Great Mills 6
As the backup to A.J. Wallace, one of the Washington area's most hotly recruited running backs, McDonough junior Lucky Flammer says his goal is simply to make the most of his chances to carry the ball.
But in the Rams' 44-6 win over visiting Great Mills on Friday night, Flammer played a key role for McDonough, with two of his 10 carries going for touchdowns.
"I'm thankful to the coaches for giving me the opportunities," Flammer said. "I know I'm not an all-American, but I'm going to give 100 percent on every play I get."
Wallace rushed for 210 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, and junior quarterback Christion Ward completed 7 of 12 passes for 101 yards and a third-quarter touchdown as the Rams (1-1, 1-1 Southern Maryland Athletic Conference) earned a key win in Pomfret.
A week ago, the Rams suffered a 20-6 defeat at Chopticon and suddenly found themselves in a must-win situation just two weeks into the season. A playoff team last year, McDonough has games against Westlake and Lackey standing in the way of an appearance in the 2A South Region playoffs.
"I think every game is a must-win for this team," Coach Dave Bradshaw said. "This was an important step for this team. We're very young, so we just have to keep getting better."
But before they finally showed how good they could be in the second half, the Rams had to endure a mistake-ridden first half. McDonough committed 118 yards of penalties in the half -- including two personal fouls and two unsportsmanlike conduct calls -- and finished the game with 158 total yards lost because of penalties.
But the Rams still managed to go into intermission with a 14-6 lead, scoring once on a game-opening 65-yard drive -- capped by Flammer's first touchdown -- and another in the second quarter that culminated in Wallace's four-yard touchdown run.
"That's what got us last week," Bradshaw said. "We've got a lot of young kids in key spots, and things aren't quite clicking for them yet."
In the second half, things finally came together for McDonough. On the Rams' fourth offensive play, Wallace broke open for a 68-yard run, cutting left and then right to move the ball to the 16-yard line. Flammer had a six-yard carry on the next play, and two plays after that he scored on a three-yard run to give the Rams a 21-6 lead.
"We know what we've got in Lucky," Bradshaw said. "He's just going to get more and more opportunities, and he showed you tonight that we've got more than one back on this team."
In the fourth quarter, Andrew Geisert converted a 42-yard field goal, and reserve running back Nathan Hoyte added touchdown runs of one and 45 yards to round out the Rams' scoring.
Great Mills, under first-year coach Bill Griffith, scored 30 points in a loss to La Plata last week, but the Hornets lost starting quarterback Cody Kohn with a concussion and struggled to get anything going Friday aside from a drive in the final minute of the first half that culminated in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Matt Leddy to Gary Joshway.
Great Mills finished with only 49 yards of total offense, including minus-24 yards rushing.
McDonough's Russell Bowie, right, rattles Great Mills quarterback Matt Leddy, helping to force a loss on the play.