Cadets beat TJ, earn top seed in 3A West

November 07, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

FREDERICK, Md. - No player on the Frederick High School football team can remember the last time the Cadets made the Maryland state playoffs. Many of them hadn't been born yet.

The Cadets officially put their hats in the Class 3A West playoffs with a 39-26 victory over rival Thomas Johnson Saturday afternoon, capping a season they've not seen on Carroll Parkway since the mid-1980s.

Frederick (9-1) last won nine regular-season games in 1986 and last appeared in the state playoffs in 1987. Now, the Cadets will be the No. 1 seed after Linganore downed Urbana 19-15 Saturday, paving the way for a home encounter with Seneca Valley next weekend.


Urbana's loss also gave the Cadets a share of the MVAL Chesapeake Conference title with Linganore and Urbana, all with 5-1 records.

"Making the playoffs just shows that the hard work has paid off for all us," said senior running back Bruce Dorsey, who carried the ball 20 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns.

To Frederick coach Vince Ahearn, the victory was not a masterpiece, but more of an opportunity to work on aspects of the game in preparing for the playoffs.

"Not to take anything anyway from TJ, they played very well, but we were preparing for next week," Ahearn said. "We had a lot of combinations with personnel that included backups to get them valuable playing experience."

Quarterback Cory Rhodes was rusty out of the gate - completing just 2 of 7 passes - after getting a rest last week, but managed to go 13 of 25 for 191 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

"Cory was a little rusty and just needed some time to get going," Ahearn said.

Still, Rhodes helped get the Cadets on the board as Andrew Goodwin kicked a 28-yard field goal at the 8:41 mark of the first quarter

On Thomas Johnson's first play of the game from scrimmage following the kickoff, quarterback Ben Hose completed a pass to Jerame DuVall, who had the football knocked loose by a Frederick tackler and returned 22 yards to the Patriots 18 by Mime Murphy.

After two short gains, Dorsey ran off the left side of the Frederick line for a 13-yard touchdown and 10-0 lead.

However, TJ (2-8, 0-6) came back with an 11-play, 77-yard march, culminating with a 1-yard touchdown run by Bobby Humphries with 9:28 to play in the first half.

Meanwhile, Rhodes was starting to warm up. He started the next possession with three straight completions, two to Patrick Desmond. After three straight runs by Dorsey that netted 30 yards, Rhodes hooked up with T.J. Taylor for a 12-yard scoring strike and a 17-6 lead.

It took a conversion on 4th-and-14 in order for the Patriots to advantage of sophomore Terrence Kerns' 50-yard kickoff return. Hose connected with Justin Moser on a slant route for a 36-yard scoring strike to cut the deficit to 17-12.

"We've got some work we'll do this week on our secondary," Ahearn said. "It's good we've got a week to work on it."

Dorsey capped a 62-yard scoring drive to open the second half with a 14-yard TD run, again around the left end, but TJ wouldn't quit. Humphries intercepted a Rhodes pass and went 21 yards for a score with 2:18 left in the third period to get the Patriots back within 25-18.

Frederick put the game out of reach with two scores at the outset of the final quarter. Dorsey scored from 4 yards out off the left side to cap a 48-yard drive and Gerald Price intercepted a pass for the Cadets that paved the way for a 36-yard rush by Dorsey, followed by Rhodes' 10-yard scoring strike to Desmond, who had seven catches for 95 yards.

"The left side is our strong side of the line. We've got big strong people there and that's my favorite side of the line to run on," Dorsey said.

DuVall ran 19 yards for a TJ touchdown on the next possession to finish off a 58-yard drive, but the Patriots had two passes intercepted down the stretch in a futile effort to catch up.

"Everyone knows we have so many seniors, but some of the underclassmen like Desmond and Price and others are beginning to come through and that's a credit to my assistant coaches getting them ready," Ahearn said.

The Cadets racked up 408 yards of total offense while the Patriots had 242 total yards. Humphries had 52 yards rushing for TJ. Each team had four turnovers and the Cadets were flagged for 10 penalties.

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