This article and additional photos will appear in the October 1 print edition of the Severna Park Voice.
When Broadneck quarterback Josh Ehrlich launched a deep throw at the start of the third quarter on Friday night, no one knew what was going to happen.
The Bruins led Annapolis 14-0, but football games can turn quickly, and the Panthers were hawking for a turnover as they watched Ehrlich’s pass rise into the night sky.
When the ball came down, it was in the hands of receiver Dan Shea, who spun upfield, broke a tackle, juked his way 40 yards down the sideline and sprinted into the end zone for an 85-yard score and a 20-0 Broadneck lead.
The rout was on, and the Bruins were here for it.
Broadneck amassed 495 total yards in an overwhelming offensive display and shut out the visiting Panthers to celebrate their homecoming with a 42-0 win.
After starting 0-2 with road losses to Potomac and Old Mill, the Bruins got a 42-0 win at Glen Burnie last week before finally getting to play at Lawrence E. Knight Stadium on Friday, where they capped spirit week by delivering a gem for the home fans.
Perhaps more importantly, Broadneck avoided a dicey 1-3 start and made it back to .500 at 2-2.
“It was important,” said Broadneck coach Rob Harris. “It’s our first home game, it’s homecoming, and it’s to get back to even, so it was a big deal, and I was excited. Homecoming is a lot of stuff, but the most important part is you’ve got to win the game.”
It wasn’t like the Bruins weren’t enjoying themselves before Shea’s highlight touchdown put them firmly on course for a blowout win. They had jumped out to a lead in the first quarter, needing just five plays on their opening drive before Davion White broke free for a 38-yard rushing touchdown and a 7-0 advantage.
In the second quarter Shea scored his first touchdown of the game on a screen pass from 13 yards out, doubling the Bruins lead to 14-0 by the break.
Following spirited halftime performances by the marching band, the dance team, the cheerleaders and Broadneck’s famous flaming-baton twirlers, the homecoming crowd of thousands was ready for some game-breaking plays.
The Bruins delivered. Shea made his dazzling catch and ran almost the entire length of the field, his teammates cascading off the bench and up the sideline in celebration.
“It was a post corner and we needed a score to get things rolling,” said Shea, who made four catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns. “The ball was in the air, and I just caught it, and I was excited to run and make a play.”
After Shea’s 85-yard catch and score, Broadneck pinned Annapolis at the 20 with a good kickoff. Thomas Coble forced a fumble on the Panthers’ ensuing snap, and defensive back Josh Cain scooped it up and ran it back 20 yards for a score—Broadneck’s second touchdown in the span of two minutes—and a 27-0 lead.
Cain said the defense, which saw 13 different Bruins make tackles, is a force when they are communicating and playing well together.
“It’s a fun defense. We’re strong, physical. We move a lot, run a lot of different fronts with a lot of moving parts, but we’re all pretty smart, and we get the job done,” said Cain, adding the team never lost confidence after its 0-2 start. “Two losses means nothing to us. We’ve got bigger heart than that.”
From there, the Bruins sought a running clock, and they achieved it with another rushing score by White, who ran from 5 yards out and trucked an Annapolis defender at the goal line to make it 33-0. Ehrlich kept on a fake handoff and ran in for 2 to make it 35-0, and Annapolis’ night was mercifully on track to end a little bit faster.
White totaled 130 yards with two touchdowns on 15 carries and credited his linemen for clearing the way for him to run.
“We all are a unit,” said White. “The line blocks, they’ve always got my back, and holes always open. If I don’t get a good run it’s usually my fault—they always do a great job.”
If the scoreboards over the last two weeks weren’t enough, White added a message for the haters.
“Everybody said we wouldn’t be good,” White said. “We’re coming back, though. We’re not dropping no more.”
Backup quarterback Mason Stillwell added a 6-yard rushing touchdown with three minutes remaining to bring Broadneck’s yards total to 495 and cap the night’s scoring at 42-0.
Ehrlich said the team never wavered in confidence after its 0-2 start, instead leaning on each other to continue to work hard.
“We have the best coaches in the state, and I feel like this is a very close unit,” Ehrlich said. “We came together, sat down as a team, we talked about it, and now here we are at 2-2, hopefully keep climbing to 3-2.”
Naturally, running the offense is enjoyable when Ehrlich has time to move in the pocket and find his favorite targets.
“It’s very fun, especially when it’s clicking,” Ehrlich said. “Every single O-lineman did a great job. Weapons like Andre [Woods] and Davion and Kyle Pierce, they’re just great to have. When the O-line plays like that, we’re just unstoppable.”
Amidst the win, everyone took in the incredible homecoming atmosphere throughout the game—even coach Harris.
“I don’t know if anybody does homecoming as well as Broadneck students,” Harris said. “There were probably 3,000 people here. It’s crazy. It’s really cool. It was a massive student section, everyone’s having fun, and the kids want to put a show on.”
He said the team needs to improve its red-zone efficiency, noting the Bruins almost reached 300 yards in the first half with only 14 points to show for it.
Nevertheless, he likes the resolve the Bruins showed to get back to 2-2 after starting 0-2, and he believes there is a ways to go before the Bruins hit their ceiling.
“We’re getting there, and we’re young, and we’re getting better, so at the end of the day that’s what we want.”
Ehrlich was 15-of-25 passing for 224 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran 11 times for 64 yards. Rashid Proctor carried seven times for 52 yards. Kyle Pierce caught six passes for 53 yards, and Andre Woods Jr. caught four passes for 42 yards. White, Nick Toskov, and Patrick Wagner also caught passes. Stillwell was 2-of-2 passing for 10 yards.
Defensively, Jack Murphy and Anthony Maltese had 4 tackles each, while Owen Rhodes and Coble each had 3.5 tackles. Jarren Terry (3.0 tackles), Dominik Downs (3.0), Stillwell (3.0), Ryan Munley (2.5), Brendan Kennedy (2.0), Cain (1.5) Isaiah Callazo (1.5), Tommy Jenkins (1.5), Everett Weems Jr. (1.0) and Will Ridenhour (0.5) all made tackles.
Matthew Isaac kicked four extra points. Woods Jr. had two punt returns for 40 total yards.
The Bruins play at Meade on October 4 and return home to host Chesapeake on October 11.