After he took the handoff on Maryland School for the Deaf’s first offensive play of the season, Truth Dorsette saw plenty of open field in front of him.
More importantly, he felt no pain in his leg.
Feeling 100 percent healthy for the first time in two years, Dorsette flashed his big-play potential Friday night, as MSD opened the season with a 46-8 rout of visiting St. John’s Catholic Prep.
Dorsette scored four touchdowns in the first quarter, including a 60-yard run on the Orioles’ first play and a 69-yard fumble return.
“It felt so much better than last year,” Dorsette said, as he was still dealing with the lingering effects of the broken leg he suffered while playing for Model Secondary School for the Deaf in 2017.
Dorsette said he was constantly thinking about the injury last season, which hindered his performance on the field.
But, after experiencing no aches or pain in the months leading into this season, that is no longer the case.
“I feel like there is a big improvement [already],” said Dorsette, who finished with 149 yards on 12 carries before sitting out the second half due to the lopsided score.
The 5-foot-10, 192-pound Dorsette will be the primary ballcarrier for MSD this season. But he’s hardly the only good option for the Orioles.
Freshman Zion Ortiz and junior Ethan Sheppeck also had good games. Ortiz finished with 165 yards and a touchdown on five carries, while Sheppeck added 47 yards on four carries.
Both Dorsette and Ortiz had long touchdown runs called back by penalties, which were too numerous for coach Ryan Bonheyo’s liking. MSD also had a 2-point conversion and an interception taken away by flagged infractions.
“We had a lot of first-game jitters, mental mistakes,” Bonheyo said. “We’ll get better over time.”
St. John’s Catholic Prep struggled to get much of anything going until the final minute of the game.
Sophomore Micah Glover scored on a 3-yard quarterback keeper as the final seconds of the running clock ticked off the scoreboard. He added the 2-point conversion with another keeper right up the middle.
“We are starting four people that have never played football, ever. They haven’t seen a football game,” Vikings coach Daryl Hayes said. “We have kids from other countries, freshmen. It’s not what we expected. But [MSD] is a good football team. They have been the national deaf champions for as long as I can remember.”