.
"We watch film and we saw they had some miscues in their defense and we just capitalized on them," McFadden said. "Shout out to my offensive line. They did a tremendous job today and I just followed right behind."
The Ducks offensive line — Ashton Spinney, Gary McDowell, Davon Stewart Jr., Trevonte Gibbs and Antawn Johnson — are all between 250 and 305 pounds and had a significant size advantage over the Vikings' defensive line. They cleared huge holes for McFadden the entire game.
Douglass coach Elwood Townsend said he expected to see more blitzes from the Vikings, something he saw on film of the last few games.
"But today for some odd reason they stayed back and tried to play us honest," Townsend said, "and with our offensive linemen playing the way they have the last few weeks, they just opened up some big holes and [McFadden] ran hard all game."
The victory sets up another rematch for the Ducks (12-1), who will go for their first state championship Dec. 6 at 3:30 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium, against Fort Hill, the team that beat them 25-0 in last year's final. The top-seeded Sentinels, from Cumberland, are riding the state's longest winning streak, 27 games, after beating Surrattsville, 36-20, in the other semifinal.
Next week, the third-seeded Ducks could use some of the big plays that have beaten Cambridge (11-2) two years in a row. McFadden had a touchdown run of 56 yards and another run of 84 yards, but those weren't the only big plays.
Last year against the Vikings, Douglass made the early mistakes and had to come from behind to win, but Friday night, along with the big plays, they took advantage of mistakes, including two turnovers, to take a 20-0 lead at the half.
The Ducks defense, led by Damion Allen, Marquis Williams, Sam Thomas, Gibbs and Johnson, played another stellar game. Although Douglass has allowed eight points in the playoffs, none have been surrendered by the defense. The team has given up just 60 points all season.
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Deljonte Moore caused a fumble and Allen recovered the ball with 59 seconds left in the first half, ending a steady Cambridge drive and leading to a quick Ducks touchdown.
Quarterback Dariun Miller hit Azariah Bratton-Bey for a short gain and then fired a long pass to Moore, who completed the 64-yard touchdown for a 20-0 lead at the half.
"We struck fast and that put us up by 20 at the half," Townsend said, "and I think that carried us over the top and the defense has been playing lights out all playoffs and they held on for us in the second half."
The Vikings never threatened in the second half and McFadden made it 26-0 when he burst through a huge hole in the line and ran 56 yards for his 15th touchdown of the season with 10:22 left.
The Ducks scored their first touchdown four seconds into the second quarter, driving 64 yards after Cambridge fumbled the ball away. Bratton-Bey made a terrific catch on the sideline to keep the drive rolling and McFadden polished it off with a 1-yard run. Antoinio Casey added the conversion run for a 8-0 lead.
The Vikings had to punt on their next possession and, on the Ducks third play of the drive, McFadden appeared to reach the end zone but had to settle for an 84-yard gain. On the next play, he punched it through for a 14-0 lead with 4:03 left in the first half.