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Chris Monroe makes most of his chances with McDonough, while Old Mill starts strong

By Louis Nelson and Greg Schimmel,

Heading into his first season as McDonough’s featured running back, Rams senior Chris Monroe couldn’t wait for the chance to finally carry the ball in a crucial situation.

After Northern kicker Andrew Rexroth forced overtime with a late 22-yard field goal Friday, Monroe got his opportunity on opening night.

Running off left tackle behind senior linemen Na’Ty Rodgers and Charles Jennifer, Monroe scored from two yards out on the Rams’ second offensive play of overtime to beat Northern, 22-16.

“It was an honor because I felt like my coach put the ball in my hands and trusted me that I could make a play to win the game,” Monroe said. “I saw an opportunity and I took it and ran as hard as I could.”

Monroe finished with 122 yards and two touchdowns, pacing the Rams who won their fourth consecutive season opener despite playing what McDonough Coach Luke Ethington said was far from their best game.

“Northern’s a good team,” Ethington said, “and as far as execution goes, I’m not sure the better team won.”

McDonough led 16-7 in the second half, but Northern senior running back Mason Cox rushed for his second touchdown of the night in the third quarter, and Rexroth tied it with his short field goal with about two minutes to play.

The Rams had trouble controlling possession, and won despite running only 23 offensive plays.

“We’ve got to go back and get more established in our offensive systems so we can put drives together,” Ethington said. “Unfortunately we played bad but fortunately we still won.”

Elsewhere, Patuxent junior running back Rafiq Douglas rushed for two touchdowns and 135 of the No. 18 Panthers’ 307 yards on the ground in a 49-13 win over Thomas Stone...Calvert shut out Chopticon until a safety late in the fourth quarter to earn a 19-2 win over the Braves. It was the Cavaliers’ first victory in a season opener since 2009…

North Point junior running back Marquel Dickerson rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-0 win over Leonardtown.

Senior running back Carl Riffe rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns as Huntingtown cruised past Great Mills, 42-0, in Brendan Galligan’s head coaching debut…North Point dominated Leonardtown, 34-0, to win its season opener for the fourth consecutive year…

Sophomore running back Eriq Fadahunsi rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns in his varsity debut to lead Lackey to a 30-12 win over Charles County rival La PlataWestlake struggled in a 17-0 loss to perennial Frederick County power Urbana.

Around Anne Arundel

No. 9 Old Mill opened its season with a bang Friday, scoring a pair of special teams touchdowns and scoring three times on plays of 59 yards or more in a 35-7 win over Broadneck.

Patriots senior wide receiver Carl Chance put the first points of the season on the board for Old Mill, with an 80-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jalen Jones in the first quarter.

Chance later put an exclamation point on the victory for Old Mill by reeling in a 59-yard touchdown, his second of the game. The senior finished the victory with three catches for 160 yards. Jones, the quarterback, finished the game with a modest 4 completions out of 9 attempts, but threw for 198 yards thanks largely to his big-play connection with Chance.

“Carl’s sort of making a name for himself. He’s a big play guy for us… As far as receivers, he’s a big guy, he’s 6’2”, near 185, 190 pounds. He’s a big receiver and he does a great job of catching a football in the air,” Old Mill Coach Chad McCormick said of Chance. “We like to run the ball a lot, so there’s a lot of opportunities where we get a safety up into the run box and we’ll be able to have that type of threat down the field.”

Old Mill’s other long touchdown came from defensive back Marcus Hicks, who returned a second-quarter kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown that put the Patriots up 21-7. Hicks also managed a big play on defense earlier in the second quarter by forcing and then recovering and returning a Broadneck fumble 27 yards for a touchdown.

On defense, it was Hicks and senior linebacker Zebbie Atkinson who did most of the damage for a unit that replaced 10 starters from last season. The Patriots defense held Broadneck to just 199 yards of total offense.

“He had a great game and had three sacks. He’s sort of the old wise man of our defensive side,” McCormick said of Atkinson, the defense’s lone returning starter. “[The defensive players] know all the guys from last year, and they’re great friends with them, but they’re tired of most of the articles in the papers being about how much we lost. It put a chip on their shoulders, and they really came out ready for this football game. We’re hoping to continue that into Severna Park this week.” ...

Senior quarterback Connor Cox put on an offensive display Friday, throwing six touchdown passes in South River’s 48-24 win over Chesapeake.

Cox completed 66 percent of his passes against the Cougars and threw touchdown passes of 21, 25, 31, 52, 28 and 43 yards to three different players. Two South River receivers, junior James Smith and senior Lavon Chaney, finished with 100 receiving yards or more. Chaney was also the leading rusher for South River, picking up 108 yards on 13 carries. Senior Eric Young was Cox’s favorite end zone target, finishing the game with three touchdowns and 87 yards.

More football coverage at The Post Top 20 | Coaches’ poll All-Met Watch: Week 1 Montgomery rewind: Vault’s hard work pays off for Gaithersburg Prince George’s rewind: High Point ends 41-game losing streak Weekend results: Friday | Saturday

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