PERRY HALL, Md. - Perry Hall head football coach Keith Robinson said every loss is tough to take.
But, he said the Gators made a statement in last season’s 51-48 shootout loss to Montgomery County’s Paint Branch in the Class 4A North region finals. In that game, Perry Hall lost on a 20-yard field goal with 9 seconds remaining in the game.
“Baltimore County is not always respected for its brand of football outside the county,” Robinson said. “Many think only teams in the Washington suburbs have the talent to compete at the top levels in Maryland. We showed everyone that is not always the case.”
Robinson hopes his more than 20 players returning this season will use that game as motivation to help Perry Hall reach the state playoffs for the 10th time since 2003. The Gators have never won a state title and last reached the championship game in 1974.
“I feel like we have reached the point as a program that we reload and not rebuild,” Robinson said. “Our team goal every year is to get to the postseason and once we get there try and win a region title. We have a solid foundation now. We are trying to build upon that.”
Perry Hall enters 2014 coming off a 10-2 season. Prior to losing at Paint Branch, the Gators won 10 straight games, which included a victory over eventual Class 3A state champion Franklin. During that span, Perry Hall’s average margin of victory was 31.3 points a game.
Gators senior running back Mike Morris Jr. said the loss to Paint Branch left a sour taste in his mouth all off season. Perry Hall led 26-6 early in the second quarter and 33-20 at halftime before losing.
“We had that victory in our sights and let it get away,” said Morris, who rushed for 136 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries in the loss to Paint Branch. “We’re out to show everyone that Baltimore County has high quality teams that can play with the best.”
Perry Hall senior defensive end Zach Booker shares Morris’ sentiment.
“We expected to win last year,” Booker said. “The key for us this year is to come together as a family and forget about that loss. I feel like we have the best coaching staff in the state."
- Sept. 5 vs. North Harford, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 13 at Towson, 1 p.m.
- Sept. 19 vs. Overlea, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 26 at Franklin, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 2 vs. Catonsville, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 10 vs. Woodlawn, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 18 at Parkville, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 24 vs. Kenwood, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 1 vs. Milford Mill Academy, 1 p.m.
- Nov. 7 vs. Dundalk (6-4) at CCBC-Dundalk, 7 p.m.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
- Mike Morris (RB, 5-6, 155, Sr.)
- Malik Morris (DB/KR, 6-0, 165, Jr.)
- Reece Wiseman (QB, 6-0, 165, Jr.)
- Malik Diggs (OT/DT, 6-2, 300. Jr.)
- Michael Fowler- (RB/OLB, 5-8, 155, Sr.)
- Zach Booker (DT, 5-11, 265, Sr.)
- Mufasar Butt (DT, 5-10, 225, Sr.)
- Sean Vizzard (LB, 6-0, 192, Sr.)
- Kennedy Onyekah - (SS, 5-7, 165, Sr.)
- Brendan Ruckle (LB, 6-1, 205, Sr.)