Maryland School for the Deaf Claims
2022 KSFL Championship
A big play offense and a tenacious defense were consistent forces for Maryland
School for the Deaf (MSD) throughout the 2022 season. The championship game
was no exception, as the Orioles broke open a tight contest against Perkiomen School
in the second half, defeating the Panthers 46-18 to claim the KSFL title.
MSD, in its first year of 8-player football and thus in the KSFL, rolled up 492 yards on
offense, with 413 of those coming on the ground. Dual threat quarterback Zion Ortiz
ran the ball 15 times for 239 yards and 5 touchdowns. Ortiz also completed four of
eight passing attempts for 79 yards. Running back Ethan Guettler complimented
Ortiz' with 13 carries for 95 yards and Nathan Sheppeck rushed four times for 79
yards, which included a 51 yard ramble for a touchdown. He also caught the ball
twice for 25 yards.
The MSD defense was also dominant, limiting Perkiomen to 129 rushing yards and
91 passing yards. Sheppeck, a defensive back, led the Orioles with 10 tackles and
Ortiz had 9 tackles from his secondary position. Mepper Beshears added 8 tackles
for MSD, while defensive lineman Ian Guettler disrupted Perk's screen passes and had 7 tackles.
MSD coach Neal DiMarco was ecstatic about his team's season and the move to the KSFL. "Making the transition from 11 man football program since 1969 to 8-man football, it is surreal to win the 8-man league championship in our very first year of joining the KSFL league. It’s no easy task but the boys worked hard in practices, the weight room, and school. With ups and downs throughout the season, they kept their head high, sticking together and playing together," commented an elated DiMarco.
"First of all, hats off to Perkiomen football team. They are a very good, physical, and disciplined football team. When it comes to preparing Perkiomen for the championship game, the players had a chip on their shoulders after losing 20-14 in the regular season. We fixed our mistakes, improved in several areas, and worked on our defense to stop their misdirections and screen passes in the practices. Those were keys," commented DiMarco about the differences in the championship game.
MSD is the third different champion in the three years of league competition. Perkiomen won the 2019 championship, Mercersburg Academy won the 2021 title when play resumed after the pandemic, and the Orioles are now the 2022 champions.
Perkiomen has appeared in each of those three championship games.
Zion Ortiz set a championship game record with his five touchdown performance.
MSD's 46 points is the most in a championship game. The Orioles scored at least 36 points in every KSFL game this season, except their regular season loss to Perkiomen, a 20-14 defeat.
MSD 8 8 16 14 46
PS 0 12 0 6 18