New McDevitt football coach Mike Watkins has adopted the mantra “brick by brick” when referring to his program.
A debt of gratitude, however, is also owed to the culinary skills of Lashawn Rousseau, the mother of sophomore lineman Tyrone Fowler, who wreaked havoc Saturday night in the Lancers’ 10-7 victory over visiting Cardinal O’Hara.
“This is just amazing because so many people doubted us,” Fowler said. “We kept fighting through every play, each down.”
Fowler, now a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder, finished with three sacks, including a pair on O’Hara’s final drive.
“Last year, he was probably 130 pounds,” said Watkins, who took over for longtime coach Pat Manzi. “He’s a wrestler and puts work in like no other. He’s put a ton of weight on. … We pin his ears back and just let him play fast.”
In Saturday night’s Catholic League battle of unbeatens, Fowler and the Lancers’ defense were fierce, fast and ferocious.
O’Hara, the defending Catholic League Blue division champs moved the ball early, but were foiled by turnovers.
After a scoreless tie at halftime, sophomore linebacker Nasire Griffin returned an interception for a touchdown with 7 minutes, 40 seconds left in the third quarter.
Minutes earlier, Lonnie Rice had a pick-6 negated after O’Hara (3-1) senior Justin Santilla tracked him down and forced a fumble out of bounds in the end zone.
Also for McDevitt (4-0), Dan Fiorello added the eventual game-winning field goal from 23 yards out with 5:12 left.
Taseer Jones got O’Hara on the scoreboard with a 32-yard scoring run near the end of the third frame.
Offensively, Rice finished with 92 yards on 14 carries. Jon-Luke Peaker added 27 on 13 attempts.
O’Hara’s defense was also stout, led by senior two-way lineman Tom Wertz. Josh McCallister-Afflick also added an interception. O’Hara had five turnovers and a kick blocked.
In the end, the spaghetti-and-meatball fueled Fowler was too much for O’Hara to handle.
“I just kept working and eating,” he said. “Mountains of food.”
“I think it was close to [last] spring,” he continued. “Everybody said I was getting bigger and bigger. I really didn’t notice it, but now I’m seeing it, seeing my hard work pay off.”
McDevitt 0 0 10 0 10
O’Hara 0 0 7 0 7
MD: Nasire Griffin 23 interception. (Dan Fiorello kick.)
MD: Fiorello 23 FG.
OH: Taseer Jones 32 run. (Kevin Calamita kick.)