Anne Arundel

Unlikely Rushing Attack Leads Arundel Past Old Mill

Arundel's Joseph Blackwell heads into the end zone for a first-quarter score. Blackwell had 174 yards on 24 carries and four touchdowns.
Arundel's Joseph Blackwell heads into the end zone for a first-quarter score. Blackwell had 174 yards on 24 carries and four touchdowns. (By Toni L. Sandys -- The Washington Post)
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By Katie Carrera
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 5, 2009

A funny thing happened in the third quarter of Arundel's game at Old Mill Friday night. After the Patriots tied the score on a 23-yard field goal, Arundel ran the ball. Not just once or twice, but on six plays in succession.

The team and coach that rarely encountered a passing sequence they didn't like was running the football -- and they were good at it.

To kick-start the drive, running back Joseph Blackwell picked up 29 yards on three carries, then quarterback Billy Cosh broke free for a 21-yard dash. Blackwell then topped off the drive with two more rushes, the final one for a 13-yard touchdown that gave the No. 8 Wildcats a lead they never relinquished in a 34-27 victory.

"That's very uncharacteristic of an Arundel football team," Coach Chuck Markiewicz said. "To run the ball [six] times and run and score a touchdown? That might be the first time we've ever done that."

Old Mill (0-1) brought its blitzes early and often throughout the night, expecting the pass-first Wildcat offense but being force fed the ground game.

Arundel (1-0) rushed for 252 of its 599 total yards, led by Blackwell's 174 yards on 24 carries and four touchdowns, and the offensive juggernauts took full advantage of their newest weapon. While Cosh was his usual self, going 29 of 45 for 347 yards, the Wildcats demonstrated the benefits of not being a one-trick team.

"Last year we were the throwing firework team," Cosh said. "This year we're more take-what-the-defense-give-us."

In addition to his success on the ground, Blackwell had three receiving touchdowns and a total of five catches for 83 yards. Blackwell, who transferred to Arundel last spring from Archbishop Spalding where the offense didn't suit him, has made quite the splash with his new teammates.

But the junior speedster said he's still figuring out the high-octane offense.

"The first day I was kind of rusty," Blackwell said. "I was still trying to learn the plays, to get used to the tempo and the second or third day it finally kicked in. Billy, R.J. [Harris], John White, Jeff Taylor -- they all make this offense fun. They make it interesting and keep the pace going."

Arundel 34, Old Mill 27 80 Is Enough: Markiewicz said senior wide receiver R.J. Harris, who hauled in 13 receptions for 204 yards, was only 80 percent healthy against the Patriots after he tweaked his knee on Tuesday. Run Furman Run: Heavily recruited Josh Furman recorded 13 carries, 119 yards and 2 touchdowns for Old Mill. Both of Furman's scores came when he was able to shake off multiple tacklers for first an 86-yard dash to the end zone and also a 36-yard scamper.

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