McDonogh 35 utilized strong performances from its offense, defense and special teams to top McMain 26-22 in the first game of Sunday’s jamboree at Tad Gormley Stadium.
Quarterback Sidney Wilson went 6-for-8 for 113 yards and two touchdowns, and running back Darius May added 25 rushing yards and a touchdown before exiting the game after the first half.
The McDonogh 35 defense racked up six sacks, and the Roneagles blocked a punt to display playmaking ability in all three phases of the game.
“I thought the first-team (units) played well,” Wilson said. “We’ve been working hard all summer, and we didn’t want to treat this like a game that didn’t matter. We wanted to come out and give a strong performance to set the tone for the season.”
The Roneagles finished their final possession of the first half with a 5-play, 66-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 30-yard pass from Wilson to wide receiver Eric Randolph with Randolph getting taken down at the McMain 5-yard line. On the next play, May punched it in for his only score of the game, giving McDonogh 35 a 20-6 lead at halftime.
“I started off a little sloppy in the beginning, I think I have to come out a little more sharp to start the game,” Wilson said. “But I think I made some good throws to end the half. I made sure my reads were right and got my playmakers the ball.”
McMain was down for most of the game, but quarterback Darnell Williams managed to connect on two receiving touchdowns to wide receiver James Howard in the final four minutes to bring the score within four points before the final whistle.
“I thought our second-team played well in the second half, but we just have to do a better job of finishing games and not letting teams come back on us like that,” Wilson said.
After a McMain three-and-out earlier in the first half, defensive back Brad Stewart raced through the first line of blockers, swatted McMain’s punt, recovered the loose ball and returned it to the McMain 3-yard line.
A holding call on the ensuing first down pushed the Roneagles back 10 yards, but two plays later Wilson connected with receiver Trayon Sanders for a 13-yard touchdown, increasing the lead to 13-6.
Trailing 6-0 early in the game, McDonogh 35’s offense seemed to have stalled in the McMain red zone after 32-and 14-yard completions by Wilson placed them in prime scoring position. Four plays later, Wilson floated a pass to a leaping Omar Spears for an 18-yard touchdown catch on fourth-and-8 to tie the game at 6-6. McDonogh 35 failed on an attempted two-point conversion.
A long punt return by Howard gave the Mustangs the ball at the McDonogh 35 30-yard line, and it took McMain six plays before Williams punched in a 1-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak to put the first points on the board. After a failed two-point conversion, McMain led 6-0.