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Douglass pounds Edmondson, 45-2, in 1A South final

It all started with roasted duck photos on social media.

The Douglass Mighty Ducks didn't appreciate the insinuation behind those pictures and took it out on their source, Edmondson, with a 45-2 pounding in Saturday's state Class 1A South region football final at Poly.

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"We saw a lot of roasted ducks out there," Ducks running back Maurice McFadden said with a laugh, "but we just work hard in practice. We've seen a lot of trash talking on the social networking, but we didn't respond back because [we] knew when we come back on the field we're going to do what we do best, and that's play football We played great today, offensively and defensively."

For the second straight year, the Ducks defeated their Baltimore city rival for the region title, this time driven by quarterback Dariun Miller's three touchdown passes, strong line play on both sides of the ball and a relentless defense that forced six Edmondson turnovers.

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Last year, the Ducks needed double-overtime to beat the Red Storm and move on to the state semifinals, but they didn't have the roasted-duck incentive back then.

"Early in the week their coach got on social media and told us, 'Just in time for Thanksgiving, roasted duck,'" Douglass coach Elwood Townsend said, "so my kids took heed to it ... [The players] wanted to make a statement last year. The game was close, winning (20-14) in double overtime and this year, we felt that we were just the better football team all around."

To win their first state championship, the Ducks likely would have to beat the same two teams they faced in last year's tournament. Next week, they travel to Cambridge-South Dorchester, which the Ducks beat 54-13 in last year's semifinal.

A win likely would set up a rematch with Fort Hill, which beat Douglass in last year's state championship game, 25-0. The Sentinels, riding a 25-game winning streak, are favored to beat Surrattsville in next week's other 1A semifinal.

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The Ducks (11-1) have been determined to get back to the state final after making the first appearance in school history last season. It took less than six minutes to get rolling toward that goal Saturday.

On their first possession, Miller capped an eight-play, 53-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Azariah Bratton-Bey.

The Red Storm (10-2) cut the lead to 6-2 with a safety with 5:15 left in the first half, but the Ducks scored three minutes later. McFadden ran for a 1-yard touchdown and Deljonte Moore added the conversion run to give Douglass a 14-2 lead.

On the first drive of the second half, Miller hit Jordan Wilkes for a 61-yard touchdown to spark a 28-point quarter, with 20 coming off turnovers.

Dontray Edwards returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown, Damion Allen Jr. scored on a 43-yard run, the Ducks got a safety and with 10 seconds left, Bratton-Bey turned a short Miller pass into a 36-yard touchdown. That kicked in the running clock with a 42-2 lead and two minutes to go in the quarter.

Marquis Williams finished it with a 20-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

The Red Storm struggled to move the ball against a defense that has allowed 60 points this season.

"We got manhandled," Edmondson coach Corey Johnson said. "We couldn't control the line of scrimmage on either side, but particularly on the offensive side. We couldn't run the ball. They ran into our backfield. We couldn't even get off two-second throws."

The Red Storm had a couple chances to steady things, but a few key penalties and turnovers stopped several drives, including one early in the second quarter. Edmondson moved the ball steadily to the Ducks' 29 before Wilkes picked off a quarterback Michael Taylor.

This will be the last region playoff meeting for the two teams, at least for a while. Next year, Edmondson will remain in Class 1A South, but Douglass will be a Class 3A school, part of the 14-team 3A North region that includes Franklin, Milford Mill, City, Poly and Aberdeen.

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