After a couple of sub-par seasons (by Eastern Tech standards), the Mavericks returned to the playoffs last season with a 9-1 record and reached the Class 2A North Region championship game.
The season came to a disappointing end with a 15-8 loss to New Town in the regional finals, but the 10-2 record was one more win than the previous two seasons combined.
But that was a senior-heavy team; this year’s squad features 19 new starters.
“We’re young,” Eastern Tech coach Bill Brinegar said after the Mavericks defeated host Chesapeake 33-0 on Saturday to even their record at 1-1. “The players are young, inexperienced, and learning how to go about their business.
“But they’re a good group. They really get along well with each other.”
Chesapeake folded its program after three games last season due to a lack of players. The Bayhawks are trying to get back on their feet this season, but it’s been a rough start: Chesapeake lost its opener to visiting Overlea 44-6.
Eastern Tech scored on its first five possessions against Chesapeake to lead 33-0 early in the third quarter.
The Mavericks then eased up, punted on their sixth drive and then ran out the clock on their final possession.
Jerryn Preisinger opened the scoring with a four-yard run. Omar Parker scored on runs of 10 and one yards, and Jacob Hutchins had a four-yard run.
Noah Oliver caught a 76-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Knight on the last play of the first half.
Chesapeake had opportunities but was unable to complete drives.
Down 21-0 in the second quarter, the Bayhawks drove to a first down at the Eastern Tech 19-yard line.
On third and six from the 15, a sweep to the left side was thrown for a five-yard loss, and a fourth down pass was incomplete.
A good kickoff return started Chesapeake at the Eastern Tech 35 in the third quarter, but a bad snap on first down put the Bayhawks in a long-yardage situation and they ended up punting from the Maverick 46-yard line.
A botched punt by Eastern Tech started Chesapeake at the Maverick 25-yard line, but two penalties and a sack led to the Bayhawks punting from their own 48.
“Everything needs to be worked on,” Brinegar said. “We’re also a little banged up, and have to fill in for several missing players.
“We’re not as healthy as we need to be.”
The Mavericks need to be very healthy for this week’s game, when they travel to play a formidable Milford Mill squad.
The Millers have won at Hereford 35-13,and beaten New Town 14-12.
But with a new playoff format this season, it will be much easier for Eastern Tech to reach the playoffs.
Rather than the top four teams from each region advancing to the playoffs, the top eight will qualify.
In Class 2A North, that means eight of 12 teams will advance to the playoffs; five teams have already started 0-2.
Kenwood leads the Class 3A North Region after two weeks. The Bluebirds whipped host Perry Hall 46-0 on Friday, after opening the season with a 28-6 win over Northeast.
Kenwood hosts Harford Tech on Friday, while Chesapeake plays at Lansdowne.