1A East Playoff Cambridge-SD 48, Fallston 14 Fallston 0;14;0;0;—;14 Cambridge-SD;21;7;14;6;—;48 SCORING CSD — Ennals 8 pass from Henry (Frazier kick). CSD — Middleton 46 pass from Henry (Frazier kick). CSD — Middleton 21 pass from Henry (Frazier kick). FALL — Turner 80 pass from Wiegand (Roberts kick). CSD — Ennals 17 run (Frazier kick). FALL — Wiegand 5 run (Roberts kick). CSD — Beasley 55 run (Frazier kick). CSD — Lake 5 run (Frazier kick). CSD — Banks 76 fumble return (kick failed). INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS Rushing Fallston: Justin Wiegand 12-3; C.J. Turner 7-minus 1; Noah Richard 1-minus 1; Nick Curry 1-39; Totals: 21-40 yards. Cambridge-SD: Khalik Beasley 15-172; Malik Ennals 3-24; Camren Lake 10-53; John Henry 2-minus 15; Kanye Pinder 1-minus 3; Tayon Fletcher 3-28; Jahmear Smith 1-9; No. 3 1-minus 1; No. 15: 1-minus 8; Totals: 37-259 yards. Passing Fallston: Justin Wiegand 13-36-4, 208 yards, one touchdown; Brandon Klaben 0-2-0. Cambridge-SD: John Henry 8-12-0, 181 yards, three touchdowns. Receiving Fallston: Nick Curry 4-45; C.J. Turner 4-105; Connor Pickle 1-16; Brandon Klaben 2-minus 1; Brian Sturgis 2-43. Cambridge-SD: Logan Middleton 6-151; Malik Ennals 2-30.
Cambridge-SD 48 — Fallston 14
CAMBRIDGE — Jimmy Grant’s concern with Khalik Beasley proved accurate.
What Fallston High’s head football coach perhaps had not counted on was John Henry’s accuracy.
Beasley carried 15 times for 172 yards and a touchdown, but it was Henry’s three first-quarter touchdown passes that provided Cambridge-South Dorchester with an early lead that was never seriously threatened on this crisp and chilly Friday night, as the Vikings marched to a 48-14 victory over the Cougars in a Class 1A second-round playoff game at McWilliams Stadium’s Fleetwood Field.
While the eight teams that advanced through the first two rounds will be reseeded today for the state quarterfinals, it appears Cambridge-SD (9-2), the top seed in the East, is headed to Edmondson (9-2), the No. 2 seed in the North, on Friday.
“They threw the ball a little more than we expected,” Grant said of Cambridge-SD, which snapped Fallston’s four-game win streak. “I thought we spent so much time this week working on trying to contain Beasley. In the first half he didn’t get that many touches. But they hurt us through the air. Twelve (Viking wide receiver Logan Middleton) really hurt us.”
After a game-opening three-and-out, Cambridge-SD scored touchdowns on its next three straight possessions for a 21-0 lead with a 1 minute, 36 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Fallston quarterback Justin Wiegand’s first pass of the game was intercepted by Dillon Meekins, giving the Vikings possession on the Cougars’ 36-yard line. A 15-yard gain by Beasley pushed Cambridge-SD to the Fallston 10. Two plays later, Henry, who delivered one of his more efficient performances of the season, connecting on 8 of 12 attempts for 181 yard and three scores, hit Malik Ennals with an 8-yard touchdown pass. James Frazier’s point-after kick made it 7-0 with 4:38 elapsed.
“I just took what they gave us,” Cambridge-SD head coach Gaven Parker said of his play calling.
After a three-and-out by Fallston, the Vikings took possession at their 40, and were back in the end zone in three plays as Middleton hauled in a 46-yard scoring strike from Henry with 5:46 left in the first quarter.
Fallston drove from its 35 to the 50 on its next possession but was again forced to punt. Beasley carried 30 yards to the Cougars’ 37 on first down. Camren Lake was sprung for a 19-yard pickup. Henry then found Middleton deep in the right corner for a 21-yard touchdown connection that tied Jake Coleman’s single-season school record for scoring receptions at 10. Frazier’s kick made it 21-0.
“Khalik needs his touches; he’s earned them,” Parker said. “But you come in with a game plan and we had some mismatches in certain situations. John’s feeling it. John’s throwing the ball well, and anytime you can throw the ball we’ll be in good shape. Kind of makes the defense spread out a little bit and we’ll go from there.”
While Grant worried about how to defend Beasley, Parker was concerned with limiting Fallston junior running back C.J. Turner, who showed his big-play potential when he caught a short pass from Wiegand and bolted 80 yards for a touchdown with 3:17 remaining in the first half. Kevin Roberts’ extra-point kick pulled the Cougars within 21-7.
“Listen, we were scared to death of that kid,” Parker said of Turner. “That kid’s an amazing athlete.”
But other than his 80-yard catch and sprint down the sideline for the touchdown, Turner struggled, catching three other passes for 25 yards, and carrying seven times for minus one yard.
“I don’t know how many yards he had, but it wasn’t a lot,” Parker said of Turner. “I’m not sure he’s seen the team speed like we have. We played fast. We played with the game plan today and it showed.”
Fallston finished with 40 yards rushing on 21 carries. Wiegand completed 13 of 36 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted four times — twice by Beasley and once each by Meekins and Kanye Pinder. Ennals came flying in off left end for a strip sack of Wiegand, who could only watch as Donald Banks collected the fumble and raced 76 yards for a touchdown that capped the game’s scoring with 7:26 left.
“We had a lot of trouble with them up front,” Grant said of Cambridge-SD’s offensive and defensive lines. “We couldn’t really run it, and we couldn’t stop the run, and that’s a recipe for disaster.
“I think that’s what prevented him from getting going,” Grant said of Turner. “There just wasn’t a lot of room for him. And that’s why I think we kind of realized that we just kind of had to try and throw it. And that’s not really what we do. We’re kind of a balanced (offense).”
Cambridge-SD restored its 21-point cushion after Turner’s 80-yard score with a five-play, 60-yard drive that ended with Lake’s 17-yard touchdown run and Frazier’s PAT with 1:12 left.
But Nick Curry’s 39-yard pickup on a reverse and Wiegand’s 18-yard gain helped set up a 5-yard touchdown run by the Cougars’ senior quarterback with 30 seconds remaining in the half, drawing Fallston within 28-14 at the break.
“At half it was 28-14, we made a couple of tweaks,” Grant said. “And I’m like, ‘I think we’re going to be OK.’ And I think we moved the ball pretty well at the start of the second half, but I believed we turned it over on downs (at the Cambridge-SD 42) and after that it just kind of got away from us.”
Beasley particularly got away from the Cougars as he cut, dodged and juked defenders during a 55-yard touchdown run on the Vikings’ second play from scrimmage in the second half for a 35-14 bulge 3:30 into the third quarter.
“You just keep feeding the athlete,” Parker said of Beasley. “You got Khalik, and he was grinding, wasn’t breaking any, and then he broke the big one. And that’s what it is. You just kind of keep giving him the ball, keep stretching it out, keep feeding the athletes, and eventually it breaks free.”
The Vikings continued stretching their lead. Beasley’s first interception set up Camren Lake’s 5-yard touchdown run with 6:16 left in the third quarter before Banks’ fumble return for a touchdown punctuated the win.
“We hadn’t turned it over in four weeks and the penalties were minimal,” said Grant, who watch his team commit five turnovers — three equaling 20 points for the Vikings. “Tonight, I don’t think it’s an indictment of our kids. I think the stage was a little bit big for us tonight.”
Fallston’s offense struggled in the second half, four of its five possessions ending with turnovers. For the game, the Cougars were just 2 of 12 on third down, and 0 for 4 converting on fourth down.
“K.J. (Dockins) played well,” Parker said of his outside linebacker who sacked Wiegand three times. “Malik played amazing off the edge. We encourage turnovers. We encourage playing fast. We encourage being aggressive, and that shows up when it comes to the interceptions.
“It’s the best game (we’ve played this season),” Parker said. “We played our best game when we needed to. And that’s when it matters.”
Fallston did not play its best game, but Grant emphasized how far his team had come after going 0-9 a year ago.
“They (Cambridge-SD) are a team that’s perennially here, and it was the second week in a row that we’re taking a long trip,” Grant said of his team, which won at Colonel Richardson the previous Friday. “Our kids did an awesome job both weeks. I think to be fair, they’re (Cambridge-SD) a better football team than us. I think we ran out of little gas tonight.”