Gwynn Park's Lorenzo Dixon scored on a five-yard run with 1 minute 41 seconds remaining as the seventh-ranked Yellow Jackets overcame a 13-point deficit to beat visiting Long Reach, 20-19, in a Maryland 3A East Region semifinal.
The Yellow Jackets (11-0) started their final drive from midfield with about five minutes remaining, trailing 19-13. Gwynn Park faced a fourth-and-15 play on that drive, but quarterback Steven Floyd hit wide receiver Anthony Herbin to pick up the first down. Later in the drive, Gwynn Park fumbled on the 10-yard line, but the Yellow Jackets recovered.
The game featured back-to-back kickoff returns for touchdowns. After Herbin went 80 yards in the second quarter to cut the Long Reach lead to 13-7, the Lightning's Keith Richardson ran the ensuing kick back 90 yards for a score.
"It was a great game," said Long Reach Coach Pete Hughes, whose team finished 9-2. "We were just determined to put Howard County football on the map. P.G. County has dominated us for years."
Woodberry Forest junior Samuel French was airlifted to the University of Virginia Health System's spinal cord unit after he was knocked out in a head-on collision with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of Woodberry Forest's game against Episcopal.
French, who has feeling in both his feet and hands, was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure after 30 minutes on the field, where he was attended to by both teams' trainers, Woodberry Forest Athletic Director Bill Davis said.
Woodberry Forest headmaster Dennis Campbell later announced over the loudspeaker that French had a spinal cord contusion.
"We think he's going to be okay," Davis said.
French was listed in fair condition, a hospital spokesperson said last night.
French, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior wide receiver from Winston-Salem, N.C., was hit coming across the middle on a pass attempt.
Episcopal was leading 28-14 at the time of the injury, and both coaches agreed to end the game without playing the final 1:49.
Landon Tops in IAC
Landon senior fullback Andy Loomis rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bears to a 21-7 victory over visiting St. Albans and their first Interstate Athletic Conference championship since 1999.
Loomis, who went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season during the game, scored on runs of nine and three yards in the first quarter. He finished with 1,068 yards on the season for Landon (8-2, 5-0 IAC).
The title, the first for third-year coach Rob Bordley, is a sweet sendoff for the team's 10 senior starters and an impressive feat for Bordley, a longtime football assistant who also coaches the school's lacrosse team.
"That was our goal," Bordley said of winning the football title. "We had the team on paper. I'm probably best known for lacrosse, but I got this opportunity to coach football and we feel good."
Westlake Gets By
Playing without several key injured players -- including leading rushers Aaris Reed and Pha'Terrell Washington -- Westlake still managed to defeat Severna Park, 35-20, for the second consecutive season in the Maryland 3A South semifinals.
With the game tied 20-20, Westlake (9-2) scored two touchdowns in the final two minutes to win on an 11-yard run by Kahill Permenter (who came into this game with no carries this season) and a 14-yard run by Sean Allen, the leading rusher on Westlake's junior varsity.
Severna Park (7-4) never penetrated the Westlake 20-yard line. Each of its three touchdowns came on fourth-down plays from the Westlake 35-yard line -- a pass from Don Lilley to David Sells in the second quarter, a halfback option pass from Sells to quarterback Andrew Ferris, and a pass from Ferris to Sells with 6:33 to play.
Westlake will visit No. 5 Lackey in the region title game for the second consecutive season.
-- Dave Yanovitz, Leonard Shapiro, Liam Dillon, Jon Goldberg and Alan Goldenbach