Damascus and Landon each scored more than 30 points last week. But last night they played a scoreless first half before the host Swarmin' Hornets managed a 13-7 nonleague victory.
Landon scored first, but Damascus had a stronger offense behind Matt Byrne, who hooked up with his favorite receiver, Greg Emery, on a 26-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter for the winning score.
Damascus (3-0) had scored 37 and 42 points, repectively, in its first two games, but the Bears' defensive front did not yield much yardage for much of the game.
"It was clear that the last two teams we played were very disorganized," said Byrne, who completed six of 12 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns. "Landon had a complete team -- special teams, offense and defense."
But the Bears' special teams broke down in the fourth quarter. After George Christakos shanked a nine-yard punt that gave Damascus field position at the Landon 19, the Bears (1-1) weathered a scoring threat as Dan Whitehead missed a 33-yard field goal attempt that his holder, Bill Holt, bobbled.
After Landon stalled on offense, it had to punt again from its 15. Christakos again muffed the kick, the ball going only 14 yards to the Landon 29.
Damascus quickly scored. Byrne avoided a rush on second down from the 26 and lofted the ball into the corner of the end zone to Emery (three catches for 59 yards). He made the catch by leaping over a defender for the touchdown with 8:12 remaining and a 13-7 lead. The extra point attempt was missed as the snap was again mishandled.
"The whole pregame I was kicking good, booming punts, but then I got in there and I lost my concentration," said Christakos. "I hold myself responsible for this because they never would have scored that last touchdown if it wasn't for that last punt. But we really thought that we had them after we scored our first touchdown."
The Bears looked in control as they scored that touchdown, moving down field on a seven-play, 54-yard drive. Clay Curtis cut to the outside on a sweep and raced 11 yards untouched for the score and a 7-0 lead.
But that seemed to pump up Damascus, which came back with a nine-play, 85-yard drive. The Hornets scored as Byrne lofted a 37-yard pass to Jody Holston, who dove into the end zone, pulling the ball in despite a defender hanging onto his back.