Chopticon High School's football team rallied from a 13-point deficit to earn its first victory over Westlake, winning 26-25 at home Friday night.
The Braves (3-4, 2-3) used superlative performances from wide receiver Jamie Byroads in the first half and defensive lineman Tony McGee in the second half to shock the four-time defending Southern Maryland Athletic Conference champions.
Byroads caught five passes for 99 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the first half as Chopticon came back from a 13-0 deficit to lead 20-19 at halftime. In Westlake's final eight plays of the game--when the Braves led, 26-25--McGee made five tackles either for a sack or to hold a rusher to negative yardage.
Westlake (6-1, 5-1) had not lost a conference game since Oct. 17, 1997, and had lost only two since the school began playing a varsity schedule in 1995.
"It made our season, probably," Chopticon Coach Andy Palko said. "We thought they might be looking ahead to [games against] Suitland, Patuxent and Thomas Stone, and we match up with them pretty well."
Chopticon took a 26-19 lead near the end of the third quarter on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jamar Mason to Marcus Estep. Westlake scored to get within a point with about four minutes left but missed the point-after attempt. Westlake had the ball at the end of the game but ran out of downs on the Chopticon 30-yard line with seven seconds remaining.