The defense pitched a shutout and allowed only 59 total yards, the offense moved the ball and scored plenty of points, and the special teams had a kickoff return for a touchdown to boast about.
The sum of those positive performances was a 42-7 non-conference home victory for the Bishop O’Connell Knights over the Annapolis Area Christian School in Sept. 24 high-school football action. The 42 points were the most O’Connell (2-2) had in a game since 49 early in the 2019 season.
“Our offense moved the ball and is starting to gel better, and our defense has played well in every game,” O’Connell coach Ken Lucas said of his team’s second straight win. “They have some good players on offense and I’m glad we were able to contain them.”
The only score for Annapolis Christian was a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter and an extra point, cutting the lead to 13-7.
O’Connell defenders Cameron Lee, Samson Ogunade, Colin Richardson, Jai Thompson, Joseph Wall and Kellen McConnell were among those who applied constant pressure throughout the contest. All had multiple tackles, some for losses, with several batted down passes. Lee had a 48-yard interception return for a TD from his defensive end position with 3:19 left in the game.
McConnell led the way with 11 tackles, including two sacks, and he added a pass breakup. Richardson had seven tackles (two for losses, one sack), and an interception and a fumble recovery. Harrison also had seven tackles (two sacks) and forced a fumble. Thompson had five tackles. Other sacks went to Lee, Ogundade, Wall and Reagan MacGregor and Ryan Creston forced a fumble.
On offense, O’Connell quarterback Jonathan Nguyen was 14 of 27 for 195 yards and threw three touchdown passes. Two went to Aidan Joseph covering eight and 50 yards, and the other to Henderson for 16.
Nathan Harrison had a 13-yard scoring run for the Knights and Frank Johnson returned the opening second-half kickoff 85 yards for a TD.
Tyler Fontenot booted four extra points, and Nguyen and Henderson connected for a two-point conversion. Fontenot had three field-goal attempts, with two blocked and one short and wide. Aidan Munroe and Richardson each had four catches for O’Connell, and Colin Harris and Joseph had two each. Ogunade had one for 30 and Johnson had the other. Douglas O’Donnell was O’Connell’s leading rusher with 43 yards and Harrison had 15.
NOTE: Lucas was the first head football coach for Annapolis Area Christian School, when he started the varsity program in 2007, coaching there through the 2013 season. The team won just one game each those first two seasons, then got rolling and won a couple of championships. “We took it from a true ground- zero,” Lucas said. “We didn’t even have any footballs at the school. We had to buy everything.”