injury-plagued offense committed too many turnovers, and the defense failed to stop Joppatowne’s running attack, as the in a muddy Friday night road game.
The Mustangs (2-5) have battled injuries all season—they lost their starting quarterback to a back ailment after Week 2—and it showed against a lights out Joppatowne (4-3) defense. The Mustangs committed five turnovers, two of them leading to Mariner touchdowns, and struggled to establish a solid offensive game.
“I’m not making any excuses,” Mustangs said. “And I’m not saying injuries are the reasons we are losing games, but we are a little bit lower on the depth chart than any team would like to be. So the guys are young and they are learning.”
After an even first quarter, the Mariners got on the board with a little more than two minutes to go in the second. Running back Brandon Waters broke a 24-yard touchdown run, followed by a two-point conversion, to put Joppatowne up 8-0.
C. Milton responded with a 10-play drive, in which freshman quarterback Jamal Worthington connected with Kevin Dorsey for a 20-yard gain. Worthington followed with a nine-yard pass to Tyler Hall to put the Mustangs in the red zone for the first time.
But the Mariners defensive pressure forced Worthington to throw an interception to end the half.
“For a freshman kid starting his first game on varsity I thought he played exceptionally well,” . “Today was his first start; he’s seen exactly two series at the varsity level at the game last week against Fallston. I couldn’t be more proud of that kid.”
Joppatowne put the game away in the fourth quarter as running backs Waters and Jamil Lee combined for 73 rushing yards on a 15-play drive. Lee finished the drive with a one-yard run to increase the Mariners lead to 14-0.
C. Milton was unable to slow down Joppatowne’s ground game. The Mustangs struggled to wrap up the Joppatowne runners, allowing several additional yards after initial contact.
“The things that I saw when [Joppatowne] was running the football—it wasn’t that we were in the wrong spots or doing the wrong thing, it was that we were arm tackling,” Yohn said. “Give Joppatowne credit: their backs are good and they are faster than we have seen before, which makes it hard to tackle.”
The Mariners will take on the undefeated next week and Joppatowne coach Bill Waibel hopes that his running game will be as effective next Thursday.
“Tonight, offensively, we did our same old boring offense and tried to control the clock, keep the ball away from them and put some points on the board,” Waibel said. “We are going to try and continue to do that, and we have a tough test against a 6-0 Fallston team on Thursday. I’m really proud of our kids and we’re going to try to ride this momentum into Thursday night.”