Stewart has big night for Potomac

DUMFRIES — Senior Antwan Stewart made sure that Friday’s game against the visiting Osbourn Eagles on Homecoming Night was over quickly. He didn’t want his buddy, Homecoming King and quarterback Gary Price, to have to take off his crown and robe after halftime.

Stewart scored on a two-yard plunge, had a pair of 51-yard punt returns for touchdowns and raced 68 and 44 yards, respectively, for two more scores — all in the first half — to help the Panthers (6-2, 4-0) crush Osbourn, 56-8 and clinch at least a tie for the first-ever Cedar Run title.

While both played part of the second half, the damage had already been done by Stewart’s fleet feet.

“He [Stewart] was the King out there today,” said Price. “But we know that Antwan can do stuff like that. As long as he keeps doing this every game like we know he can, then we ain’t got no problem.”

“That’s what I was supposed to do,” said a modest Stewart. “We’re not supposed to come out here and play sloppy and play down like we’ve been playing. We’re supposed to come out and play upbeat and up-tempo and do our assignments. And if we do our assignments like our coaches say, then it’s supposed to work out like that.”

For the half, Stewart had seven rushes for 138 yards and three TDs. He ccumulated 265 yards of total offense, including kickoff returns and also had a leaping interception of a Thomas Smith pass late in the first quarter.

For the game, Stewart tallied 284 yards of offense.

Osbourn’s only points came on a 47-yard interception return by Andy Walsh in the second quarter to make it 21-8. Stewart responded on the next play from scrimmage by bursting through the Eagles defense untouched for 68 yards for his third TD.

After the Potomac defense stymied Osbourn’s next drive, Stewart took the ensuing punt on a dead run near midfield and raced 51 yards for the score. In its next possession, Osbourn (0-8, 0-4) fumbled with two seconds to go in the half allowing Stewart to cap off his already monstrous evening with a 44-yard TD run.

Stewart’s score ended the half and gave the Panthers a 42-8 lead.

Willie Koger and Robert Henry added five and two-yard touchdown runs, respectively, in the second half to cap off the scoring for Potomac.

Potomac coach Ben Stutler said the Panthers responded well after taking one on the chin (35-20) from rival Hylton last week, especially with all the hoopla surrounding Homecoming.

“It’s Homecoming and so all week long you got all that stuff going on,” Stutler said. “So I was real pleased with being able to get to their minds and emotions where they needed to be.”

That was especially evident on the defensive side of the ball as Keenan Carter returned a fumble 35 yards for a TD early in the first quarter and the Panthers recorded four sacks, three in the first half alone.

“He’s (Smith) big, lanky, has long legs and has good speed,” Stutler said. “And he throws the ball well. But the thing was, we didn’t let him throw the ball well. We had a lot of pressure on him so his passing wasn’t a big deal.”

Osbourn netted just eight yards on the ground in the first half and 19 yards for the game. The Eagles also committed three turnovers and were forced to recover several of their own fumbles behind the line of scrimmage on botched pitch plays.

Potomac, on the other hand, rushed for 264 yards while Price had an efficient night throwing the ball..

Price completed 3-of-4 passes for 61 yards, including a nifty flea-flicker on the first play from scrimmage. Price pitched to Stewart who then lobbed the ball back to Price, who had moved to the left sideline. Price then let one go 40 yards downfield to an awaiting Tony Blackwell who was tackled at the Osbourn 17-yard line. Four plays later, Stewart took a handoff on first down and goal at the two and bulled his way into the end zone.

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