After every Thomas Stone scoring play, the Cougars cheerleaders are supposed to do one push-up for every point the football team has scored. Friday night, they switched to jumping jacks--push-ups were getting too hard--as the Cougars pounded visiting Great Mills, 42-6, before an estimated homecoming crowd of 1,300.
Senior running backs Marcus Whalen and Mike Finamore combined for nearly 400 yards and senior Marcus Warr scored three touchdowns as Thomas Stone improved to 5-0 overall, 4-0 in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference. Thomas Stone hasn't lost a homecoming game since 1991, when the Cougars lost to Great Mills (3-2, 2-2).
"We played well tonight," said Thomas Stone Coach Rich Callahan, whose team led at halftime, 22-0. "We got everybody in the game, which is fun. Everybody gets a part of the win."
Whalen rushed 11 times for 194 yards, giving him 970 yards this season. Finamore had 13 carries for 200 yards.
Thomas Stone took a 15-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter, as Finamore burst up the middle for a 14-yard touchdown. Six minutes later, Warr scored his first touchdown of the night to give the Cougars a 22-0 lead.
Great Mills threatened late in the first half as senior quarterback Brandon Spears completed three passes for 19 yards, but Thomas Stone's defense stopped the Hornets short of the goal line as time expired.
The Cougars took a 28-0 lead midway through the third quarter. Starting from their own 39-yard line, the Cougars marched 61 yards in seven plays. Whalen carried the ball four times for 37 yards and Warr scored from two yards out.
"Marcus Warr played fantastic tonight," Callahan said. "If he plays like that all year, people are going to have to really work on stopping him. He had two rushing touchdowns, a couple of big sacks. He was all over the place."
Great Mills cut the lead to 28-6 on an 11-yard run by Colbert Barnes. But two plays later, Finamore took a nice pitch from junior quarterback Phil Buddenbender and streaked up the sidelines for a 44-yard touchdown and a 29-point lead.
Thomas Stone's defense then put the game away, as senior defensive end Steven Peaper forced a fumble that Warr scooped up and returned 14 yards for a touchdown.
Great Mills fullback Clifford Dukes came into the game with 391 yards, but was held to 55.
"Our defense is tough," said Callahan, whose team held Great Mills to four first downs in the second half. "They play hard, they swarm to the ball and they love to hit. . . . We figured that [Great Mills] would give Dukes the ball a lot, so we just followed him everywhere and tried to keep him in check."