Connor Frazier rallies No. 4 Damascus past Seneca Valley, 22-16
With No. 4 Damascus needing a late score against a ranked opponent for the second time in three weeks, there was little question who was going to have the ball. And senior quarterback Connor Frazier was happy to have his number called, play after play after play.
On the decisive 12-play drive, Frazier completed all four of his passes and rushed eight times for 48 yards. His 10-yard touchdown run to the left with four minutes remaining was the game-winner, lifting the host Swarmin' Hornets to a thrilling 22-16 victory over No. 17 Seneca Valley in a Montgomery 3A battle of unbeaten teams before an overflow crowd of 4,000 on Friday night.
"Honestly, there is nobody else I wanted to have the ball in his hands," Damascus Coach Eric Wallich said. "I felt he definitely had some wind left. I was going to ride him until he dropped."
Two weeks ago, in a 27-23 victory over No. 10 Quince Orchard, Frazier threw three touchdown passes and had the game-winning 21-yard touchdown run in the final minutes.
On Friday night, Damascus needed another late comeback, and again the youngest of three football-playing brothers delivered.
The oldest brother, Gregg, 25, played wide receiver and defensive back at Damascus and now is an assistant coach for the team. Middle brother Kyle started at quarterback for three years and now plays for Monmouth University. This is the sixth consecutive year that a Frazier has started under center for the Hornets.
"That kid has been playing football ever since before the littlest league of little league," Wallich said. "I have total trust in him. If we lose and it's because we rode him, I can sleep at night."
Frazier had some help. Standout defensive back Brandon Phelps, a Virginia recruit who had not practiced or played in two weeks because of a strained hip flexor, returned a key interception 39 yards as the Hornets (4-0, 3-0) scored twice in three minutes to take a 14-10 lead late in the third quarter.
Helped by Eddie Cunningham's 138 yards rushing, Seneca Valley retook the lead on a 13-yard touchdown run by James Jones-Williams early in the fourth quarter, but Damascus moved down the field behind Frazier. He had a crucial 16-yard run and a 19-yard pass to Zach Bradshaw, setting up the go-ahead score.
"I live for those moments - I love carrying the ball and carrying the team on my back," said Frazier, who completed 12 of 19 passes for 150 yards and rushed for 74 yards and two touchdowns.
But the Screaming Eagles (3-1, 2-1) were not done, driving to the Damascus 21-yard line with one minute left before safety Joel Ross came over to intercept a pass after a receiver got behind Frazier, who also plays defense.
"I almost peed in my pants," Frazier said. "I was looking for the ball and I saw Joel in my peripheral" vision.