Physicality was the name of the game in Friday night’s Class 3A state football quarterfinal match between Atholton High and St. Charles from Charles County.

What the Southern Maryland school lacked in charm, it more than made up in the trenches as St. Charles ended the 10th-ranked Raiders’ perfect season with a 22-6 victory.

“We didn’t know, looking at film, how big they were until we saw them out here in the first quarter,” Atholton coach Eric Woodson said. “Their physicality and aggressiveness – it was a different level.”

Quarterback Kevin Taylor went 8-for-8 passing for 121 yards and touchdown and added a rushing score to lead St. Charles (8-4 overall), which will play at Frederick County’s Oakdale in a state semifinal.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The Spartans’ defensive line was bigger than what the Raiders (10-1) faced throughout the Howard County regular season and last week’s South Region second round win over Howard County rival Marriotts Ridge. St. Charles’ linemen and edge rushers virtually imposed their will, holding Atholton to a season-low in point production.

The Spartans struck first with a 25-yard touchdown toss from Taylor to Jamar Sharpe about three minutes into the second quarter. St. Charles’ defense forced a fumble, setting its offense deep in Atholton territory.

The Spartans culminated the short drive with a one-yard touchdown sneak by Taylor, extending the visitors’ lead to 14-0 with 5:29 remaining in the opening half. Atholton responded on the ensuing drive with senior quarterback Miles Scott completed a 50-yard pass to Daniel Ogordi and a 20-yarder to Nick Ngo.

Scott got into the end zone on fourth-and-goal at the one, bringing the Howard County champs within a score.

It didn’t last. Keyon Washington got the ensuing kickoff, broke multiple tackles and juked a couple of defenders on the way to a scintillating 83-yard score, giving St. Charles a 22-6 advantage.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Woodson implemented various offensive adjustments to counter St. Charles’ relentless defensive scheme, which mainly included throwing short, quick passes. Nearly every time the Raiders seemed to be gaining ground, they were either charged with a costly penalty or were unable to convert on third and fourth downs.

“That’s a good football team (Atholton); they’re undefeated for a reason, but we knew we had a shot,” St. Charles coach Patrick Orndoff said. “We gotta be more physical. There are contact sports, but football is a collision sport., and we have to play it violently… We like to really lean on that physicality, and being violent, and being aggressive - it goes to what we do on defense with our aggressiveness and we just try to be more physical than the other team.”

Atholton lost its senior leader Scott to a neck strain while attempting to make a tackle after throwing an interception early in the fourth.

Scott characterized his time with the Raiders as a “rough journey” as he cherished the memories and camaraderie with his teammates.

“This was my year to take over and we had a great season. We just ended short,” said Scott.”I love my guys. We really put work in and we really had a bond. And it hurts.”

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

“This was a season of firsts… it was a season of accomplishments,” said Woodson in his third season. “But you play with what you got and I’m proud of my guys. They gave every effort that they had and laid it out there on the field tonight.”



St. Charles 0 22 0 0 — 22

Atholton 0 6 0 0 — 6

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Second quarter

St. Charles – Jamar Sharpe 25 pass from Kevin Taylor (pass failed)

St. Charles – Taylor 1 run (Kordell Batten run)

Atholton – Scott 1 run (run failed)

St. Charles – Washington 83 kickoff return (Kordell Batten run)