Urbana 29, Frederick 16

Led by the right arm of junior quarterback Mike Murray and the seemingly magnetic hands of senior receiver Ricky Berard, the No. 11 Urbana football team rose to the challenge of its stiffest test this season, coming from behind on the road to defeat No. 19 Frederick, 29-16, in an intense, exciting Monocacy Valley Athletic League Chesapeake Division game last night.

Murray completed 14 of 24 passes for 265 yards, including two touchdown passes to Berard, who finished with four catches for 134 yards.

"We take what they give us," Murray said. "But when I'm making the pass I'm confident my receivers can get to the ball."

Mike Cario had five catches for 57 yards, and Jimmy Roche had three catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. Berard had a 20-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter to cut into an early 10-0 deficit, and then he added the go-ahead score, a 56-yard catch on a long pass with 5 minutes 24 seconds left in the game, to give the Hawks a 22-16 lead they would not relinquish.

"He's a great receiver, and he's getting better and better every game," Urbana Coach Dave Carruthers said of Berard. "You only have to put it close to him to give him a chance to catch the ball."

The touchdown came one minute after Frederick had regained a 16-14 lead on a five-yard touchdown run by Bruce Dorsey.

The victory allowed Urbana to stake its claim as the MVAL Chesapeake's best team. The Hawks (7-0, 4-0) are on course for one of the top two seeds in the Maryland 3A West Region, which includes the Cadets (6-1, 2-1) as well as No. 3 Northwest and Seneca Valley.

"We're thinking state championship," Berard said. "At Urbana, that's always our goal."

Before Urbana, the Cadets were in the midst of their best stretch in years. Frederick started 6-0 for the first time since 1968, including wins over defending 2A champion Aberdeen and defending 3A champion Linganore, and is looking for its first playoff berth since 1987.

"We were thinking of this game as a battle for home-field advantage in the playoffs," Frederick Coach Vince Ahearn said. "Everybody needs to be knocked down a notch sometimes. The true champions are the ones who can show the character to come back from that."

Senior quarterback Cory Rhodes completed 19 of 32 passes for 234 yards, running back Dorsey had 91 yards on 20 carries, and six Cadets receivers made catches.

Frederick led 10-0 early, the touchdown coming on a 55-yard run by senior receiver Brian Lanning three minutes into the game. The Cadets added a field goal on their next drive, but they lost Lanning, who twisted his knee after a reception and was on crutches for the rest of the game.

Sean Alder follows the push by Urbana's offensive line to score the game's final touchdown. The No. 11 Hawks (7-0) rallied from a 10-0 deficit to hand the No. 19 Cadets their first loss.