According to Lackey captain Delondo Boyd, the playoffs started five weeks ago for the Chargers. The Oct. 18 game at Patuxent was the last loss for the Chargers, and the only time that the Lackey defense allowed more than two touchdowns in a game this season.
Since then, the Chargers secured their first playoff berth since 2009 and outscored opponents 104-18 in four consecutive wins.
“We’re doing a lot better than what most people expected of us,” said Boyd, a senior two-way starter. “Teams really didn’t expect us to be that much of anything, but we proved a lot of people wrong.”
Lackey (9-2) advanced to the Maryland 3A South region final against No. 18 Huntingtown (10-1) with a 14-6 win against Stephen Decatur on Friday. The Chargers scored both touchdowns before the half, and Decatur (7-4) got on the board midway through the third. Boyd had a crucial tackle — one of 16 in the game, seven for loss — and then a sack to force a turnover on downs with the Seahawks making a final push in the fourth quarter.
This year’s squad is closer than before and lacks the cliques of years past. Most of the team participated in an intensive two-day camp at the University of Maryland this summer, which Boyd said made a significant difference in skill level going into the season.
The Chargers will travel to Huntingtown for the region final. They’ll rely on the experience of that Patuxent loss and the feeling they had after giving up a third-quarter lead to the Panthers.
Huntingtown has won the region title four years in a row.
“That just prepared us for the game we’re about to face,” Boyd said. “We know what we can do and what we can’t do, and I think we’re going to be ready.”
The Wolverines (6-5) were limited to just 35 yards of offense — one yard rushing — in the first half. They scored on a 13-yard touchdown run from senior running back Booker Napoleon in the third.
Elsewhere, No.10 Patuxent (11-0) shut out Hammond in a 2A South region semifinal, 49-0. The Panthers gained 454 yards on the ground, and junior quarterback Tyler Crounse scored two rushing touchdowns. Senior running back Rafiq Douglas had 10 carries for 133 yards and three rushing touchdowns.
The pair will meet in the 3A East region final at River Hill on Friday.
The squads met in the last game of the regular season, and the Hawks won that game, 14-13, after Reservoir missed a fourth-quarter extra point.
The Gators (8-3) defeated top-seeded Glenelg (9-2), 34-13, to advance. River Hill (9-2) traveled to City College and earned a 49-0 win.
Reservoir made four fourth-down stops against the Gladiators in the second half. Senior Avian White, who moved from fullback to tailback after the Gators’ Week 3 loss to Glenelg, scored the first touchdown of the game and picked up short gains the whole night.
The county’s only 4A playoff competitor fell in the first round. Howard (8-3) lost to Perry Hall, 28-14, in a 4A North semifinal.
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