Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
With each stride and every lowered shoulder he laid into an oncoming defender last night, Damascus running back Kyle Hogan was determined to bring his team back to Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium for what is becoming a rite of passage.
The senior rushed for a career-high 200 yards on 14 carries and scored all three of his touchdowns in the first quarter to lead the top-ranked Swarmin' Hornets past visiting Old Mill, 48-13, in a Maryland 4A semifinal.
The dominating win leaves one loose end for Damascus to tie up -- the 4A state title game, where the Swarmin' Hornets fell to Suitland last season. Damascus, the 2003 state champion, will head to its third straight 4A title game to face the Douglass-Sherwood winner on Friday.
"Practice is a long and hard, but we push through it because we want to get back to the stadium," Hogan said. "We all just focus and know what we have to do because we know what it's like to win a state championship and we know what it's like to lose a state championship."
On a night when Old Mill's Ryan Callahan broke the state record for career rushing touchdowns, Hogan displayed the sort of game-breaking ability that has helped Damascus to the first 13-0 season in program history.
On Damascus's third play of the game, Hogan broke loose for a 30-yard touchdown. He added touchdown runs of 49 and eight yards, giving the Hornets a 20-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Callahan finished with 136 yards and two scores on 20 carries. His second touchdown -- a 35-yard run midway through the second quarter -- brought the Patriots (10-3) within 27-13, giving him 87 career rushing touchdowns and breaking the state mark set by Georgetown Prep's Marcus Mason in 2002.
But that was the closest the Patriots came. Damascus finished with 383 yards on the ground and, as has been the case all season, the Hornets slowly pulled away. They held the ball for almost nine straight minutes from the end of the second quarter through the third quarter.
Much of that was because of the seemingly interchangeable backfield of Steven Anderson and Hogan. Last night, Anderson, who helped secure the win with two third-quarter touchdowns against Quince Orchard last week, added 102 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
"We got what we thought. It wasn't a secret," Old Mill Coach Mike Marcus said. "We played tough in the beginning but those big backs just wore us down. In the end, our kids wore down."
The Hornets' success on the ground opened things up for sophomore quarterback Kyle Frazier, whose little-used arm may just be the best-kept secret on one of the area's top rushing teams. Frazier threw for a season-high 161 yards and two touchdowns on 11-of-15 passing.
"Everyone thinks we're going to be running the ball all the time," Frazier said. "But when we run the play action, people get surprised. We run about [90 percent] of the time, so the play action works great."