Broadneck’s hit-em-fast then wear-em-down approach paid dividends again on Thursday.
Faced with a stiff test from then-undefeated Meade, the Bruins took an early lead then withstood Meade’s comeback attempt, prevailing 37-21 at Lawrence E. Knight Stadium to move to 2-1 on the young season.
Ian Mauldin carried the ball 22 times for 127 yards and two scores to pace the Bruins, while dual-threat quarterback C.J. Watkins ran in a touchdown and threw for another.
In many ways, the Bruins beat Meade (2-1) at its own game. The Mustangs won their first two games of the season on the back of early big plays and an ability to grind out the game with a punishing rushing attack.
“We’re excited about the way we were able to respond to the things they were doing,” said Broadneck coach Rob Harris. “They have three elite weapons on offense, and to slow them down, I’m really excited. Just really, really happy. Full team victory, and those are the best.”
On Thursday, it was Broadneck that started fastest, posting the game’s first 17 points on the strength of two big plays: a 39-yard touchdown pass from Watkins to Aaron Foote where the sophomore slot receiver caught a quick screen and slithered through the Meade defense, and then a recovery of the ensuing kickoff when the Mustangs muffed a pooch kick.
The Bruins had a balanced attack, piling up 233 yards, 10 first downs, and 24 points in the first half.
When the Mustangs mounted their rally with touchdowns on either side of halftime to trim the score to 24-21, Broadneck ground the game down and won it with defense. The Bruins attempted just four second-half passes, three coming on successive plays early in the third quarter.
After that, it was time to close out the game, and the Bruins’ bell cow happily rose to the challenge. When Mauldin scored his second touchdown to put the game to rest, he handed the ball back to the official, walked back inside his team’s sideline zone, and then broke into a celebratory dance.
“I love it, it’s the most fun thing. Nerves are high but it’s the best, most fun ever,” said Mauldin. “I was just so excited to put the game on ice, and I’m just a happy guy.”
While Broadneck’s fast start helped the Bruins secure the victory, it was the team’s ability to rally defensively and limit the Mustangs’ big plays that stood out and cemented the win.
Broadneck’s defense held Meade’s vaunted running back duo, Zahire Mike and Kamryn Henry, both under 100 yards, though Mike scored twice for the Mustangs.
“This team has a lot of good chemistry; we know how each other plays and we have each other’s backs,” said Broadneck linebacker/safety Braden McCassie, who had Broadneck’s only sack and one of the team’s two interceptions. “They had really good size and came out really aggressive … hard to tackle, shifty and a hard runner. We knew we had to step up from the secondary and fill the run.”
Watkins rushed for 59 yards and threw for 71, while fellow quarterback Nate Tapley threw for 68 yards and a touchdown to Joey Smargissi. Smargissi caught four passes for 77 yards, while Foote added 46 more yards on four catches.
The game was delayed for 20 minutes in the third quarter when a Meade defender suffered a serious injury on a violent hit. The player was taken away by ambulance with a suspected neck injury but was able to move both his arms and legs prior to being taken to the hospital. No further updates were available.
Broadneck plays at Glen Burnie next week.
Broadneck 37, Meade 21
Meade 7 7 7 0 --21
Broadneck 17 7 7 6 --37
B – Mauldin 18 run (Coleman kick) 9:49
B – Foote 39 pass from Watkins (Coleman kick) 5:48
B – Coleman 41 FG 3:25
M – Mike 8 run (Esuola kick) 0:52
B – Smargissi 15 pass from Tapley (Coleman kick) 7:02
M – Mike 1 run (Esuola kick) 2:40
M – Jones 38 pass from Jamison (Esuola kick) 9:19
B – Watkins 23 run (Coleman kick) 2:48
B – Mauldin 11 run (kick blocked) 2:21
Total Yards: Meade 311, Broadneck 358
Rushing Yards: Meade 176, Broadneck 219
Passing Yards: Meade 135, Broadneck 139
First Downs: Meade 10, Broadneck 15
Penalties: Meade 15-121, Broadneck 7-58
Turnovers: Meade 3, Broadneck 0
Sacks: Meade 1, Broadneck 1
Passing – Meade: Jamison 14-25-2-135, 1 TD. Broadneck: Watkins 5-8-0-71, 1 TD; Tapley 5-9-0-68, 1 TD.
Rushing – Meade: Mike 16-96, 2 TD; Henry 7-56; Simms-Rogers 1-19; Jamison 3-5. Broadneck: Mauldin 22-127, 2 TD; Watkins 8-59, 1 TD; Hayes 4-23; Tapley 3-16; Foote 2-(minus-6).
Receiving – Meade: Jones 2-59, 1 TD; Mike 3-31; Simms-Rogers 4-21; Lawson 2-13; Brown 1-9; Henry 2-2. Broadneck: Smargissi 4-77, 1 TD; Foote 4-46, 1 TD; Hayes 2-16.