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FAET defense can't keep up with Major, Surrattsville in 1A North final

FAET's defense has been the stingiest in the Baltimore area all season, allowing just 38 points through 10 games. For the second year in a row, however, the Grizzlies could not hold back Surrattsville running back Amaru Major.

Major, 5-feet-11, 180 pounds, came into the Class 1A North region final as one of the most prolific rushers in Maryland with 1,890 yards. He ran for two touchdowns in the first five minutes Saturday at Poly to spark the Hornets to a 40-0 victory and their second straight region championship.

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The loss brought to an end the best season in school history for Friendship Academy of Engineering and Technology, which earned its first playoff win last weekend, a 6-0 victory over Fairmont Heights, on Quantez Snow's 8-yard touchdown pass to Kija Jackson with 10 seconds left. The Baltimore City Division III champs reached the region final in only their second season as a varsity program and were one of only six teams to enter the region finals unbeaten.

"I feel like our team started off from a lot of adversity," Grizzlies junior running back Robert Murphy III said. "Nobody [believes] in us and my brothers, they told me as long as nobody believes in us but we believe in each other, just believe in that."

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FAET (10-1) accomplished three major goals this season: they avenged two regular season losses from last season, went undefeated in the regular season and won a playoff game. With only five seniors, they hope to build on that.

Defense had been the ticket to the Grizzlies' success this fall. They shut out five teams and allowed only one opponent to score more than one touchdown.

They knew all about Major. Last season, he scored on a 70-yard run on Surrattsville's first play from scrimmage to spark a 22-0 first quarter for the Hornets in the region semifinal.

Knowing about him and stopping him were two different things. With his offensive line opening huge holes, Major finished with 206 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns.

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"He's awesome, a great running back," FAET coach William Crawford said. "We ran into him last year and we knew he would be a big part of their football game and we didn't tackle him. We'd hit him but we didn't wrap him up. We didn't stop him and he kept running."

The Hornets (8-4) scored on their first five possessions and never punted. They turned their final possession over on downs at the FAET 3-yard line.

The Grizzlies had decent field position most of the game thanks to some long kickoff returns, including one of 62 yards by Shyqwan Byrd. They turned the ball over on downs at the Surrattsville 5-yard line in the first half and at the 4 in the second half. The Hornets intercepted Snow twice.

Murphy led FAET with 108 yards on 24 carries.

Surrattsville will play at top-seeded Fort Hill (12-0) Friday night in the state semifinals.

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