DAMASCUS-It was all Jake Funk Friday night as the Damascus Hornets rode their powerhouse back for four touchdowns and 218 yards on their way to shutting out Glenelg High School 33-0 and advancing to the state championship game.
“I just got to give a huge thanks to my line and my fullbacks,” said Funk, “they did a great job up front to create holes for me and then boost me to the second level and I could do it from there.”
Funk and the Hornets made their intentions known early as they scored twice on their first three possessions of the game. A 9-yard Funk run on their first possession, then an 18-yard Funk run on their third.
Funk would add one more rushing touchdown in the first half for good measure ripping off a monstrous 50-yard run to put the Hornets up 20-0 with 4:26 left in the second quarter.
The back breaker for Glenelg came at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Funk would score his fourth touchdown of the game, a 20-yd run where Funk broke through initial contact and then used his speed to run untouched the rest of the way. The touchdown deflated the Glenelg team and caused their fans to start clearing the stands.
“He’s our workhorse, he’s a special player,” said Hornets coach Eric Wallich, “every team doesn’t have a player like him and we like riding him. If we’re going to win it, it’s going to be because of him.”
For Wallich the game had extra meaning, as the last time his team was a game away from the state championships they were knocked out by another Howard County team, Wilde Lake in 2010.
“They (the coaches) definitely reminded us of that Wilde Lake game,” said Funk who continued on to say that he remembered watching the game from “the hill” where all the middle school kids watch. Funk said he recalled how Wilde Lake ran the clock down on that years team and how the Hornets couldn’t hold on to the ball.
“Our biggest thing this week was to stop them (Glenelg) and not let them just run all over us,” said Funk.
Despite missing two key players, cornerback Jalen Christian and linebacker Ari Cacopardo, the Hornets were able do just that and bottle up Glenelg’s offense. The Hornets were especially effective in the first half on defense holding Glenelg to only 42 offensive yards.
Linebacker John “Boom Boom” Fischer, who played violently on defense all night says he gets his nickname from his mom who began calling him that when he was playing peewee ball. Fischer said that they had studied Glenelg and “knew what to expect”.
For Wallich the trip to the state championship will be his first as a head coach. “It feels great, I couldn’t be prouder of our team, you never know what’s going to happen when you play a game like this. I’m just so thrilled we’re going to go there and have a chance to win.”
The Hornets (13-0) will play Franklin High School (12-1) from Reisterstown at M&T Bank Stadium Thursday night at 7pm for the 3A state championship.