Heading into last Friday's 4A North matchup with the Woodlawn Warriors, the Perry Hall Gators sat in third place in the conference.
At the end of the regular season, the top four teams in each region advance to the regional tournament.
The Gators may have improved their chances at a return to the postseason for the first time since 2008—official update to be released by the Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association (MPSSAA) on Tuesday—after a convincing 42-6 victory at home against the Warriors.
Quarterback Mike DeBaugh continued his maturation by completing 10-of-16 passes for 163 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. For his efforts, the team voted him offensive most valuable player.
But it was running back Eric DeLaCruz who started the Gators scoring deluge with a 2-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter. It was DeLaCruz's only carry of the game.
The Gators (5-1) offense really came to life in the second quarter with three touchdowns and took a 28-0 lead into halftime.
Running backs Pat Clemons and Eric Latham scored rushing touchdowns of four and eight yards, respectively. Clemons ran 18 times for 85 yards and Latham picked up 26 yards on five carries, but added another touchdown in the fourth quarter.
DeBaugh closed out the first half scoring with a 24-yard touchdown pass to tight end Antione Snyder.
DeBaugh continued to attack the Warriors through the air after the break. In the third quarter, he connected with wide receiver Jamal Craig on a 25-yard touchdown pass.
Latham closed out the Gators scoring in the fourth quarter with a 4-yard touchdown run.
Kicker Jake McQuay converted all six of his extra point attempts, which earned him special teams most valuable player honors by his teammates.
Perry Hall's defense did not allow points until late in the fourth quarter when the Warriors scored on a 40-yard touchdown pass.
The Gators defense forced five turnovers via four interceptions and a fumble recovery. They also collected three sacks.
Linebacker Tyler Cosgrove was voted the team's defensive most valuable player. He led the team with eight tackles, recovered a fumble and pulled down an interception.
Defensive lineman Darius Johnson (three tackles) and strong safeties Troy Poole (five tackles) and Damien Lindsey (one tackle) had the other three interceptions. Linebacker Matt Ruthke added six tackles, including a sack and strong safety Robin Paguia chipped in with five tackles.
The Gators are now preparing to take on the Franklin Indians in this Friday's Homecoming game under the lights at Perry Hall High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 PM.
The Indians (6-0) currently lead the 3A North Region and were ranked No. 7 in the state in the most recent poll by The Baltimore Sun. They have outscored their opponents 232-99 and have scored 40 or more points in half of their games this season.
1 2 3 4 Final
Woodlawn 0 0 0 6 6
Perry Hall 7 21 7 7 42