The Landon School football team scored touchdowns on each of five first-half possessions en route to a 43-7 rout Friday of visiting Annapolis Area Christian.
The Bears (1-0) racked up 311 offensive yards, all coming on the ground, as the Eagles (0-1) could not solve the wing-T option.
“It starts with our offensive line, those guys are all returners for the most part,” Landon coach Paul Padalino said. “We are a run team first, that’s what we are going to be, and the guys up front get it started. Those front seven guys got after it today.”
Junior running back Josh Hunter — who finished with 113 yards and a pair of touchdowns — also pointed to the line as the key factor in the Bears victory, particularly tackles Joey Tabb and Steven Gee.
“Having a veteran line is great to have, because you are really secure running the ball,” Hunter said. “A lot of our plays are off-tackle, pulls and down blocks, so I’ll hopefully be running between the tackles a lot this year. Tabb and Gee are doing a really great job out there.”
Each of Hunter’s touchdown runs came on off-tackle runs, a 17-yard score off left tackle in the first quarter, and a 66-yarder off the right side. Johari Johnson added a 43-yard touchdown on a similar power off-tackle play.
Senior fullback Colton Rupp exploited the middle of the Annapolis Area Christian defensive front for 55 yards and a score, while freshman Joey Epstein chipped in with 72 yards on five carries. Quarterback Rob Adkins snuck in for a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter, and Julius Kindfuller contributed 27 yards as the primary back in the second half.
If the offense was firing on all cylinders, the defense was equally impressive. Kolby Williams sacked Eagle’s quarterback D.J. Golatt in the endzone for a safety during the first quarter. Junior safety Brian Menendez made an excellent break on a second-quarter pass attempt from Golatt and took the interception 58 yards, finishing the play with a dive to put the ball just inside the pylon.
“This was Brian’s first start, and it was great to see him play the way that we expect him to play at safety,” Padalino said. “He is an athletic kid, we know he can run, and so if he will be disciplined in the way he plays the game he can make some plays for us.”
Next up for the Bears is Boys Latin, which beat Landon 10-3 last season.
“They are a great team and they are going to bring it, but so are we,” Hunter said. “Obviously, having this great win today will give us a lot of confidence. We have school next week, so it will be a little bit tougher, but we are up for it. I think we’ve got a good group, and it’s going to be a special year.”
Landon 43, Annapolis Area Christian 7
AAC (0-1) 0 0 0 7—7
Landon (1-0) 23 20 0 0—43
L -- Colton Rupp 26 run (Cameron Drooz kick)
L -- Josh Hunter 17 run (Cameron Drooz kick)
L -- Saftey, Kolby Williams sacks D.J. Golatt in endzone
L -- Johari Johnson 43 run (Cameron Drooz kick)
L -- Rob Adkins 1 run (Aaron Broner kick)
L -- Josh Hunter 68 run (Aaron Broker kick)
L -- Brain Menendez 58 interception return (kick failed)
A -- Jarrett Heckert 17 pass from Brian Kazmierski (Jason Burner kick)
Landon -- Josh Hunter 6-113; Joey Epstein 5-72; Colton Rupp 2-55; Johari Johnson 1-43; Julius Kindfuller 6-27; Rob Adkins 1-1; Carson Petty 1-0.
Annapolis Area Christian -- Brain Kazmierski 2-4; Victor Massey 1-0; Jalen Heckstall 4-(-5); D.J. Golatt 7-(-19).
Landon -- Griffin Brown 0-1-0-0.
Annapolis Area Christian -- Brian Kazmierski 7-9-57-0; D.J. Golatt 3-8-33-1.
Annapolis Area Christian -- Joshua Awoyera 4-39; Jarrett Heckert 2-29; Victor Massey 3-13; Chance Branson 1-9