There’s nothing quite like a rivalry matchup to open the youth football season.
When Cape St. Clair came to Kinder Park for a showdown with the 14U Green Hornets on August 25, Severna Park made sure to start the fall with a statement win.
The Green Hornets put together two scoring drives, added a special-teams touchdown and produced a shutout defensive performance in emphatically defeating the visiting Cougars, 22-0.
Severna Park moved to 1-0 in Division I of 14U Anne Arundel Youth Football Association play with the win.
Severna Park head coach Stephen Vaught said the first game of the season is always a high-variance affair as teams find their early footing.
But the early returns for the Green Hornets are promising.
“First game of the season, so you’re trying to figure out where everybody is, and this is 14U football now, so it’s our last year before high school,” said Vaught. “You don’t know what teams are going to show up when. I knew [Cape] had a good, talented team, they’re great coaches over there, and they’ve got some big kids. But we were ready for them. Our boys were ready to execute today. I am proud of them. They had a good, tough week of practice, and they were ready.”
Severna Park greeted the guests rudely in the first quarter, snuffing out multiple Cape possessions and barely allowing any yards gained. In the second quarter, Luke Miller capped a scoring drive with a short touchdown run, and Andrew Beard converted the 2-point kick for an 8-0 Severna Park lead.
Cape was pinned deep in its own territory on the ensuing kickoff and managed only a handful of yards before the Cougars were forced to punt, but Severna Park’s Steven Schumer Jr. timed his attack perfectly, busting through the line and diving to block the punt. Teammate John Dimarsico was likewise right there applying pressure, and Dimarsico scooped up the ball and ran untouched into the end zone for a score. Beard’s kick made it a 16-0 lead.
Upton Young closed the half by intercepting Cape’s quarterback near midfield, ending the Cougar’s best drive to that point.
Cape received the ball to start the third quarter, but Severna Park’s Rory Jenkins beat his man on consecutive plays to make a backfield tackle for a loss and a sack to force a turnover on downs.
After several running gains in the fourth quarter by Green Hornets quarterback Jameson Coffman, Schumer capped Severna Park’s long drive with a short touchdown run. Beard’s kick attempt hit the left upright, but Severna Park led 22-0.
Guiseppe Mellinger recovered a Cougar fumble to put the exclamation point on the win.
The team of Miller, Beard, Schumer, Dimarsico, Young, Jenkins, Coffman, Mellinger, Gannon Cope, Wyatt Ferguson, Bowen Fowler, Thomas Jelinek, Samuel Kennedy, Tyler McVicker, James Meushaw, Dane Morrow, Kody Phillips, Samuel Salas, Brendan Vaught and Sean Johnson is hoping to make the most of its final season together before moving on to high school football. The team has had success over the years, and coach Vaught said they are motivated to be the last team standing in 2019.
“Our goal is always to play for the championship and win a championship,” said Vaught. “Since we’ve been together we’ve played for three, and we’ve lost all three, so that’s the goal we have every season. That’s what we talk about, that’s what we practice for, and that’s where we want to be at the end of the season.”