Unranked Saints shut down No. 12 Dundalk in non-league football showdown
by Nelson Coffin
It’s difficult to argue with the advice Franklin coach Anthony Burgos gave to Dundalk coach Matt Banta regarding the virtues of having a strong non-league schedule before battling Baltimore County public school foes during the regular season.
“Coach Burgos told me to play teams who are going to test you,” Banta said, noting that his Owls will meet Burgos’ Indians next week. “And if we can get through the next couple of weeks — it’s a buzz-saw of a schedule (that also includes Frederick Douglas of Prince George’s County) — and show we belong, we’ll probably make the playoffs.”
In its initial non-league encounter to open the season, No. 12 Dundalk put together a solid 34-10 triumph over Century on Sept. 7.
On Friday night, though, No. 12 Dundalk found a much more difficult assignment against unranked Concordia Prep, a rising program which is also bulking up its schedule.
The Saints, who have moved up to the MIAA B Conference this year, showed that their program is still ascending by finding a way to win a game that boasted two stellar defenses playing at a high level.
After a scoreless first half, Concordia Prep (3-0) found just enough offense in the third quarter to emerge with a 13-0 victory and send whoops of joy into the night air after the win was secured.
“We came together as a team,” said Concordia Prep 6-foot, 280-pound sophomore lineman Sone Metuge Jr. “We kept attacking the ball and flying around. We still have to prove that we belong in the B Conference.”
Metuge Jr. did his part, making tackles for losses on Dundalk’s first two drives and adding a 7-yard sack in the third quarter when the Owls had their deepest penetration at the Saints’ 7-yard line. He also combined with freshman Corey Broome on a sack that forced a turnover.
Dundalk (1-1) would get back in the red zone at the Concordia Prep 9-yard line late in the final period before an unsportsmanlike penalty derailed that drive and preserved the shutout.
The Owls displayed a pretty nasty defense of their own, with 6-foot-4, 230-pound linebacker Greg Hollis authoring four sacks and a slew of tackles for a unit that held strong until the Saints’ offense took advantage of the aforementioned turnover to put together a nine-play, 65-yard drive, finished on a 1-yard bolt by junior running back Ryan Steinberg with just over eight minutes remaining in the third quarter.
A 34-yard pass from junior quarterback Justin Carter to sophomore wideout Cliff Gillis and a 16-yard connection by the same duo keyed the sequence and opened up the run for Steinberg.
Concordia Prep scored on its next possession as well, going 89 yards in 12 plays capped by 13-yard strike from Carter to junior wideout Sean Martin.
Carter found senior wide-out Davion Ames on a 26-yard play to convert a 3rd-and-15 in the middle of the drive.
“It really means a lot to our program to get this win because Dundalk is such a great team and coach Banta is a great coach,” Concordia Prep coach Josh Ward said. “This was a statement win for us.”
Banta said that his defense, which held the Saints from scoring on three deep drives to Dundalk’s 5, 8 and 22-yard lines in the first half, finally made some mental mistakes in the third quarter.
Yet with Hollis playing the sport at Dundalk for the first time, the Owls defense has found a go-to player.
“We liked everything we saw watching him walk around the hallways,” Banta said. “He proved tonight that he belonged at this level.”
The coach also praised senior quarterback Treshawn Ray for his play in the game.
“He’s been phenomenal,” he said. “He’s a three-year starter at quarterback and a great kid.”
He also had kind words for senior Henry Rohlfs, another of the Owls’ two-way standouts.
“He’s a football player,” Banta said. “And that means a lot.”
Pictured above: Dundalk senior linebacker Henry Rohlfs (#9) tackles Concordia Prep junior running back Ryan Steinberg as senior cornerback Justin Carter (#1) dives near the play and a slew of Saints approach in a non-league battle.
CONCORDIA PREP 13, NO. 12 DUNDALK 0
CP 0 0 13 0 — 13
D 0 0 0 0 — 0
CP-Ryan Steinberg 1 run (Justin Washington kick)
CP-Sean Martin 13 pass from Justin Carter (kick failed)