Thursday, December 12, 2013 7:03 PM
Published on: Monday, November 19, 2012
By Brandy L. Simms
DAMASCUS – No. 4 seed Urbana last week advanced to the 3A West region final with a scintillating 24-23 overtime win against No. 1 seed and previously unbeaten Damascus.
The Hawks rode the arm of talented sophomore quarterback Donovan Pannell and the feet of sophomore running back Raekwon Gray who were both instrumental in the victory.
Pannell, who has already drawn interest from Division I college programs, directed the Urbana offense with his pinpoint passing attack and finished with over 200 yards through the air.
“He showed great poise and composure tonight,” said Urbana head coach Ryan Hines. “I’d like to see the numbers he had. He had to have over 200 yards passing I think.”
Gray scored on a two-yard run in the second quarter and senior wide receiver Nathan Miller caught the two-point conversion pass from Pannell to put the Hawks ahead, 8-0.
Urbana went up 16-0 with 8:52 remaining in the third quarter when senior tight end Brendan Wharton caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Pannell and Gray ran in the two-point conversion.
Urbana wide receiver Darren Ambush was also spectacular, the senior finished with 132 yards on five receptions.
“He’s a man,” said Hines. “He stepped up tonight. He’s a great athlete. We got to get him the ball.”
Damascus scored on the first play of overtime when Caleb Baisden found the end zone from ten yards out and Joseph Curry kicked the extra point to put the Swarming Hornets ahead, 23-16.
However, Gray scored on a three-yard run and Pannell connected with senior tight end Brendan Wharton on the two-point conversion to seal the win and start the victory celebration.
Damascus junior quarterback Chase Williams helped the Swarming Hornets erase a 16-0 third quarter deficit by tossing a pair of touchdown passes after intermission.
Zach Bradshaw caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Williams and then caught the two-point conversion pass from Jalen Christian to cut the deficit to 16-8 late in the third quarter.
Williams connected with Rashard Budd from seven yards out and Caleb Baisden ran in the two-point conversion to tie the game at 16-16 with 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Damascus (10-1) saw their season come to a premature ending but Urbana (8-3) advanced to play Seneca Valley in what should be another interesting matchup between Frederick and Montgomery County rivals.
“Their head coach [Fred Kim] and their offensive coordinator [Bob Plante] have sons that play on my team,” said Hines, referring to J.P. Kim and Brandon Plante, “so I’ve got to have two extra kids in my house this week because they ain’t gonna go home with the scouting report or anything like that.”