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What We Learned: Weeks 8-10

November 3, 2017

 

Welcome to the Weeks 8-10 recap of football in the Bayside Conference. Thanks for all the support and readership. If you have any questions, comments, etc, please email me at mikeontheb@hotmail.com For those interested in the Bayside South, the ‘Bayside Blitz’ is one of the features on my weekday morning show at the beach on 92-7 WGMD, wgmd.com and the WGMD App. Ricky Pollitt from ‘The Daily Times’ joins me every Friday at 740am to talk about that week’s games and news and notes.

 

Don’t forget if you missed any of the Overtime Live Show from Friday Night on 94-3 WINX-FM or sfmsports.net or want to replay it just check it out HERE

 

 

Perspective:

Those who figure it out in life the fastest are better off. What is the “It” to which I am referring? That would be the things about life you come to understand that make you a better person, a person who appreciates what they do have in life not what they do not have. It would knowing that when they say “If you have your health you have everything” and you truly understand what that means to your core. It’s remembering the people that have helped you in life and giving back to those in need. It’s carrying out the values you have been taught when no one is looking, that’s character. Maybe most important is family and community and rallying for those in need through time, energy, money, etc.

 

The Bayside Conference Community has been affected by cancer in the last year. First it was Stephen Decatur Head Coach Bob Knox who took last year off to help his daughter whose son, his grandson, Eli was and is battling a rare form of brain cancer. The football community came together to raise money for his daughter’s family at the various games last year and through a Go Fund Me page that was set up. Coach Knox returned to the sidelines this year for his 33rd year and thankfully was able to race out of the inflatable Seahawk helmet with his grandson as the Seahawks hosted Kent Island that night with his grandson taking in the game on the sidelines. Eli is doing well but it’s a day to day week to week fight.

 

A few weeks ago JM Bennett Head Coach Hoot Gibson announced he was stepping away from coaching this season to be with his wife Tracy who was battling cancer. I think many of us knew this time around that she would not have long sadly to live. She passed away last Tuesday night. The week before Mark Potter, the founder of Overtime Live and play by play guy for our ‘Game of the Week’ went about raising money for the Gibson family. In just a few short days the football community rallied again raising thousands of dollars.

 

Saturday JM Bennett not only remembered Tracy but one of their own who was lost in the War in Afghanistan, Sgt. Wardell Turner. Turner was apart of the ’82 and ’83 State Championship teams.

 

You can learn more HERE

 

You probably saw this article posted on our Overtime Live Facebook page but in case you did not here is more on Coach Gibson and his late wife HERE

 

In addition Steve Clendenin’s (the founder of www.sfmsports.net, who we partner with providing sports content and who streams our games and shows) father passed away a few weeks ago of cancer.

Cancer has hit closer to home for me than ever before, although I am glad to say that the person affected is doing very well thank the Lord.

 

There are bigger things than wins and losses yes but to me football is important and what the coaches, players, parents, volunteers do and what we do here at the OTL is critical because Bayside Conference Football has brought us together where we might not necessarily be otherwise. Bayside Football is our rallying cry, we all have an investment of sorts in it, in some way, shape or form. We cheer, we volunteer, we coach, we practice, we play, we blog, broadcast the game, interview the coaches, etc. Bayside Football is our bond and because of that we look out for one another.

 

With all that said: THANK YOU AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND GENEROSITY AND BY BEING A GREAT EXAMPLE FOR THE PLAYERS AND EVERYONE IN THE BAYSIDE COMMUNITY! ALWAYS REMEMBER IF TODAY WAS YOUR LAST, WHAT WOULD YOUR LEGACY BE? IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE ANSWER, WORK TO CHANGE IT, TOMORROW IS NOT A GIVEN BUT IF GIVEN MAKE THE MOST OF IT.

 

Points Standings:

Week 10 brings plenty on the line and excitement

 

Alright let’s break it down as best as possible but also keep it as simple as possible.

 

Let’s start in the 3A East:

JM Bennett is in the playoffs regardless of whether or not they defeat Wicomico on Friday. However a win is likely to ensure them a #2 seed, a loss and a Chesapeake-AA win would drop them down to a #3 seed and put them in a road playoff game instead of a home game.

 

In the 2A East:

It’s pretty simple here as the winner of #2 Kent Island at #3 Queen Anne’s will lock into the #4 seed in the playoffs and almost definitely take on #1 North Caroline barring a stunning upset by Colonel. The loser goes home. Even with an Elkton loss (they have a tough opponent against 3A C. Milton Wright whose 6-3), Queen Anne’s will not overcome the points deficit although it would be very close. Elkton’s bonus points would be the difference at that point. Kent Island also cannot mathematically overtake Elkton with a win.

 

In the 1A East:

This is the toughest of them all for sure. Havre De Grace has sown up the #1 seed by a wide margin regardless of win or loss this week…Colonel Richardson is the #2 spot but they are very likely to lose to North Caroline so all they can add to their points total is from bonus points. Colonel’s wins in the Bayside came against Kent County (at Patterson Mill, possible win), Snow Hill (likely a loss) and Washington (likely a loss). Half of their wins are against Eastern Shore of VA teams and since they start a week early most of the teams are finished for the season or going to the playoffs.

 

However that is not the case with Arcadia and Northampton who play each other. With that game they will get a point out of it regardless. Nandua is finished for the year so they will receive no points from them. The best Colonel can do is score themselves 2 points by unofficial calculations. David Insley talked about a doomsday scenario that could push Colonel out altogether. Colonel is in even with a Perryville and Cambridge win.

 

What They Need Outside of a Win To Happen:

Colonel needs Bo Manor to lose for sure but to be safe they also could use a Cambridge loss although it’s not necessarily imperative. The issue is if Cambridge and Bo Manor wins, there is a chance that with bonus points Colonel could be surpassed by both teams or Colonel and Cambridge tie and with the Vikings win over Colonel head to head they would go to the playoffs. It’s remote but Colonel could tie with Bo Manor. Since the two have not played head to head it comes down to who has the most bonus points and that would go to Colonel. There is a chance though with a Bo Manor win plus bonus points that they could get the final playoff spot by a point over Colonel.

 

Cambridge needs Bo Manor to lose. If both win or lose it would come down to bonus points. What helps Cambridge is they are playing Easton, a 2A team and a win would it would give them 6 points where Bo Manor would receive 5 points for their win thus giving Cambridge a 1 point lead. Then it comes down to the aforementioned bonus points. Cambridge by my count has a possible of 2 bonus points they can add to any win points. Those would come from Kent County and or Arcadia (VA).

 

For Bo Manor they have a shot at two bonus points based on my analysis of the teams they have defeated and the chance those teams win. Those points would come from Aberdeen and or Patterson Mill. That’s how bonus points work. Their last win came against Delaware County Christian in PA. This week they play in a postseason game. I am not sure a postseason game would count. I have no idea if DCC would win that game or not, not knowing those teams.

 

Let’s just go all out if scenario, if Cambridge and Bo Manor won, by my count Cambridge would max out at 48 points and Bo Manor would max out at 47. Colonel can max out at a likely 47 points. By the way both Cambridge and Colonel need Kent County to defeat Patterson Mill out of Harford County to help their bonus points situation.

 

North Caroline Reigns Supreme:

The Bulldogs win over Kent Island 35-14 reinforced that even the #2 team in the Bayside Conference isn’t close to North Caroline. The Caroline defense which has received little attention shutdown the Buccaneers running game to the tune of less than 40 yards which is unheard of. The Bucs could not stop the run or the pass. They were able to make some adjustments and make some plays in the passing game in the second half as Trent Jackson finished 22 of 39 passing for 232 yards with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Galloway in the second half.

 

The scary thing is North Caroline went to the air twice early on in their scoring. Kent Island loaded the box and forced Caroline to take that tact but you still have to make the play especially with a load of defenders coming down on the QB and Cody Pepper delivered beautifully twice. WR Cameron Brown has come up big this year and is the main receiving threat for the Bulldogs. (While David Bailey is a RB, you quite honestly could characterize him as a RB/Slot and or just plain athlete. Teams have to respect is receiving ability and then of course once he gets the ball in his hand, we know what he can do then.) It appears that Cody Pepper and Cameron Brown have taken on the rolls of their 2015 counterparts Cameron Byrd and Anton Black.

 

Side Note: Let’s not forget that Pepper had similar success against JM Bennett a few weeks before that as he hit David Bailey down the middle of the field with a long pass on their first offensive series that setup a Bailey rushing TD. He would hit Bailey for a TD pass again later in the game. After the Caroline defense intercepted Bennett QB Joey Blake, Pepper hit Tyler Bower with a 56yd TD pass on the second series and then TE Stevens in the third quarter. Teams that load the box are going to pay the price and Caroline has multiple players to get the ball to this year. I remember when Caroline made the playoffs in 2009. They had a nice 7-3 season but they had to play at Kent Island. They lost that game 35-0. The offense had absolutely no passing game whatsoever. I think Coach McCormick even ran the ball on some 3rd and longs. This program has come so far since those days.

 

North Caroline is on their way to their second undefeated season in three years with a win this Friday against Colonel Richardson. That would make them 28-2 in the last three years and when counting in playoffs 31-4. The scary thing is this team is more talented than the one in 2015 that ended up going 12-1. This year the team features DL Jamion Franklin (Notre Dame) who came back last year after he transferred to Baltimore private school Gilman in 2015. This year the Bulldogs got a transfer in defensive lineman Brendin Gestole from Queen Anne’s who coupled with Franklin makes for a massive DLine. With RB David Bailey (Boston College) and the aforementioned passing game which seems to be as good as if not better than two years ago, it all makes for a lethal combination on defense.

 

As I mentioned to Kent Island Head Coach Damian Ferragamo, where do you begin to try and shutdown the Bulldogs? Outside of David Bailey in the run game you have to account for Tyler Bauer, Will Manship, Tynez Warner and Zack Smith. Then you throw in the passing game and you really have to pick your poison.

 

Oh and by the way North Caroline featured a Wishbone package that included DL Jamion Franklin as one of the backs of course being asked to block for the likes of Bailey and Manship. A wrinkle teams have to prepare for but trying to stop it is a lot easier said than done.

 

Assessing Kent Island and What of a Round II with North Caroline:

Right now Kent Island’s sole focus is Queen Anne’s understandably so but what of Kent Island if they defeat Queen Anne’s and play North Caroline again. First things first is you cannot turnover the ball. It was surprising that Jackson not only fumbled the snap on the 2nd play of the game which turned into Bulldog points but he also threw an interception in the end zone after special teams had blocked a North Caroline punt and given the Bucs field position at the Caroline 17. You simply cannot have that out of your experienced signal caller. Despite the bad field position for Caroline they turned that also into points. The third TD was the dagger at that point going into the half.

 

If the Bucs play the NC again they will have to disguise their loaded box approach and bate Pepper into throwing into a crowded area by dropping guys back into coverage after showing a loaded box to stop the run. Conversely they will need to blitz secondary players to stop the run approaching their run game from all angles to keep them guessing where the pressure point is.

 

They will also have to mix their secondary pass coverage and occasionally come off man and play zone where they can although that may be easier said than done. At the end of the day your resources have to be aimed more at the run. Kent Island must also force turnovers themselves.

 

If their run game cannot get on track and they become one dimensional that is problematic but it’s more problematic if you get down by a lot early. If the defense can keep it close, than at least it’s not always an obvious pass situation when you go back to throw.

 

Finally the Bucs will need to win the special teams phase via field position and maybe most importantly try and create a turnover on their own. It’s not likely you will get two but your best chance still probably comes against the pass.

 

Queen Anne’s, Same Year, Different Players:

The Lions graduated their entire offense last year and eight of their defensive players. Yet heading into the ‘War on the Shore’ against Kent Island they are 7-2 and with a win will head to the 2A East Playoffs. They have done this all with mostly a Freshman QB and transfer RB. Knowing what we do about Queen Anne’s over the years, it would be foolish to think the Lions would fall flat on their face even with those high amount of starters graduating. That said it was not unreasonable to think that the Lions might go 6-4 this year missing the playoffs but building a solid foundation for years to come.

 

However after a 2-2 start to the season, the Lions have reeled off 5 straight wins to get to where they are today. Head Coach Donnie Graef told me that the players and coaches have “put the time in” and it’s paid off. Graef got Freshman QB SyRus McGowan some time in at QB early in the season even though Tyler Bonkowski started the season under center. By about midseason though McGowan was the full time starter. Graef said what worried him about McGowan was picking up on the amount of the terminology that the Lions offense contains, yet Graef has been totally impressed of how well he has gotten it all down. Graef said he doesn’t play like a Freshman. Head Coach Bob Knox of Stephen Decatur told me a few weeks ago he didn’t know McGowan was a Freshman and just said “wow, he is going to be a good one, he is pretty good now.”

 

Think about it, the two losses Queen Anne’s had early in the year were to Sussex Central who is one of the top teams in Division I in Delaware and North Caroline who is #1 in the Bayside and a Top 20 team in the state of Maryland. Even with an experienced team Queen Anne’s may have lost those two games and it wouldn’t be anything to be embarrassed about. The scary thing is this team is more battle tested than ever in that it has been in a number of close contests this season as compared to previous years and have still come out the victor. So if their matchup with Kent Island comes down to the end don’t expect them to blink.

 

For Queen Anne’s, same result different players. Nothing to see here, even though there is, a heck of a coaching job and heck of a job by the players.

 

Cambridge’s Schedule:

The Vikings started out 0-3 this year due to losing 16 starters and a tough slate of matchups with North Caroline, Woodbridge and Queen Anne’s. Head Coach Jake Coleman told me that playing a tough schedule is a good idea but what set the Vikings back even further is the fact that all those games came in a row. So not only are you reeling from three consecutive defeats but your also pretty beat up as a 1A taking on some 2As. Woodbridge I believe would be considered a 1A if they were in the Bayside Conference. The schedule is what it is but ideally if those games more evenly spaced if anything the Vikings may have had a healthier and more confident team even if that had not translated into another win or two.

 

Easton Grit:

I have lauded Matt Griffith and the Warriors this year on the OTL as Easton who lost their starting QB in Mason Ledford, one of their starting RBs in Connor Butler and one of their WRs Ryan Farr all in one game (early in the year in Week 2) against Queen Anne’s has still fought the good fight this year. Even in that game they fought hard losing just 27-10 with a late TD by Queen Anne’s. Their 22-12 win last Friday over a 4-4 Wicomico team who has speed and athleticism was just another example of this. The lack of offense did not help matters in losses to Parkside (25-13) and Decatur (17-0). In that Decatur game the defense was missing quite a few players due to the flu and the offense while it got some big runs by Tre Banks was never able to get into the land of six in a rainy game in Berlin. They were in the game with JM Bennett for three quarters before the wheels came off the bus in that one and most of that was self-inflicted wounds. The Warriors deserve a lot of credit hanging in there losing the guys they did and still not being an easy out.

 

While it might not show up in the Win column, the Warriors have earned a lot of respect. They will make it tough for Cambridge this Friday that is for sure.

 

Playoffs for the Bayside:

This year it is likely the Bayside will send 5 teams into the Maryland State Playoffs, the same amount of teams it sent in 2016. In 2015 6 teams from the Bayside played extra football. In 2014, 5 teams played postseason football. The South has had very few teams in the playoffs compared to the North. Stephen Decatur went in 2011 and 2013. JM Bennett went in 2015 and will be the lone representative this year. As rough as it’s been for Snow Hill, they are the only other team that has gone to the playoffs from the South in the last 7 years. They went in consecutive years from 2011-13. The Conference with 13 teams I am sure would love to consistently put in 6-7 teams each year but until the South can get some wins against the better North teams, they will rack up too many losses to be able to land a spot. Parkside has been the most consistent South team in the last few years with four straight winning seasons but none good enough to get a spot in a very difficult 2A East.

 

Ahead of the Game:

Queen Anne’s inserted Freshman QB SyRus McGowan into their lineup early in the year and has helped lead the Lions to a 7-2 record going into the final game of the year. Easton’s Jarin Winters was thrust into the lineup out of necessity after Mason Ledford was injured in the third offensive play against Queen Anne’s in Week 2. The injury ended Ledford’s season and Winters has been playing ever since. While Easton has had struggles offensively this year, Winters has also shown some flashes. Winters has a strong arm and can run as evidenced by two rushing TD in their win against Wicomico 22-12. The first was a 91-yd TD. McGowan can also run and throw. This year they are both getting a lot of valuable experience. Both Queen Anne’s and Easton have these guys for another three years under center. In the Lions case they may even make the playoffs. Kent County’s Peyton Taylor is a sophomore and will have another two years with the Trojans. Cambridge Freshman Jyquan Farrare has played in a few games this year when Tyler Harding got injured and missed a few games. These two teams will be set for a while. Taking a look though around the rest of the Bayside, the following schools will all be breaking in new QBs next year:

 

Kent Island, North Caroline, Colonel Richardson, Cambridge, Parkside, JM Bennett, Washington and Stephen Decatur.

 

Parkside:

The letters N & O come before P in the alphabet and that’s appropriate as Nayal Oge has helped to carry the Parkside team this year. Oge ran for an unheard of 249 yards and 3 TDs against the Queen Anne’s Lions defense last Friday. He ran for 6 TDs in the Rams win over Stephen Decatur the week before. Oge has 17 TDs this season and will likely reach his goal of 20 when the Rams visit the Washington Jaguars on Friday. Dalonte Waters is still fairly fresh in the minds of many and goes down as the best back in Parkside with 5,848 yards, third best in Maryland State history. Those are big shoes to fill. The Rams did not try to fill it with one person as you just don’t replace Waters with one guy. Oge has progressively gotten better each season he has played.

 

Queen Anne’s Lions Head Coach Donnie Graef paid Oge a big compliment after the game against Parkside tell the Star Democrat-“Other than David Bailey at North Caroline, that kid’s a tough runner,” Graef said. “He’s one of the best that we’ve seen.”

 

This year Oge has missed 2 games but is still over 1200 yards rushing. He may have saved the best for just about last in his game against Queen Anne’s. Kudos to his offensive line that has also helped pave the way.

 

Back and Forth:

David Insley of The Star Democrat providing a little history on Cambridge-SD and Snow Hill. Cambridge has had the upper hand as of late but it has not always been that way as he writes: Snow Hill last defeated C-SD on Nov. 16, 2007, in a first-round 1A East playoff game, 24-21. The Eagles had beaten C-SD earlier that season as well, 27-2, in Week 8. C-SD’s 38-21 defeat of the Eagles in October 2008 snapped a streak of seven straight Eagle wins dating back to 2003.

 

Takeaways from the Bayside South:

Ricky Pollitt opines on some of the Week 9 results

 

Underappreciated and Under the Radar:

Colonel Richardson QB Jake Zebron, RBs Robert Thompson, Tymir Foster and WRs Darrion Speller and Dakota Wilson all deserve a lot of credit for the job they have done on offense for most of the year. They don’t get the accolades that many of the other players for some of the bigger teams get but those kids deserve a lot of credit for the job they have done this season. Colonel has really raised their game and program. It’s very likely that will be going to the playoffs for the just the second time in school history, the first since 2004. Their experience overall and in the system is paying dividends for Head Coach Dan Magnum. The fact that there has been continuity and consistency has helped the program as well.

(Side Note: Darrion Spiller landed awkwardly and suffered an arm injury in the Northampton win. The injury required surgery and a cast. He did not play in the win against Washington but Spiller is a very valuable player for Colonel at WR on offense, S on defense and also on special teams. They can ill afford to lose a player of his caliber for the playoffs and where with small numbers they need all hands on deck to begin with.)

 

Snow Hill RB Amonte Allen has been outstanding for the Eagles this year as evidenced by his 247 yards, 4 touchdowns (3 rushing, 1 receiving) against Cambridge-SD. Vikings Head Coach Jake Coleman sung high praises of the back and how talented is was and how tough it was to stop him. Allen also has filled in at QB this year when Anthony Snyder missed a few games with an injury including the JM Bennett game where he threw a TD pass to WR Markel Snyder. Snyder and WR Rayshon Bayne have also made some plays for Snow Hill this year.

 

Here is a piece The Daily Times did on Allen

 

ICYMI:

Snow Hill had gone 29 consecutive games dating back to Oct. 24, 2014, since its last victory which came against Colonel Richardson. Since then it’s been tough sledding until their win against Washington on October 18th. While I know Washington certainly did not want to lose that game, I think everyone else around the Bayside was pulling for the Eagles to get that elusive win. As a player myself I remember going through two tough years in High School, my Freshman and Junior years but in neither of those cases did we go winless. That said I can relate a little bit to some of the feelings I am sure they had going through this tumultuous time. To those that stayed the course, showed up for practice each day, kept a good attitude, played as hard as they could in each game, that win must have felt like a State Championship for them. I could not have been happier to see them win. It’s the lessons learned during the hard times for those players that will take them far in life. Congrats to Head Coach Tim Richo for keeping the kids together and getting that win. That will be a game, a win, a night those kids will never forget.

This year Snow Hill has not had trouble for the most part scoring points, it’s been stopping the other team’s offense. They scored 27 in the loss to Arcadia, 28 in the loss to Kent County, 32 in the loss to Nandua and 28 in the loss to

 

They played a tight half with now 6-3 Colonel Richardson before the Colonels pulled away in the second half. In the Arcadia game the Eagles got down 20-0 after 3 turnovers (snap issues) yet came storming back to take a 21-20 lead after just the 1st Quarter of play! Snow Hill was 0-2 on 4th down plays they went for in the 2nd quarter. RB Amonte Allen had at least 150 yards and 2 TDs in the first half. Arcadia pulled away to take a 36-21 lead in the second half before QB Anthony Snyder’s TD run pulled them within 36-27. Late in the game they had couple of opportunities to score but was unable.

 

Here is the Daily Times piece on the win against Washington

 

 

 

 

 

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