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Five touchdowns. Two players. It was just the right kind of day for Amari N’namdi-Hall and James Jones to propel Owings Mills to a 44-0 football victory over Pikesville on Saturday.
N’namdi-Hall scored his first touchdown on the defensive end with a pick six with 3:19 remaining in the first quarter. Jones followed with a 53-yard touchdown run on the opening play of the second quarter. N’namdi-Hall then scored his second touchdown on a 5-yard reception from Kavon Harris with 6:46 left. Jones had a 5-yard TD rush soon after and finished with a 20-yard carry for a touchdown to end the third quarter.
“It felt great to get a touchdown on both ends because of the energy boost it gave the team,” N’namdi-Hall said. “We were playing flat and that play gave us the momentum we needed to continue to victory.”
Owings Mills coach Travis Hall has high expectations for his group, but he also understands that with the long layoff, there will be growing pains. Those pains were evident in Owings Mills’ uncharacteristically slow 8-0 start with a number of penalties, including 15-yard personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct calls.
“Every week is different and the big thing is to keep the kids focused,” Hall said. “That was the big thing — we came out slow. It’s just getting them refocused and coaching up the young guys and trying to get something out of this for them.”
Hall pulled his players aside and they turned the corner to score 36 points from the second quarter until the final whistle. It all started up front with the offensive line, pushing the pile and holding blocks for N’namdi-Hall and Jones.
“The way we coach, we always tell the big fellas that they are the most important part to the team,” Hall said. “The defensive line, the offensive line — when we lost Keon [Massey], the guys got down a little bit. But then guys stepped up. We had like two freshmen out there at one point and they stepped up. I think at one point we scored 28 points [once they stepped up]. So, I’m proud of them.”
Cam Hughes scored the final touchdown to give Owings Mills the 44-0 victory.
Pikesville coach Robb Johnson is fighting an uphill battle with depth. He had 26 players to trot out on Saturday and once a few injuries threw a wrench into things, there were some issues. Some players on the team play other sports during the spring, while others decided to opt out in preparation for next season to dodge COVID-19.
Johnson has high hopes for the fall after having a spring to gel.
“I truly believe that in the fall, it will be different,” Johnson said. “We have 17 juniors and in the fall, hopefully this whole pandemic allows for the opening for everyone to do their part. It’s so that we can have those numbers to do the things that we can have a competitive program. I’m really looking forward to the fall with this program, I really am.”