UPPER MARLBORO – The Largo Lions won their first game of the season with a dominant 34-0 victory over the Central Falcons in front of a home crowd.
Although the final score did not show it, this game started off as a tightly contested defensive battle.
Throughout the first quarter, both teams looked evenly matched with neither putting any points on the board. However, the Lions scored late in the first quarter to put them up 7-0, and from there, they never looked back.
The Lions carried the momentum from the end of the first quarter into the second. Just 22 seconds into the quarter, Lions senior quarterback Jermaine Flowers scrambled for a 40-yard touchdown that put the team and audience in a frenzy. The run put the Lions up 14-0 and had the energy on another level despite the rainy and misty conditions.
Later on in the second quarter, veteran senior strong safety Nnamdi Ekeagwu hauled in an interception with 6:30 left and nearly returned it for a touchdown. Flowers continued to show the Falcons why he is a dual threat by finishing the job and rushing for a touchdown.
The Falcons simply had no answer for the Lions’ offense or defense in the first half, and Largo went into halftime with a comfortable 21-0 lead.
The second half was déjà vu, as the Lions continued to defend their den. With a well-balanced offense and defense, the Falcons were flying around for answers but could not find them.
The Lions’ defense was a big storyline as the unit shut out the Falcons and held them to less than 50 yards of total offense. That impenetrable defensive unit was highlighted by Ekeagwu, who was all over the field and wreaked havoc on the Falcons’ offense. He finished the game with two interceptions.
“Defensively, I think we prepared well,” Largo Head Coach Derron Thomas said. “Our linebackers set the tone for our defense. Same thing goes for safeties like Nnamdi. They played fast, and they played physical.
“For the most part, they did their job, but they still can play better, and we will continue to get better defensively. I was pleased but at the end of the day, they read their keys, and they were where they were supposed to be. That’s why I think we had some success on defense tonight.”
On offense, it was senior Jayvon Johnson’s turn. He usually plays linebacker on defense. but accounted for 88 total yards and two rushing touchdown.
Sophomore Larry Williams added a touchdown with 4:05 left in the third, which ended up being the final score of the game.
Despite the 34-0 win, Thomas thought the team could have done better.
“Offensively, we were pretty sloppy for my liking,” Thomas said. “It took us awhile to get started, so we got to clean that up. We’re trying to establish our identity of being a physical football team.
“At times, I think we did that, and then at times, I believe we didn’t do that great. We will continue to work. I told the guys there are a lot of teams that are not 1-0 right now, so we just got to keep going.”
Flowers did look good at times, finishing with more than 70 yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns. However, he completed only 5-of-14 passes through the air.
“When I see an opportunity, I just take it,” Flowers said of his running ability. “I don’t try to rely on it, but if you have an opportunity to make it, I just do what I have to do to help the team win; just execute.
“We have a lot of talent. If we come together as one unit and make perfect plays, it’s going to be crazy. For our offense, the offensive line was moving the ball, so running backs could get their yards and so I could get my yards.”