Fans enjoy two all-star games for the price of one as Baltimore holds off Team Metro, 31-26, and the East routs the West, 34-7
With the temperatures soaring into the low 70's Saturday, the Baltimore Touchdown Club All-Star Classic celebrated its 20th anniversary Saturday afternoon at Archbishop Spalding High School, and for the first time in the history of the event there were two games.
The early game featured the traditional Baltimore vs. Metro contest and the Baltimore team, lead by a pair of touchdown passes from Perry Hall quarterback Reese Wiseman and a big two-way performance from Eastern Tech’s Brandon Hlavach, the game’s Most Valuable Player, defeated the Metro team, 31-26. In the nightcap, the East, behind a big night from John Carroll School quarterback and MVP Kurt Rawlings, cruised to a 34-7 win over the West, in the inaugural East-West game.
It was a slow start for Baltimore in the first game as its offense sputtered in the opening quarter and they trailed 7-0 heading into the second period. The Metro squad, which was coached by Glenelg's Butch Schaffer, got on the board with a 31-yard touchdown throw from Oakdale’s Sean McGaughey to Howard’s Cameron Carlyle.
Baltimore, led by Eastern Tech coach Marc Mesaros, got a break when it recovered a muffed put by Oakland Mills’ Trevor Hopkins, starting its first drive of the second quarter at the Metro 49. Wiseman connected with Severna Park’s Andrew Haggart on a 44-yard slant pattern that setup a first and goal at the five. One play later, Wiseman flipped a 2-yard toss to Hlavach to put Baltimore on the board and tie the contest at 7-7.
“We started out slow, just getting the pre-game jitters out. We haven’t played in a while. After going slow, we bounced back fast and put the points up fast,” said Wiseman, who was running a familiar offense installed by Baltimore Offensive Coordinator and Perry Hall coach Keith Robinson. “Everything was going good after that first half. It was great to be out with this great group of coaches preparing us, and making us better for the next level.”
The Metro countered immediately, driving from its own 35 to the Baltimore 20, setting up a 37-yard field goal by Glenelg’s Brett Wasson that put Metro back on top, 10-7.
It appeared that would be the score at the half, but Baltimore had other plans.
Getting the ball back at its own 36 with 17 seconds to play in the half, Old Mill quarterback David Marrocco passed the ball out to midfield and then, on the final play of the half, lofted a long pass down the right sideline for a 50-yard touchdown to Douglass’ Marquis Manigo. Manigo made a spectacular twisting catch at the goal line and Baltimore went to intermission with a 14-10 lead.
The momentum carried over to the third quarter as Wiseman threw his second TD pass of the game, a 10-yard completion to Haggart. Trailing 21-10, the Metro Team marched deep inside Baltimore territory and had a first down at the 10. A mishandled handoff, however, ended up on the turf and it was scooped up by Edmondson’s Bilal Omar, who raced 89 yards for what appeared to be a back-breaking Baltimore score, as the lead grew to 28-10. But, the Team Metro battled its way back into the contest.
Glenelg’s Trey Davis gave the Metro squad some life with a 4-yard touchdown run, early in the fourth quarter, which was followed by a 2-point run by Hopkins, cutting Baltimore’s lead to 28-18.
Eastern Tech’s Prince Ajegwu returned the ensuing kickoff 89-yards to setup a 22-yard Baltimore field goal from Old Mill’s Chris Walker, taking the lead back to 13, at 31-18, but Baltmore gave two points right back back minutes later.
On an unusual punt return, Douglass’ DeAndre House mishandled a ball kicked over his head. The football bounded all the way back inside the five, before House picked it up and ran into the end zone where he was tackled before he could get back out, cutting Baltimore’s lead to 31-20.
A personal foul on the play forced Baltimore to make its free kick from the 15 which resulted in the Metro team starting at the Baltimore 44. Things really got interesting a few plays later when Tuscarora’s Tyler Cornwell scored on a 2-yard run. The conversion run failed, but the Metro team was back within five, at 31-26, with 5 minutes, 30 seconds to play.
On its next possession, Baltimore was able to run almost four minutes off the clock before it sealed the contest by stopping the Metro’s last drive on downs with 43-seconds to play.
“The defense, we all played as a team and we all worked together, and we all made big plays when they needed to be made,” said Hlavach. “It was a great feeling to get back out here with some of my teammates and some new friends that I met. It was a great opportunity all around.”
With the win, Baltimore inched closer in the all-time series, trailing the Metro team 11-9.
In the second game, it was another big performance for Rawlings, who threw for 3,438 yards and 52 touchdowns in leading John Carroll to a 12-0 season and the MIAA B Conference championship.
He threw for two scores in the opening quarter, Saturday, as the East team established itself early. On the East’s first possession, Rawlings delivered the ball on time to Long Reach’s Tyler Winbush, who got himself wide open in the West secondary, and scored on a 46-yard pass play. After a West punt, Rawlings drove the East downfield quickly and completed a 4-yard touchdown throw to John Carroll teammate Alex Rasmussen for a 14-0 lead.
The East lead grew to 24-0 in the second quarter with a 47-yard field goal by McDonogh’s Mike Shinsky and 9-yard touchdown run by Archbishop Spalding’s Joshua Chase.
The West finally got on the board on its next possession as South Hagerstown quarterback T.J. Peer threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Rebels’ teammate Marcel Jones. Before halftime, however, the East got the points back with an 11-yard touchdown pass from McDonogh’s Jansen Durham to John Carroll’s Joshua Payne-White.
In the fourth quarter, Shinsky, who was 4-for-4 on his extra-point kicks, booted his second field goal of the night, from 29-yards, to cap the scoring.
“It starts with the coaches. We had three or four practices and everybody had the system like that,” said Rawlings, who will take his talents to Yale University next fall. “The line did great and everybody knew what they were doing and there were some great, great athletes on the outside.”
“It’s all communication. The made it easy for us. They put everything on a wrist band. If you communicate, you’re going to be fine,” said 6-foot-4, 295-pound McDonogh offensive lineman Gavin Clark, who was named the game’s Most Outstanding Lineman by BTC President Doug Duvall. “It was great to play with different guys and against different guys. It was just like college.”
“It was cool coming out with the best guys around and it was good playing with four or five of my brothers from my (John Carroll) team,” added Rawlings.
The East was lead by John Carroll coach Keith Rawlings, while South Hagerstown's Toby Peer was the head coach of the West.
20TH ANNUAL BALTIMORE TOUCHDOWN CLUB SENIOR ALL-STAR FOOTBALL CLASSIC
AT ARCHBISHOP SPALDING
BALTIMORE 31, METRO 26
METRO 7 3 0 16 — 26 BALTIMORE 0 14 14 3 — 31 1stQ MET - Cameron Carlyle 31 pass from Trey Davis (Brett Wasson kick) 2ndQ BAL - Brandon Hlavach 2 pass from Reece Wiseman (Chris Walker kick) MET - Wasson 37 FG BAL - Marquis Manigo 50 pass from David Marrocco (Walker kick) 3rdQ BAL - Andrew Haggart 10 pass from Wiseman (Walker kick) BAL - Bilal Omar 89 fumble return (Walker kick) 4thQ MET - Trey Davis 4 run (Trevor Hopkins run) BAL - Walker 22 FG MET - Safety - DeAndre House tackled in the end zone MET - Tyler Cornell 2 run (run failed)
EAST 34, WEST 7 EAST 14 17 0 3 — 34 WEST 0 7 0 0 — 7 1stQ EAST - Tyler Winbush 46 pass from Kurt Rawlings (Mike Shinsky kick) EAST - Alex Rasmussen 4 pass from Rawlings (Shinsky kick) 2ndQ EAST - Shinsky 47 FG EAST - Joshua Chase 9 run (Shinsky kick) 3rdQ WEST - Marcel Jones 28 pass from TJ Peer (Peer kick) EAST - Joshua Payne-White 11 pass from Jansen Durham (Shinsky kick) 4thQ EAST - Shinsky 29 FG