ANNAPOLIS, OCT. 26 -- Ahmed Middleton returned an interception 101 yards for a touchdown as time ran out to cap Annapolis's 26-6 homecoming victory over Glen Burnie tonight in an Anne Arundel 4A game.
"That was the longest 101 yards I ever ran," Middleton said, still puffing minutes later. "We wanted to pay them back for last year," an 11-0 loss to the Gophers.
In addition to making amends, the victory improved the Panthers to 4-4, 4-1 in Anne Arundel County. Glen Burnie is 6-2, 4-2.
"We're not going to be in the playoffs, but we're shooting for the county championship," said Annapolis Coach Roy Brown. "That's our number one goal."
The Panthers' defensive priority was obvious: shut down the passing attack and contain the sweeps. Annapolis had six interceptions, including three by Middleton, and yielded 259 yards rushing -- 161 in the second half.
"Our defensive line is young and inexperienced, but we've got some real talent in our secondary," Brown said.
Safety Eric Tooles's interception with 2:18 left in the game perhaps was the most important. The Gophers, who had just scored on Andrew Baldwin's one-yard run to complete a 63-yard drive and make it 13-6, were driving after recovering an onside kick.
But on third and seven from the Panthers 45, Tooles stepped in front of a receiver to catch the pass from quarterback Carlton Ash, who threw five interceptions.
On the next play, halfback Mario Dominick (125 yards rushing) darted into the line, cut back left and sprinted 66 yards for a touchdown to make it 20-6 with 1:49 left.
The Panthers built a 13-0 halftime lead by scoring on their first two possessions.
On the first series, Annapolis had a nine-play, 75-yard drive that took only 4 1/2 minutes. Three big runs keyed the series. Dominick swept right for 16 yards on third and nine from the Panthers 26; Kevin Belt had a 43-yard run around right end; and Middleton picked up 11 yards off left tackle to set up first and goal at the 3. Middleton carried twice more, scoring from the 1 with 7:34 left in the quarter.
Middleton then intercepted Ash to stop Glen Burnie's initial drive that had reached the Annapolis 45. The Panthers took over at their 33, and covered 67 yards in five plays. Ray Henson went 27 yards up the middle and Dominick picked his way 24 yards down the right sideline for the touchdown.