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Rams win fifth straight to stay perfect on season

By AJ MASON

Staff writer

The McDonough football team continued its hot start on Saturday night versus host Lackey.

For the third time this season, the defense yielded zero points as the Rams cruised to a 38-0 win to remain unbeaten.

McDonough (5-0, 4-0 SMAC) are one of three teams in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference which still have unblemished marks. Calvert County outfits Patuxent (5-0, 3-0) and Huntingtown (5-0, 4-0) also boast perfect records.

McDonough will host Aberdeen of Hartford County at 7 p.m. Friday.

"The focus on Aberdeen is the same focus as every week. We want to execute our game plan for 48 game minutes. But as weeks go on, we expect a higher level of proficiency each time," McDonough head coach Luke Ethington said. "Like every year, going into week five, our goal was to begin looking like a team ready for the playoffs."

The Rams did not waste any time, scoring 28 of their 38 points in the first half to eventually secure the shutout.

McDonough, which is averaging almost 33 points this season, was led offensively by senior quarterback Devone Boone, who completed 6 of 11 passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns.

Boone’s favorite target on the evening was senior and Howard University commit James Harrell, who caught three balls for 72 yards and a touchdown. Boone also had four carries for 37 yards.

Senior Robbie Owens caught one ball from Boone, which was for a 10-yard touchdown.

"Devone has let his play speak for him. Prior to this season, we had a lot of guys doing a lot of talking and hadn't produced anything on the field," Ethington said. "I think he recognized that and said, 'I'm not going to talk about it, I'm going to be about it.' The result is what you've been seeing from him on a weekly basis."

The offensive line opened big holes for the McDonough running backs, as senior Chris Monroe led all rushers with 115 yards on 14 carries and a seven-yard touchdown run.

Junior DeMonne Cox added 54 yards rushing on seven carries and junior Bobby Harris (6 tackles) carried the football two times and had a six-yard plunge into the end zone.

"The biggest thing that has sparked us this year [so far] has been our offensive line," Ethington said. "Na'Ty Rodgers, Charles Jenifer, Cameron Ethington, Daris Johnson and Casey Phillips. They are the engine that makes us go. A football smart group of young men that communicate well and understand the concept of controlling the line of scrimmage."

Defensively, the Rams registered four sacks and senior linebacker Juwan Campbell had a team-high eight tackles. Senior linebacker Christian Cole and defensive end Owens each had six tackles and a sack.

Senior defensive linemen Roderick Purce and Aaron Holley each had a sack and recorded five and four tackles, respectively. Holley also had two pass break-ups at cornerback.

Rams senior kicker Collin McMichael was 5 for 5 in extra points and made a 29-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. McMichael is 10 for 10 the last two games in extra points and also had a 34-yard field goal in a 41-0 victory over Great Mills on Sept. 20.

Lackey (1-4, 1-3) is on a four-game losing streak, with its only win coming in Week 1 over La Plata in a 30-12 outcome. It will host Thomas Stone at 7 p.m. Friday.

“We had a couple opportunities to score, but we didn’t capitalize on our possessions and they didn’t,” Lackey head coach John Lush said. “Right now we are afraid of the big stage and we are still learning. McDonough is a talented team and they did what they needed to do.”

Lush mentioned that he brought up a couple sophomores from junior varsity team for Saturday’s game and got a huge spark from fullback and defensive end Richard Lyons.

“He definitely made a impact for us,” Lush said. “Richard brought a lot of energy on the football field and we are looking to have him in the future.”

ajmason@somdnews.com