Maplewood’s senior quarterback Kahlid Hagens is one smooth operator. He is best when he is improvising the play. He can change directions on a dime, and leave defenders grasping for air.
Besides that, he obviously believes in the motto “take what they give ‘em.” On the perimeter, defenders never know if he’s going to pitch, pass or run.
Once he got done bamboozling a youthful and experienced MICDS defense, he had shredded the Rams for an impressive 35-19 win on the road before an enthusiastic and packed house.
Hagens ran for a 10-yard touchdown to open the game, then passed for touchdowns of 34 yards to Elijah Keely and a 56 yards to Cortlen Brooks. He also ran one in from the 6-yard line.
Keely rounded out the scoring with a 28-yard scamper. The Blue Devils posted 28 unanswered points after Alim Muhammed caught a 5 yarder to pull within 7-6 in the first quarter.
Hagens had 16 completions for 278 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball 10 times for 180 yards.
All that scoring over a stout Rams defense eased the sting of a 36-35 overtime loss to MICDS to open last year’s season at home.
Jack Kurzu, the 295 pound senior tackle who has inked with Oklahoma State left the field with his chin held high.
“Yes, we were disappointed but I thought our O (offensive) line blocked well and fought hard. We never gave up. We will do well next time out,” he predicted.
MICDS Coach Josh Smith saw a silver lining on a rain-threatening day,
“We are working hard and trying to seek our identity. We have taken just the first step in a very long journey,” he said.
“I am pleased with the way our kids approached our training camp. We just lack a lot of depth right now,” he said.
That’s reasonable. He lost 27 seniors to graduation, the likes of Michael Scherer (Mizzou), Thomas Militello (Dartmouth) and Jack Howell (Brown University).
MRH coach Rich Nixon said they’d take the victory, “but we just make an awful lot of mistakes, and we got to clean them up,” he said. “Very proud, very proud, never satisfied.”
The last drive of the day for MICDS was rather typical of the whole day. There was a lot of two steps forward--one backwards.
The Rams caught a break on an interception late in the fourth quarter. Muhammed wiggled his way down to the one-yard-line.
The Rams were called for a motion penalty, putting the ball back on the 6. Then they covered their own fumble on the 12 yard line, only to have senior Denzell Conway break away for the final score of the day.