Latest Event Updates

Long Reach Falls To Howard 14 To 7 In The HoCoSuperBowl

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With only 25 seconds left in regulation, Howard High scores a touchdown and tops Long Reach High 14 to 7. In the game named the 2016 #HoCoSuperBowl, both schools were excited for this matchup. Howard was looking to keep their county winning streak alive and Long Reach (having their best season in MANY years) was looking to knock off their rival right down the road.

The line to get tickets to this game was amazingly long as Long Reach and Howard students were in line as early as 2:20pm (for a 5:30pm gate open time):


Long Reach fans filled up the visitors side to cheer on their team:



Tim Schwartz (Howard County Times Reporter) was at the game. His “live” tweets were a must follow last night and he did the following write up on the game:

The streak is alive.

In the most anticipated Howard County football game in years, Howard got a 14-yard touchdown reception from Cameron Hooper with 24.9 seconds remaining to edge previously undefeated Long Reach, 14-7, and become the lone unbeaten team in the county at 8-0. It also extends the Lions’ county winning streak to 32.

“I felt like the beginning of the game I didn’t do well, but the coaches had faith in me,” said Hooper, who didn’t see much action until later in the game but also had a 10-yard run and 5-yard catch on the final drive. “When the coaches called the play, I thought I had to make the play. I was just focused on catching the ball and by the grace of God I caught it.”

On a third and 7, Howard quarterback Robby Porter, who threw for 1 yard in the first half before finding a rhythm in the fourth quarter, rolled out to his right on a play action but lobbed the pass back to the left to Hooper. The ball went through the hands of Long Reach’s Jason Massengill and into Hooper’s, and he did the rest and stumbled into the end zone as the sell-out crowd erupted.

“We had to throw the ball. I thought we were having a lot of success and they were doing a really good job against us when we got into the red zone,” said Howard coach Bruce Strunk. “There was 30 seconds left and I was saving that timeout to kick a field goal. I know they’re the turnover kings and they’ve scored a lot of points on turnovers this year. An inch or two the other way and they might have taken that one back.”

Devin Dawkins was the workhorse for the Lions once again. He finished with 195 yards on a season-high 35 carries and scored the first touchdown of the game for the Lions on their second possession, as he gained all 60 of his team’s yards.

He shook a defender on his 17-yard scoring scamper, and he became the eighth different Howard running back in 10 years under Strunk to surpass the 1,000-yard mark. He has 1,190 yards to go with six 100-yard games, including five straight of at least 126.

Long Reach came back two possessions later early in the second quarter and went 76 yards on six plays, which ended with a 6-yard touchdown run from Jalen Hall to tie the score at 7.

The drive was set up by a 61-yard reception from Derrick Noble, who had a game-high 118 yards receiving on 4 receptions. It was also the first touchdown allowed by Howard in the first half of any game this season.

Lightning quarterback Tyler Raines (13-for-30, 256 yards) threw for 154 yards in the second quarter alone, completing passes of 61, 43 and 23 yards. But he also had three interceptions on the night, including two in the red zone.

“They made more plays than we did and we did something that we haven’t done all year, and that’s turn the ball over,” said Long Reach coach Jamie Willis. “We will learn from it and hopefully we don’t let it happen again. It is what it is. I feel bad for my kids, but you know what, to be the man you’ve got to beat the man, and right now [Howard] is the man. They made more plays than we did.”

The Lightning had the momentum entering the second half. They outgained Howard 158 to 11 in yardage in the second quarter and picked up three first-downs in their opening second half drive. But Lions defender Jame Payne intercepted Raines’ pass 5 yards from the end zone, and Long Reach managed just one first-down the rest of the way.

Senior defensive back Bryson Craven had two additional interceptions for Howard in his first action since fracturing his ankle Week 2. His second came with 2:46 to go at the Lions’ 41 and set up the final touchdown drive.

“I’m just happy to have cleats on,” he said. “My whole life just changed when I broke it. Watching my brothers go out every single week and do what they do made me hungry, and I wanted to put my team on my back and help my teammates. Every week I was on that sideline and I finally got my chance and made my plays.”

Both interceptions, he said, were made on the same route — a slant across the middle.

“My coaches told me about it all week at practice,” Craven said. “That’s their main go-to to get plays and I just turned my hips and made the play.”

The atmosphere in the stadium was electric from start to finish, which was expected between two unbeaten rivals whose schools are separated by about two miles.

“The kids in the community, they know each other, they grew up together, they played on the same rec teams together — they know each other very well,” Strunk said. “When you play your brother, you don’t want to lose to your brother. It was just a great high school football game and we got tested tonight, which was good. Our kids showed a lot of resiliency and they kept fighting. I’m very proud of them.”

Said Craven: “I know basically half their team from the sandbox.”

All three of Howard’s drives in the final quarter went deep into Long Reach territory. Dawkins ran the ball eight times for 51 yards on a 15-play, 80-yard drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters, but the drive stalled at the Lightning 15 and ended in a turnover on downs.

The Lions started their next drive at the Long Reach 34, but again they only managed to pick up one first down and turned it over on downs at the 21. Craven intercepted Raines on the fourth play of the following drive, and Hooper sealed the game on Howard’s next offensive possession.

“It was a bad call on my part,” Willis said of Craven’s second interception. “They lined up inside of him and I shouldn’t have called the slant. … But I love my team and my guys fought their [butts] off.”

Even with the loss, the Lightning remain in first place in the 3A East regional standings, and Willis knows his team has bigger goals ahead.

“If we stay together and work hard, we’ll get better and that’s the thing – we were better this week than we were last week. We lost, but we just were,” he said. “We’ve played close games the last couple of weeks against good teams, and our kids keep meeting the challenge. Howard is one of the best teams in Maryland and our kids know that. We met the challenge and we keep growing. If we learn from this, we will probably be happy by the end of the year.”

Howard (8-0) – 7 0 0 7 – 14

Long Reach (7-1) – 0 7 0 0 – 7

Scoring plays:

First quarter

Ho: Devin Dawkins 17-yard run, Michael Gillespie kick [7-0]

Second quarter

LR: Jalen Hall 6-yard run, Arthur Yann Nkonoandjouo kick [7-7]

Fourth quarter

Ho: Robby Porter 14-yard pass to Cameron Hooper, Gillespie kick [14-7]

View original article here:


I was sad to see Long Reach High fall this week but proud of how hard they played on the field last night and all season long. Remember, this team had only 4 wins in the past 3 seasons…so 7-1 is a BIG improvement. Two games remain and I look forward to cheering on the team for the remainder of this season and into the playoffs.

Scott E

(note – photos in this article grabbed from various Twitter posts last night from Long Reach High School, Noah Frank (WTOP reporter), and Long Reach High School Boosters).

Recent HoCoBOE Facebook Outreach – October Update

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We are down to the home stretch of this election…only 21 days remain for these candidates to convince you that they are your best choice for Howard County Board of Education this election cycle. Which candidates are doing the best with online outreach (via Facebook)? Here are the numbers…



  • Most overall followers – Christina Delmont-Small and Vicky Cutroneo continue to hold an online advantage with the most Facebook followers.  (as a note – this page represents two candidates on a slate which may be why their numbers are higher than the single candidate pages).
  • Most Active –Christina Delmont-Small and Vicky Cutroneo page has been very active over the past week with 13 posts.
  • Most Engagement (likes, shares and comments) –Christina Delmont-Small and Vicky Cutroneo had the most follower engagement over the past week with 138 likes, comments or shares. Kirsten Coombs came in second with and engagement score of 49,
  • Most new followers over the past month – Janet Siddiqui has added 64 new Facebook followers since the past review last month. The other candidates had the following changes in Facebook Followers
    • Coombs (+27)
    • Miller (+26)
    • Delmont-Small and Cutroneo (+8)
    • Ellis(+7)
  • Other items of note:
    • Janet Siddiqui has launched a new YouTube channel and uploaded six videos to that channel over the past month. I believe she is the only BOE candidate with a YouTube channel (if I am wrong, let me know).
    • All six candidates have been active on Facebook. I believe this is the first time I am able to report that fact. Siddiqui had not used her campaign Facebook page in a LONG time, but she is back to posting to that page as of October 4th.

Those are the numbers and some basic information I found interesting….interested in viewing all of the online outreach links for the candidates? CLICK HERE

There are a few more forums before the end of the month. View a listing of opportunities to hear form the candidates HERE.

Scott E

Long Reach High School Football Team Wins Again

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What a homecoming game it was for the Lightning. This was my first game this season I have attend in person and what I can tell you is that this team is impressive. I knew going into the game that the defense was good…but I did not realize how good they were until I watched them in person.


Glenelg came into the game at 5-1 and the Lightning were 6-0. Glenelg got the ball first and marched right down the field handing off to their running back (#6) and scored a touchdown giving Glenelg the early lead. The Lightning defense then stepped up and shut down the Glenelg offense from scoring again the remainder of the game. The defense caused 4 turnovers and scored on two LONG fumble recoveries. Oh yeah, the offense added 21 points on the ground and through the air giving the Lightning an impressive 35 to 7 victory.

Here is a recap from the Washington Post:

By Joshua Needelman October 15 at 5:52 PM
As Jalen Hall walked onto the field before Long Reach’s game against Glenelg on Saturday, he peered into the spirited homecoming crowd and noticed some familiar faces. He could spot them anywhere.

Those faces were on Hall’s mind hours later in the wake of the Lightning’s 35-7 rout of the Gladiators, which ensured Long Reach matched its best start through seven games in school history (2004) a season after finishing 2-8.

The victory was an historic feat, but it also served as a statement for Long Reach. The Lightning saw the Howard players in the stands, and hope their dominant performance sent a message leading into next week’s showdown of unbeaten Howard County programs.

“We can enjoy tonight, enjoy tomorrow,” senior Greg Benton Jr. said. “Monday, this is straight work. We got to work this whole week. No BS at all. …They’re not going to bend over for us.”

The contest proved perhaps the biggest test for the Lightning this season. With shifty sophomore Wande Owens leading the way, Glenelg (5-2) brought a three-game winning streak into the contest.

Owens lived up to his billing on the opening drive, taking seven carries for 61 yards, the last of which was an 11-yard touchdown run.

Glenelg’s defense adjusted. Owens still finished with 132 yards, but the Lightning stifled his progress as Benton forced a pair of fumbles. The first strip came on Glenelg’s opening drive of the second half, and sophmore Luis Gooden Jr. recovered it for an 88-yard score to put Long Reach up, 21-7.

“First, I got tackled, and then I spun and felt my feet get loose and I was running,” Gooden said. “I was gone.”

Two possessions later, it was junior Dane Lynch Jr. that scooped up Benton’s handiwork. He scampered 75 yards down the left sideline for another touchdown. As he was getting mobbed by teammates on the sideline, Lynch turned toward the crowd and mimed the Superman celebration.

Long Reach scored once more, when senior Tyler Raines found junior Derrick Noble for a 10-yard strike early in the fourth quarter. From there, Coach Jamie Willis inserted his subs on offense.

“To beat a team that’s that good, like that?” Hall said. “Wonderful.”

After the final whistle had blown, Willis hunkered down and placed his hands on his knees. The coach usually chides his team for becoming too caught up in the moment, reminding them to focus on being 1-0 each week.

But after the team prayed, Willis started jumping up and down and as the giddy Lightning players crowded around him and hollered.

Even in the wake of the momentous win, though, Hall couldn’t stop thinking about the faces he saw in the crowd, and neither could his teammates.

“We’ve been waiting,” Willis told his team to celebratory shouts. “To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man. In their house.”

See the article here:

This now sets up a “Clash of the Titans” type match next week as 7-0 Long Reach High visits 7-0 Howard High. Howard has not lost a county game in a LONG time (31 straight county wins)…but they better not overlook the Lightning because this team came to play this season.

Scott E

2016 Long Reach High School Football Homecoming Game

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Game Details:

Long Reach (6-0) vs Glenelg (5-1)

Saturday October 15th, 2016 at Long Reach High School

Time: 1:00 PM

Should be a great game…DO NOT MISS IT!!!
Scott E

Candidates – Maryland’s 4th Congressional District – October Technology Outreach Scorecard

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25 days until MD04 residents choose their new member of US Congress. Which candidates are doing the best with online outreach? Here are the numbers…

The candidates: To see the full list of candidates click here

(D) Anthony Brown:

(R) George McDermott:

(G) Kamesha Clark:

The Scorecard: (Click the “Yes” or follower numbers below to view the social media page)


Facebook Followers

Twitter Followers

Anthony Brown

17,949 (+2)

3,927 (+14)

George McDermott

n/a (bad link)

104 (-4)

Kamesha Clark


544 (+36)


  • Brown – last tweet was on August 31st. That is not good. He has been much more active on Facebook but that is not attracting new followers to the account.
  • McDemott – Almost no online outreach efforts from this candidate. I still in shock that he won the GOP nomination. The website issues reported last month have not been corrected.
  • Clark – Has an actual Facebook page now with 64 followers. She added the most new Twitter followers and is the only candidate active on that platform.

(NOTE – no engagement evaluation of this race. There just is not enough outreach to warrant this type of evaluation. I am also not picking an online outreach leader this month.)

Of course the reality of followers, likes, and subscribers does not mean a lot when it comes down to voting in the end, but it can show trends in a campaign cycle and makes a great resource for following all of the candidates.

Scott E

Candidates – Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District – October Technology Outreach Scorecard

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MD03 Candidates

We are down to the final 30 days until the election. Which candidate in #MD03 is rocking online outreach to potential voters? Here are the numbers:

The candidates: To see the full list of candidates click here

(D) John Sarbanes:

(R) Mark Plaster:

The Scorecard: (Click the follower numbers below to view the social media page)


Facebook Followers

Twitter Followers

John Sarbanes

6,650 (+26)

2,147 (+12)

Mark Plaster

5,367 (+459)

1,104 (+129)


  • Plaster – No question Plaster again had the best month adding new social media followers. He added the most new followers on Facebook and Twitter. This has become a trend in this race.
  • Sarbanes – Still trailing Plaster in adding new followers on social media. The activity on both Facebook and Twitter has been minimal from the campaign accounts. Is the Sarbanes team confident enough not to worry about 2016? It kind of looks that way based on the limited outreach.

A significant factor in evaluating online outreach is looking at follower engagement. In October, I am back to focusing my reviews on Facebook engagement. Here are the numbers for the candidates over the past week:



  • Plaster was the big winner with Facebook engagement (likes, comments and shares) posting 14 updates and an engagement score of over 1,100.
  • I mentioned above about the lack of activity from Sarbanes and you can see more evidence of that on this chart. One post with VERY little engagement in the past week.

Online outreach leader for October: Plaster. This one was easy. There is one team focused on outreach to potential voters online and one candidate that is not using these tools for outreach. Plaster has a tough matchup in one of the worst drawn districts in the nation, so using these tools for outreach can only help in 30 days.

Of course the reality of followers, likes, and subscribers does not mean a lot when it comes down to voting in the end, but it can show trends in a campaign cycle and makes a great resource for following all of the candidates.

Scott E

Long Reach High School Football Now 6 and 0

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This Lightning did it again…another win. That brings Long Reach High School football team to 6 and 0. Undefeated. What a great season…let us all hope they continue it going forward. Here is a recap of last nights game (via Baltimore Sun):

Lynch has two interceptions, helps Long Reach football beat River Hill, 20-10

When Long Reach defensive back Dane Lynch Jr. came back to the sideline after his second interception in a 20-10 win at River Hill Friday night, an assistant coach explained to him that’s why he doesn’t play running back.

All he could do was smile and nod his head in agreement after his forced turnover with less than two minutes remaining helped the Lightning seal the win and improve to 6-0, their best start since beginning the 2004 season 7-0. That was also the last year they beat the Hawks.

“Dane is a baller. He’s unbelievable,” said Long Reach coach Jamie Willis. “He’s been one of the kids in our program who has gotten better every single year since he’s been a freshman, and that’s all we stress – reaching our full potential and getting better.”

Getting better was exactly Willis’ message to the team postgame. Despite the unblemished record, the last three games haven’t been up to his standard, and with county powers Glenelg and Howard ahead on the schedule, he knows his team must improve in order to accomplish their ultimate goals.

“We know the potential we have and we know who we’ve got in front of us,” Willis explained. “We’re just getting started and I know what our goals are. Our goals are to be the best team in the county and win the state championship, and when you play games and allow teams to stay with you, it’s going to bite you in the butt at some point. That’s what we’re trying to get them to understand. … We’re better than what we showed.”

The Lightning started a little slow out of the gates offensively but got things moving on their third drive. Quarterback Tyler Raines, who threw for 107 yards in the first half and ended the night 13-for-24 for 136 yards and played much better after a few shaky starts, according to Willis, completed both of his passes to Jalen Hall – a 40-yarder and a 6-yard touchdown – to make it 7-0.

The Hawks (3-3) answered with an 11-play drive that ended with a 23-yard field goal by Cooper McGeehan, but Long Reach’s Jeree Willie later blocked a punt deep in River Hill territory to give the Lightning possession at the Hawks 4. Raines scored three plays later on a 5-yard run up the middle to extend the lead to 14-3 at the half.

Lynch Jr. made the game’s biggest play on the first play of the second half. River Hill quarterback Luke Champion dropped back and threw a quick slant to the left, but Lynch Jr. jumped the route and took it 18 yards uncontested into the end zone for a 20-3 lead.

“Our defense played hard early and often and early in the game the offense moved the ball well,” Willis said. “We’ve got guys all over the place who can make plays, and that’s the great thing – you take one thing away we can hit you with something else.”

The score was big for other reasons, too. Long Reach starting running back KaDarrian Booker left the game with a leg injury late in the first quarter and never returned, which forced Greg Benton Jr. – arguably the team’s best defender – into the backfield for the majority of the offensive snaps.

“We we’re trying to figure out what to do running the ball, because we didn’t want to run Greg the whole time because he had to play defense and the defense was playing so well,” Willis said. “… The guys behind him have to step up and do better. That’s what we’re talking about – next man up. … You have to practice like a starter.”

The Hawks didn’t go away after Champion’s pick-six. Instead, he came out firing even more and helped string together an 11-play drive that went 83 yards and ended with his 5-yard touchdown run to make it 20-10. However, the Lightning defense buckled down and River Hill couldn’t quite get another drive going until 4:26 left in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks picked up six first downs and marched to the Long Reach 9 after 16 plays, but on the 17th Champion’s quick pass to the left was picked off by Lynch Jr. and returned 64 yards to the River Hill 27 with 1:28 left.

“Game changers,” Hall said. “Absolute game changers, man.”

While the defense had three interceptions, as Luis Gooden Jr. also had one late in the first half, Long Reach’s offense controlled the clock by executing a 49-yard, 12-play drive in which Raines completed all three of his passes, including two for first downs to Derrick Noble. That forced River Hill to pick up its tempo and ultimately make the costly turnover.

“Tyler Raines played a hell of a game. … That was a huge drive, especially when you can’t run the ball like we wanted to run the ball,” Willis said. “That’s what you need of your captain and senior quarterback – to make plays.”

Hall, who had six receptions for 70 yards and a score, was in agreement with his coach after the game, saying his team hasn’t had a good practice since beating Mt. Hebron to start the season and must get better with the opponents that lie ahead.

“I’m pretty sure they game out with more intensity than us, and if we came in and did our jobs the score would have been way different,” he said. “But for us to come in at their homecoming and beat them was really important.”

Champion ran for 74 yards on 18 carries and finished 14-for-30 for 126 yards passing and three interceptions, while receivers Daniel Kelly (47 yards) and Brendan McKenna (64 yards) each had six receptions to lead the Hawks.

Long Reach (6-0) – 7 7 6 0 – 20

River Hill (3-3) – 0 3 7 0 – 10

Scoring plays:

First quarter

LR: Tyler Raines 6-yard pass to Jalen Hall, Arthur Yann Nkonoandjouo kick [7-0]

Second quarter

RH: Cooper McGeehan 26-yard field goal [7-3]

LR: Raines 5-yard run, Nkonoandjouo kick [14-3]

Third quarter

LR: Dane Lynch 18-yard interception return, kick failed [20-3]

RH: Luke Champion 5-yard run, Champion kick [20-10]

View original article here:

Scott E