With Damascus up by two touchdowns against Linganore at the end of the third quarter Friday night in the Maryland 3A West final, the game couldn’t end fast enough for the Swarmin’ Hornets. A run-heavy team, Damascus just wanted to wind the clock down to prevent a Lancer comeback.
But the Swarmin’ Hornets had to anxiously wait to get to their celebration. A stadium light outage — the second of the game — resulted in a 30-minute delay. When the teams returned to the field, Linganore seized the momentum that helped it to an 11-0 mark and the top ranking in the Maryland state media poll.
The Lancers scored 13 unanswered points but came up short on a two-point conversion that would’ve won the game. With the wild 14-13 win, Damascus earned a spot in the 3A state semifinals for the first time since 2010.
“It was definitely kind of a buzzkill,” Damascus Coach Eric Wallich said of the power outages. “We were just trying to keep the clock running and just try to get out of there with a win.”
With temperatures around freezing, the teams went back inside during the second power outage, giving Linganore a chance to regroup after being shutout for three quarters. A 19-yard rushing touchdown by Linganore quarterback Nathaniel Musselman had the Lancers just an extra-point away from tying the game. They decided to go for two, but with the field hard and slick because of the cold, Musselman slipped short of the end zone on the two-point conversion attempt.
Wallich felt relief in that moment, but there was still time left on the clock. The Swarmin’ Hornets recovered an on-side kick attempt, and after whittling the clock down as much as possible, punted the ball back to the Linganore 1-yard line with just seconds left.
“To win the whole thing, you have to have a little bit of luck, you’ve got to stay healthy, and it’s not easy,” Wallich said. “Right now, it’s just trying to get through this next game any way we can with a win and then go from there.”