CAMBRIDGE — It wasn’t pretty at all. But “in the end, it was a win, a shutout win, and we’ll take that,” Viking head coach Gaven Parker said.
Parker’s Cambridge-South Dorchester High football team survived nearly two dozen offensive penalties, a fumble — which ruined a bid for a 70-yard touchdown run — and numerous other miscues Friday night on the way to a 30-0 victory over Colonel Richardson.
Both teams are now 2-1, but the Vikings gained a crucial advantage over the Colonels. Each future win will give C-SD a bonus point, which may loom big for playoff purposes in six weeks.
“We made a lot of mistakes,” Parker said. “We missed a lot of assignments. We threw passes too wide, too high. We had some penalties; some we earned, and a couple I don’t think we did. But we didn’t play our best game, not even near it.
“The defense, though, was very solid,” Parker said. “And they played well all night.”
The Viking defense allowed just 32 yards of total offense. Colonel had just four first downs, its biggest play coming when, after a short gain, C-SD was flagged for a late hit out of bounds, and then flagged again for unsportsmanlike conduct for arguing the call. The total of 32 yards was the longest by any team until the fourth quarter.
“We just played awful tonight,” Colonel head coach Dan Mangum said. “Our offensive line looked pathetic. … And Cambridge just plain kicked our butts on the line. They won it in the trenches, plain and simple.”
C-SD played the field position game early to get the game’s first points. A well-covered punt by Malik Ennals rolled past the Colonel return man to the 1-yard line, where the Vikings downed it.
Two plays later, Colonel quarterback Jackie Zebron was tackled for a safety, putting the score 2-0 Cambridge-SD with 1 minute, 54 seconds left in the first quarter.
Less than two game minutes later, Cambridge-SD’s Khalik Beasley (seven carries, 93 yards) ran 21 yards around right end for the game’s first touchdown. Sophomore James Frazier booted the first of four successful point-after kicks to make it 9-0.
Camren Lake’s 1-yard run with 2:24 to go in the second quarter made it 16-0. On the other side of the ball, the Colonels struggled.
C-SD’s defense held its opposition to 14 rushing yards on 10 first-half carries, and Zebron was 0 for 3 passing before the break. Things didn’t improve much in the second half for the Colonels, who compiled another 21 yards on 13 carries. In the air, Zebron completed one pass to Mason Lambert, a screen in the right flat which resulted in a loss of three yards. On the night, the Colonels ran 31 plays and had 32 total yards of offense, minus-3 by air. Zebron was intercepted twice.
Cambridge-SD, which had 113 yards on 21 first-half touches, got flagged for offensive penalties 18 times after halftime. By night’s end, it had been penalized 23 times for 188 yards, including a handful of holds.
A Beasley run from his team’s 30-yard line with 6:30 to go in the game looked like a touchdown, but the senior tailback lost the ball out of bounds as he neared the goal line. The pigskin bounced out of the side of the end zone, resulting in a touchback; on the play, Beasley was credited with a 69-yard run and lost fumble.
“John had some misses tonight passing,” Parker said, “and we just made some mistakes that we’ve got to address. It’s something that we’ll be talking about when us coaches, when we meet as a group. The penalties are definitely something we need to deal with, and so are the mistakes offensively, the missed assignments.”
“This was definitely a different game than we played with them last year,” said Mangum, whose team battled to a 39-32 loss last year at Viking Stadium, effectively coming two plays away from their first win over C-SD since 2005. “Last year, we were able to hang with them, exchange scores, stay close, but tonight, tonight we just looked awful. And we have a lot to work on.”
A Beasley interception, and then a 50-yard run by Lake (10 carries, 131 yards) made up for the fumble, and set up the night’s third touchdown, a 5-yard run by Timonthy Johnson with 5:56 left to play. A 9-yard Dario Belizaire run capped things with 2:10 left to play.
The Vikings visit Wicomico at 6 p.m. Friday for their next game. Colonel hosts winless Washington on Friday at 6 p.m.