When Georgetown Prep takes the field, one thing is certain: All-Met senior running back Marcus Mason will have an impact on the game. But yesterday in Rockville, with the No. 2 Little Hoyas' area-best 28-game winning streak hanging in the balance, it was the defense that came up with clutch plays to earn a hard-fought 14-0 victory over Bullis and a third straight Interstate Athletic Conference championship.
"It was a defensive battle," said Georgetown Prep Coach Dan Paro, whose team completed a third consecutive perfect season. "When I look back at the season -- at our takeaway ratio -- it is going to be unreal. Our defense has done a great job in causing turnovers.
Mason, Maryland's all-time leading rusher with 5,662 yards, finished with 135 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries, but it was Prep's defense that earned the attention after posting its sixth shutout this season. The Little Hoyas (9-0, 5-0) limited Bullis standout running backs RaShaad Woodard and Tanard Jackson to a combined 74 rushing yards, and intercepted two passes. Bullis finished 5-2, 2-2.
Entering the third quarter, junior linebacker Nick Vieth sparked the Little Hoyas by intercepting a pass that set up the game's first touchdown. After the turnover, Prep quarterback Frank Wilson went to work. Wilson connected with wide receiver Eric Heidenberger for a 47-yard gain. Four plays later, Mason, who was held to 31 yards in the first half, ripped off a 31-yard run. Moments later, Wilson scored on a one-yard run with 3 minutes 34 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Linganore earned its first playoff berth in eight years and brought to a close one of Maryland's storied winning streaks with a 34-10 victory over four-time defending state champion Urbana in a Central Maryland Conference season finale in Ijamsville.
Linganore's victory ousted Urbana from the postseason for the first time since 1997 and was the Hawks' first defeat against a Maryland public school. Urbana (6-4), which won four state titles in its first four full varsity seasons, had won 34 consecutive conference games, one shy of the record.
Linganore (8-2), which earned a share of the CMC regular season championship with the Hawks, needed a win to qualify for the Maryland 3A playoffs.
The win was particularly sweet for Lancers first-year coach Rick Conner, who had served as an assistant at Urbana during its championship run before taking over the coaching duties at Linganore.
"Urbana has had so much success and for us to have a bit of it is a great feeling," Conner said. "They are a great team and a great tradition and we are so proud of our kids for how they played."
Linganore junior quarterback Zack Hayes completed 8 of 10 passes for 94 yards and 3 touchdowns to help win the I-70 Classic, an annual contest between the conference's top two schools. Urbana and Linganore are separated by only 11 miles along the Maryland interstate. Hayes helped the Lancers to a 14-10 halftime advantage after connecting on touchdown passes of 27 and nine yards. He tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to junior Jon Moravec (33 yards, two touchdowns) on the Lancers' second possession of the third quarter for a 20-10 lead after a failed extra point.
Dervon Wallace rushed for 209 yards and two touchdowns as Calvert clinched a Maryland 3A playoff berth with a 21-6 victory over Northern last night in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference game in Prince Frederick.
"This year, this game meant something, and our kids played like it meant something," Calvert Coach Brad Criss said.
The Cavaliers (8-2, 6-1) will host unbeaten No. 5 Gwynn Park Friday at 7 p.m. in a 3A quarterfinal. Northern (7-3, 5-3), which had won a total of three games in the previous three seasons, was denied a playoff berth.
Special correspondent Sean P. Flynn contributed to this report.