No. 7 Urbana crushes No. 8 Gaithersburg, 37-6, in a Maryland 4A football semifinal
Saturday, November 27, 2010; 1:20 AM
Seventh-ranked Urbana held a 10-point lead just before halftime as its players headed to the sideline for a timeout. The Hawks faced a fourth and six from the Gaithersburg 13-yard line, but Coach Ryan Hines was not ready to settle for three points.
"Do we have the guts for a fake field goal?" Hines challenged his players.
"Throw it to me!" junior Russell Lohr quickly replied.
While Lohr had to yell for a teammate to hustle on the field because Urbana originally lined up with 10 players, the play worked to perfection. Holder Derek Macierowski, a former quarterback, lofted a pass to the open Lohr for a 13-yard touchdown that helped break open the game as the visiting Hawks routed eighth-ranked Gaithersburg, 37-6, in a Maryland 4A semifinal before 3,000 on Friday night.
Unbeaten Urbana (12-0) continued its march toward its first state final since 2001 by taking advantage of its opportunities. The Hawks intercepted three passes (returning one for a touchdown), blocked a punt and continually had good field position. All of Urbana's first-half scoring drives were less than 30 yards.
"Be patient, don't make mistakes and take advantage of theirs, that's been our motto all year," said Hines, whose team has outscored its opponents by a 435-41 margin this season. "Our offense wasn't that good tonight, but our defense and special teams played great."
Gaithersburg finished 11-2.
Running back Wes Garey had the first of his three short touchdown runs midway through the first quarter, on a drive that was set up by George Van Hove's interception of a pass that bounced off a Gaithersburg receiver's face mask. (Van Hove added a 44-yard interception for a touchdown in the third quarter.)
Following Todd Johnson's blocked punt, Josh Rivera's 30-yard field goal made it 10-0. Aaron Bing's 40-yard punt return gave the Hawks the ball at the Trojans 28. Facing fourth down with 36 seconds left, Hines called time and decided to go for the fake.
"We practice it about once a week, but this week we looked at tape and saw they had no safety back there," Macierowski said. "I was nervous at first, I wanted to see if they were playing the same defense as on tape. Then I saw my man break out there, Russell Lohr, and he caught it and scored."
The last time Urbana advanced this far was the final year of a four-year run of championships and a 50-game winning streak. There were questions about the strength of this season's team, but the Hawks have yet to trail this season and their first-team defense has allowed just two touchdowns.
"I hope this shows a little bit," Hines said. "I think that was a pretty good statement."