* Thomas Stone 44, Westlake 34
The first game in the series now officially known as the 301 Classic was a beauty. Well, at least it was entertaining.
Thomas Stone rattled off three consecutive touchdowns to start the second half, breaking open what was a tie game at halftime, and held off a late push by Westlake for a 44-34 victory. The Cougars celebrated by dousing Coach Steve Lindsay with ice water and circling at midfield to take possession of the newly minted 301 Classic Trophy.
The victory put the Cougars in position to earn a tie for the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference title, depending on the outcome of Saturday's game between Northern and Calvert. (Results of that game were not available at press time. For coverage, see the Sports section today and tomorrow.)
If Calvert defeats Northern, it earns the SMAC title outright. A Northern victory would result in a four-way tie for the conference crown among Calvert, Northern, Thomas Stone (7-3, 6-2 SMAC) and Westlake (6-4, 6-2).
"This is big, picture-perfect," Thomas Stone senior quarterback Antonio Lewis said, the trophy seemingly glued to his right hand. "We got a win over our biggest rival . . . might get a share of the SMAC title . . . got a new little trophy here . . . it couldn't get any better than this."
Stone junior fullback Mike Dodson accounted for the majority of the yardage Friday. Dodson, who finished with a career-high 213 yards rushing on 11 carries, broke free for runs of 74, 49 and 67 yards on bursts straight up the middle of the field. Dodson was caught from behind on the 74-yard run by Westlake junior cornerback Jared Fagan, but stayed one step ahead of the Westlake sprint champion on his 49-yard jaunt.
Senior tailback Harold Jones, who added 102 yards on seven carries, ran 82 yards up the right sideline before being chased down by Fagan at the 5.
All four of the Cougars' big runs either resulted in or led to a touchdown.
"Mike runs hard, and if you don't wrap him up he gets into the open field and he's dangerous there," Lindsay said. "He was running hard and with determination tonight, and that says a lot not only for him but for this whole team. It would have been very easy for our guys to pack it in when we were 5-3 and out of the playoff hunt, but they made a decision to fight to the finish."
Fortified by the rushing attack, Lewis then went to the air, adding scoring passes of 30 and 29 yards to junior receiver Xavier Davis to put the Cougars up 44-22 with 7 minutes 26 seconds.
Fagan scored on a 45-yard run for Westlake with 4:24 remaining to close the gap, and the Wolverines scored again with 1:32 remaining on an 11-yard run by senior Brandon Weeden.
"Give Stone's line credit, they did a nice job up front blocking, and [Dodson] ran the ball well," said Westlake Coach Dominic Zaccarelli, whose team dropped its first two and last two games of the season. "Antonio did a great job. I thought we did a decent job of keeping him in the pocket and making him throw, but we didn't cover the receivers downfield, and he took advantage of that."
Lewis finished his senior season with 847 yards rushing, 1,014 yards passing and a combined 32 touchdowns.
"I might coach another 25 or 30 years and not have a player as talented as him," Lindsay said. "I'm definitely going to miss him . . . he's been a fantastic player."