April 26, 2018

DMV produces epic triumphs, historical upsets and plenty of fireworks on college football’s opening weekend

Maryland coach D.J. Durkin gets the Gatorade bath as Maryland celebrates staple win over No. 23 Texas on Saturday. Courtesy of University of Maryland athletics.

It was quite the day for college football programs, and football in general, in the DMV on Saturday. You could probably say it’s the most decorative nine-hour stretch on the gridiron in our area’s existence.

Let’s run it down for you:

At 4:59 p.m. … Maryland polished off its first win over a ranked opponent in seven (!) years with the 51-41 victory over host No. 23 Texas (the last time the Terps did this, I was freshman in high school).

Not DMV natives, but Maryland natives accounted for 292 of the 482 total yards of offense and five of the seven touchdowns. Former Gilman (Baltimore) and St. John’s (D.C.) quarterback Kasim Hill came on in relief for an injured Tyrell Pigrome and completed all three of his passes for 44 yards. Hill also added a rushing touchdown to put the Terps up 44-34 with 7:36 to play. Fort Hill grad (Cumberland, Md.) Ty Johnson did his thing, going for 132 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. DeMatha grad Lorenzo Harrison contributed 45 yards on the ground and Damascus grad Jake Funk sealed the deal with a 12-yard scoring dagger, which put the Terps up by 17 with 2:08 to go. Former Duval linebacker Antoine Brooks gobbled Texas’ momentum with a 71-yard return off a blocked field goal, padding Maryland’s cushion to 21-7 early in the second quarter.

This goes to show that #TheMovement isn’t just an over-hyped hashtag to catch the attention of local recruits, but now the reason for on-field success and the program’s return to national relevance.

At around 7 p.m. … Bowie State, with the “number one offense” at the Division II level — according to the program’s quarterback coach — burned Seton Hill for 599 yards of offense and a 41-point rout. The Bulldogs play on ESPN3 at 4 p.m. next Saturday against Winston Salem at Bowman Gray Stadium …

At 10:16 p.m. … Towson topped cross-city foe Morgan State in a renewed rivalry dubbed the Battle for Greater Baltimore. The Tigers travel next door to College Park on Saturday to face the Terrapins. Seneca Valley (Germantown, Md.) grad Adrian Platt ran for seven yards on three carries …

At 10:57 p.m. … James Madison, the reigning FCS national champions, kept its dominance ablaze in the 34-14 win over East Carolina. Running back Cardon Johnson, a Virginia native, went buck wild, zapping the Pirates for 265 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. That’s 15.6 yards per carry, for those keeping track …

At 12:18 a.m. … Alright, this is when things get crazy. Liberty, an FCS school that had a 2.2 percent chance of winning — according to ESPN’s FPI system — shocks national power Baylor, 48-45, in Waco, Texas. Virginia native Carrington Mosley rushed for 122 yards on 28 carries. It was considered as the biggest upset college football has seen in the last 10 years until…

1:34 a.m. … The impossible became possible when Howard defied a 45-point spread against them to slip by UNLV in Las Vegas, 43-40, which became the biggest upset in college football history. Former University of Maryland defensive coordinator Mike London debuted in style as the head coach of the Bison, righting the ship for time being after the program went 2-9 last fall. Dunbar grad (Baltimore) LeLand Lassiter registered a team-high 11 tackles and Cam Newton’s little bro, Caylin Newton, exploded for 190 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while completing 15 of 26 passes for 140 yards a score.

So, yeah, the DMV pulled off the two biggest upsets in college football history since 2007 …

It’s a magical moment for sure, but when you break it down, it’s not surprising. The NCAA research department charted the percentage of athletes from each state recruited to play for a Division I college with data from 2013-16, and the DMV scored well in football. D.C. ranked fourth, Maryland placed fifth and Virginia checked in ninth.

Of the 394 combined players on rosters of Howard (D.C.), Liberty (Va.), JMU (Va.) and Maryland, 47.2 percent are from the DMV and 21.6 percent are from Maryland. Howard’s 84-man roster consists of 22 players from the DMV and 11 from Maryland. Liberty’s 96-man roster holds 27 players from the DMV and only one from Maryland. JMU’s 103-man roster is loaded with DMV recruits (73), with 64 from Virginia and nine from Maryland.

Maryland’s roster, meanwhile, is 58 percent DMV-bred (64 of 111), including 50 players from the Old Line State.

It’s also worth noting that 76 percent of Bowie State’s roster are Maryland natives (74 of 98). 

Oh, and not to mention, Navy kick-started the year with a 42-19 dub over FAU on Friday night.

What a weekend. What a Saturday

About Kyle McFadden 416 Articles
Kyle McFadden is a graduate from Linganore High School's Class of 2014, a sports junkie and general news-hound. He got his start as a sports writer in January 2014 for Linganore's student-run newspaper The Lance, where he wrote 13 articles. McFadden then launched his own blog in October 2014 called The Beltway Dispatch covering collegiate, local high school and professional sports. Formally known as The Beltway Dispatch, McFadden and Evan Engelhard merged respective platforms in June 2015 to make what is now Maryland Sports Access. With baseball, basketball and golf experience, McFadden brings ample knowledge to the helm of MSA. McFadden covers a wide variety of sports in football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and specializes in the collegiate and high school levels. McFadden volunteers his time at Damascus Road Community Church -- serving as a mentor to the youth, basketball coach at the varsity and junior varsity levels, and leads a small group of high school sophomores every Wednesday night. Although he's only been around journalism since January 2014, he's a high school sports reporter for The Baltimore Sun and freelancer for The Frederick News-Post. McFadden's work has also appeared in DMV newspapers The Aegis, The Capital Gazette, The Daily Times (Delmarva Now), The Hometown Observer, Howard County Times, Germantown Pulse and The Towson Times. He's also won two Mike Powell Excellence in Journalism awards and has appeared on The Best of SNO, which showcases top student work of high school and college journalists. McFadden currently studies at Frederick Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland in the fall of 2018 to work on a bachelor's degree in journalism with aspirations to be a national college basketball writer.
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