Power running boosts No. 11 Dundalk over Perry Hall, 27-6

Kasprzak, Fiorenza and Oxendine spearhead ground game behind stout offensive line to keep Owls unbeaten

Published on: September 17, 2022 3:04 AM EDT|Updated on: September 18, 2022 8:52 AM EDT

Perry Hall's Declan Elanya (7) tries to bring down Dundalk's Jordan Fiorenza during Friday's Baltimore County football game.
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Jordan Fiorenza is well aware of the fact that as good as he and fellow Dundalk running backs Joey Kasprzak and Desmond Oxendine are, they owe a daily debt of gratitude to an offensive line that is a force in its own right.

And when the trio of backs and the line are in sync, rival defenses are sunk.

Such was the case Friday night in a Baltimore County football showdown between the No. 11 Owls and Perry Hall when power running was the name of the game.

Although the Gators led for most of the first half on a 46-yard pass from junior quarterback Da’Shaun Conway to senior wideout Kevin Garnett (3 catches for 131 yards in the first half) and stayed dead-even with Dundalk until early in the third period, the Owls’ grind-it-out style took over for the rest of the game to pave the way for a 27-6 victory.

”We have that three-headed monster, and we get it, we understand it,” Dundalk coach Ton Abel said. “That’s Dundalk football.”

The Owls’ first score, that knotted the game midway through the second quarter, came through the air on a strike from senior quarterback Ja Banner to senior tight end Dale Martin, proving that they don’t rely solely on the runners.

Still, Fiorenza had 12 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown, Kasprzak ran five times for 63 yards and two scores and Oxendine bludgeoned Perry Hall eight times for 50 yards.

With the backs successfully hammering at the Gators’ defensive line and scoring twice to take the lead in the third quarter, Dundalk (3-0 overall) was able to maintain possession for long stretches as precious time ran off the clock.

That was especially true in the final period after the Owls’ defense halted Perry Hall’s 12-play drive at their own 5-yard line when senior running back Jaylan Johnson was stopped a yard shy of the first down to deny the Gators (2-1) a chance to get back in the game.

Dundalk countered with a 95-yard, 17-play sequence — 11 of which were runs — that concluded with Kasprzak’s 9-yard scamper for the game’s final score with 4:26 left in regulation.

Ironically, it took a 17-yard pass from Bonner to Martin to sustain the drive.

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Yet the win was mostly about running behind guards Dajuan Jones and Jullian Haddix, tackles Chimdy Onoh and Stefon Wilburn and center Andre Andrades, Fiorenza said.

”Those guys up front are non-stop in practice,” Fiorenza added. “When you have guys like that, there’s no way you can’t have a good game.”

Perry Hall assistant coach Ryan Pattillo said the Gators, who are young, learned some lessons on Friday.

“They went full house, double tight end — and that threw us off a little bit,” said Pattillo.

“I’m actually really proud of our guys. We showed a lot of heart. We have a lot of ninth and tenth graders, starting for us, so we have a really young team. And with a new staff coming in, it’s a lot to get in this early. And Dundalk’s very well coached and loaded with talent. They’re a really tough team. I thought we played really well.”

NO. 11 DUNDALK 27, PERRY HALL 6

Dundalk 0 6 14 7 — 27

Perry Hall 6 0 0 0 — 6

First quarter

Perry Hall - Kevin Garnett 46 pass from Da’Shaun Conway (run failed)

Second quarter

Dundalk - Dale Martin 10 pass from Ja Bonner (kick failed)

Third quarter

Dundalk - Joey Kasprzak 35 run (run failed)

Dundalk - Jordan Fiorenza 10 run (Fiorenza run)

Fourth quarter

Dundalk - Kasprzak 9 run (Leland Mixter kick)