Howard County Sports Almanac
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:34 PM
1 Barry Young (MTH '84-87) 6'7 F - Finished as Maryland's all-time public school leading scorer, with 2,153 points, since snapped by Michael Tate, now Michael Venson (Oxon Hill, Georgetown, JMU), and Zach Thomas (Oakdale, Bucknell). Young is the only player in county history to be selected to the All-County 1st team, four times. Young is also the only player in county history to be named to an All-Met team in all four of his seasons.
Young started his career as a freshman, in '83-84, teaming with senior Cliff Rees to help lead the Vikings to a state title, its first (and only), and county's second, following the Hammond Golden Bears magical run in '83. Young would be named ESPN National Freshman of the Year, an award won later by the likes of Kenny Anderson, Chris Webber, LeBron James, and Jabari Parker, among others. He scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds v Oakland Mills, the most points scored by a freshman in county history then, and still. Young averaged 22 points and 9 rebounds per game as a freshman, becoming the first freshman to make the All-County 1st team, and still the only player in county history to do the feat.
Young would also be named as both an All-Met selection, and an All-County 1st team selection in his sophomore and junior seasons on Route 99, averaging 21.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore, leading the county in scoring, and finishing second to summer circuit teammate, Quinton Burton of Hammond, in rebounding.
In his junior season, Young again led the county in scoring, averaging 28 points per game, and finishing second, again, to Burton in rebounding. Young missed 8 games his junior season, or otherwise could still be Maryland's all-time public school leading scorer. Young did set a county mark for most points in a game, with 51 v Howard, a record that still stands 33 years later. Young also scored 44 against Oakland Mills again, and added 43 in the other contest with Howard.
In his senior season, Young again led the Vikes to a state title game, falling just short to Walter Johnson, 55-53, despite scoring 35 of the Vikings 53 points, and adding 17 rebounds, before fouling out. Young put together the best season in county history, averaging 27.8 points, 13.8 rebounds, 5 blocks, 3 assists, and 2 steals per game, while shooting 61% from the field, and 78% from the line. Young just missed out on a triple-double in a win over Centennial, recording 35 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists. Young was named to both the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun All-Met 1st teams, as well as being named as a Street & Smith All-American.
Young is the county's all-time leading scorer, and second all-time leading rebounder, with 2,153 points and 909 rebounds. Young ranks 2nd all-time in blocked shots, 4th in steals, and among the top 30 in assists. Young is the only player in county history to average 20 points in three straight seasons, as well as the only to average at least 11 rebounds per game in three different seasons.
Young would go on to play for the national powerhouse UNLV Runnin'Rebels and Hall of Fame coach Jerry Tarkanian, choosing Vegas over Georgetown and Maryland. Young averaged 6.4 points per game as a freshman, finishing 10th in the WAC in three-pointers made, with 67, despite averaging just 12.9 mintes per game in 32 games. Young scored a career-high 28 points versus Long Beach State, hitting seven shots beyond the arc. Tarkanian would say at the time, "(Barry) could be the best shooter we've ever had here. We've always said, Sam Smith is the best shooter (we've ever had), but he's right there."
Young would go on to win a national title with the Rebels in his sophomore season, as UNLV routed Duke, 103-73, in the national championship game. Young played 39 games and ranked 6th on the national champions in minutes played, behind a trio of NBA top 12 picks - Larry Johnson (1st pick '91), Stacy Augmon (9th '91), and Greg Anthony (12th '91), along with a pair of pros that played overseas, Anderson Hunt and David Butler. Young scored 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 17 minutes in the Runnin' Rebels NCAA tournament first round win over Arkansas- Little Rock. Young played 12 minutes in the national title game, scoring 5 points, going 2-2 from the field, 1-1 from three.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:34 PM
2 Perry Young (MTH '78-81) 6'5 F - Young finished as the county's second all-time leading scorer (1,341 points), and all-time leading rebounder (1040 rebounds) through the first 30 years of whats now Howard County's 67 year basketball history. Barry's older brother did it inside and out, but as much on the block as any player that has ever played in the county.
With the art of the mid-range game all but gone, Young still ranks as one of the best 12-18 foot shooters this county has seen, in addition to ranking among the top scorers in the paint, and arguably the best rebounder in county history, tallying more rebounds in his sophomore, junior, and senior seaaons, than any other player in county history over their final three seasons.
In his sophomore season, Young played a supporting role to senior Bryan Vacca, helping lead the Vikes to a 21-0 regular season, and being named to the All-County 1st team. It would begin a run that led to a 68-6 record with Young in the starting lineup from '79 through '81. Young's 68 wins also ranks as the most in any 3-year span by a starter in county history. It would also begin a three-year run of three straight All-County 1st team selections. Young's Vikings went 41-1 in county play in his three years as a starter.
More than anything, Perry Young gets the nod at #2 here based on leadership, and what he did in that leadership role. Young is the only player in county history to lead his team to two consecutive state title games, as he did in '80 and '81. In his junior campaign. Young was named as Howard County Player of the Year, after averaging 15.2 points and 14.2 rebounds per game. The Vikings would go 24-1 in '80, before losing to Cambridge South Dorchester in the state final.
In his senior season, Young produced one of the best seasons in county history, while again leading the Vikings to the state final, averaging 25.7 points and 12.6 rebounds per game, just one of three players (B Young, Burton) to average 25/12.5 in a season. He, along with his brother Barry and Burton, are the only three players in county history to score 1,000 points, grab 500 rebounds, dish out 150 assists, get 100 steals, and block 100 shots - in other words, do everything. Young is just one of four players to score 1,300 points, and grab 800 rebounds.
Young would go on to play in Blacksburg for Coach Charles Muir and the Hokies, and four years later, leave as not only one of the greatest Hokies in school history, but one of the greatest players in Metro Conference history. Young chose the Hokies over Clemson, Syracuse, and UConn, among others. Young led the Hokies in minutes played n each of his sophomore, junior and senior seasons in Blacksburg. and led the Hokies in scoring in his sophomore and senior years, despite playing with future NBA shooter, Dell Curry. Curry led the Hokies in scoring Young's junior campaign, averaging 18.3 to the Hilltop hero's, 18.1.
In his sophomore year, Young averaged 16.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists, per 35.1 minutes per game, while shooting 51% from the field, and leading Tech to 23 wins. In his junior campaign, Young averaged 18.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.4 steals per game, shooting 57% from the floor, leading the Hokies to 22 wins. Young's senior season capped off a 4-year 20-win run (later extended to 5 in "86), the first and only run of its kind to this day in Blacksburg, after averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.5 steals per game, shooting 50%, in 35.2 minutes per game.
When Young ended his career in Blacksburg, he finished as the Hokies 2nd (now 5th) all-time leading scorer - 1989 points, 6th all-time leading rebounder (now 10th, and 4th all-time assists leader (now 7th), while shooting 52% from the field, playing 129 games, with 118 starts. Young has had the all-time best college career of any Howard County player that competed at the highest collegiate level. After dueling, and often out-playing Memphis' future lottery picks Keith Lee and William Bedford for years in league play, Young was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1985 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. Young would also have a stint with the Chicago Bulls, before establishing a career overseas.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:34 PM
Burton and Barry Young, who teamed together on the summer circuit, were the first true Howard County stars of Harold Payne's Columbia Jaguars program that demanded national spotlught. The pair, along with John Gwynn (DeMatha, UConn) led the Jaguars to tournament wins across the Eastern region versus future pros, and stretching out to the University of Notre Dame at the US Junior Nationals.
Burton began his Hammond career as a freshman call-up who was part of the county's first state championship with the '83 Golden Bears. In his sophomore season, he and Young were named to the All-County 1st team as underclassmen. Burton finished fifth in the county in scoring, and third in rebounding. As a junior, Burton was again selected to the All-County 1st team, as well as the Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mention team, after averaging 20.6 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks, 2.4 steals, while shooting 59%.
It was during his junior season where the recruitment of Burton skyrocketed, and continued to soar after he was named Most Outstanding Player at one of the four Art Garfinkle's 5-Star camps in the summer of '85 - joining three other future pro's to win the award that summer - JR Reid (top player in the country, UNC, NBA 12 year vet), Dennis Scott (Georgia Tech, NBA 10 year vet), and Rumeal Robinson (NCAA champion w/ Michigan, NBA 8 year vet).
Burton's senior season saw stratospheric numbers, in which the Golden Bear great become the only player in county history to average 25 (25.5) points and 15 (15.6) rebounds per game in a season. Burton also led the county in blicked shots, with 4.8 per game. Burton was named to the All-County 1st team for a third time, and is just one of nine players in county history to be named to the 1st team three times. Burton is just one of five players in county history to average 20 points and 10 rebounds in two seasons. Burton scored 37 points versus Mt Hebron and Barry Young.
Burton was named as a Street & Smith All-American, as well as to the Baltimore Sun All-Met 1st team, and the Washington Post All-Met 4th team. To add, Burton was.named to the prestigious Capital Classic team. In any other universe, Burton would have named Howard County Player of the Year twice, yet never was, once. In my opinion, Burton probably should have been named POY in '85 and '86. I'm as diehard Scorpion as they come, but despite that, and despite the Scorps winning the county title over the Bears that season, Burton or Young should have won the award over my former schoolmates, Kevin Sykes and Sean McMillian, who shared the award. Same for '86, where Raiders star Steve Key won the award, after the Raiders won the county title. Young missed 7 games with the Vikings.
Burton ranks 9th all-time in county history in scoring, with 1,354 points, and 5th in rebounding, with 868. Burton is just one of four players - Barry Young, Perry Young, and Charlie Thomas, to score 1,300 points, and grab 800 rebounds. Burton ranks 8th all-time in county history in blocked shots, with 248, and 12th all-time in steals, with 203. Burton was also invited to play in the prestigious Derby Classic, in Kentucky.
After a recruiting frenzy, Burton committed to Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino and the Providence Friars, choosing New England over Maryland, Richmond, and Michigan State. Burton watched Pitino, Billy Donovan, and Delray Brooks lead the Friars to the Final Four (beat #1 seed Georgetown, 88-73, in regional final) as a Proposition 48 freshman. Pitino would move on to the NBA and the New York Knicks the following season, stripping Burton of having played for the legendary coach. As a sophomore for the Friars, Burton started the final 19 games for the Friars, averaging nearly 9 points and 6 rebounds per game, finishing 5th on the team in minutes.
As a senior, Burton was second on the Friars in minutes played (31.4), averaging 11.1 points per game, and finished second on the team in rebounds, and fourth on the team in assists, as he teamed with future pro's Eric Murdock and Marty Conlan to lead the Friars to a second NCAA tournament berth for a second consecutive year. Burton led the Friars in minutes played in their heartbreaking 84-83 overtime loss in the opening round to Ohio State. Burton scored 12 points (5-9 FG), grabbed 3 rebounds, and dished out 3 assists. Burton would go on to a prolific professional career in Switzerland.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:35 PM
Rees began his career in the '80-81 season, as a freshman, part of a Perry Young-led Vikings team that went to the state title game. After that, beginning his sophomore season, the Vikings were Rees' team through his junior campaign, before sharing a co-starring role (but arguably still leading man) with freshman sensation Barry Young, and leading the Vikings to their first state title (and only), after three trips to the title game.
After averaging better than 17 points per game as a sophomore, Rees was named to the Sun's All-Met 2nd team. Rees scored 38 points as a sophomore v Centennial, hitting 16 of 16 from the charity stripe. Rees registered his his first of two 20-point seasons in '83, as a junior, averaging 21.7 points per game, better than 8 rebounds, and better than 4 assists, and shattering the 1,000 milestone before his senior year . His senior year, he shared the HoCo POY award with his young cohort, Young, averaging 22.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game.
Not only did Rees rank 2nd all-time in county history in scoring, but also 7th all-time in assists (314), 5th in steals (237), and 22nd in rebounds (561). Rees is the only player in county history to record 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists, and 200 steals in a career. Rees is just one of nine players to be named to the All-County 1st team three times. Rees' was selected to the Baltimore Sun All-Met 2nd team and Washington Post All-Met 4th team in his senior season.
Rees won more games as a starter than any other player in county history, with 78 wins, and waa a part of two county titles, 2 regional titles, and a state championship. Rèes winning ways would continue at the Naval Academy, where he won 94 of his 126 games as a Midshipmen, making the NCAA tournament as a freshman, starting in the Sweet 16 as a sophomore, playing best supporting role to David Robinson as a junior, and finishing as the Midshipmen's MVP as a senior. Rees was a part of three 26-win teams, three NCAA tournament teams, two CAA championship teams, and one ECACS championship team. Rees won 171 games over 8 years with Mt Hebron and Navy collectively, from '80-81 through '88.
As a freshman starter, Rees helped the Midshipmen, a 13 seed, score a NCAA tournament opening round upset of 4 seed LSU, a team that featured Jerry 'Iceman' Reynolds and John Williams, 78-55. The Midshipmen met Maryland in the second round, and held a second half lead, before Len Bias and the Terrapins came back to win, 64-59. Bias scored 20 points, on 7-11 shooting, adding 8 rebounds, and Keith Gatlin supplied 12 assists. It would be the next year, in '86, when the Midshipmen survived and advanced through the first weekend, and on to the Sweet 16.
The Midshipmen, a 7 seed, beat Tulsa in the first round, then upset 2 seed Syracuse in the second round, effectively ending Pearl Washington's Orangemen career. They would face 14 seed Cleveland State in the Sweet 16, after the Vikings beat 3 seed Indiana and 6 seed St Joseph's to advance. The Vikings, led by Mouse McFadden, and coached by Kevin Mackey, gave David Robinson and Navy all the could handle before the Midshipmen pulled it out, 71-70, to advance to the Elite 8. Duke, the 1 seed, took out Navy easily in the quarterfinals, 71-50.
[There we are, in East Rutherford, to see the regionals and the hometown kid (Rees), and also getting to see 'The Admiral, this Cinderella Cleveland State squad, then the Duke-DePaul matchup, Johnny Dawkins v Rod Strickland. So, we're all sitting there, at halftime of the Duke-DePaul game, pulling for Rod Strickland and my Dad's alma mater, the Blue Demons. Me, Rich, Mike, Joe, Bates' uncle, 'Uncle Joe', and my Dad. Chillin'. I'm sitting in the middle of the six seats when I reach over left to grab some of Mike's fries, when 'Uncle Joe' calls over from the far right to pass some fries down his way, when, low and behold, as I begin to glance at 'Uncle Joe' I notice three tall uniformed dudes walking down from the concessions level 20 rows up. It was three of the Cleveland State players, coming down after buying food at the concession stand, in full lay-up line sweatsuits, walking down 50 steps to their floor seats, with trays in hand. Wild shit. All of us looked at each other like, "you ever seen any shit like this before?". The answer was a unanimous no. Cleveland State was Last Chance U 30 years before Last Chance U was Last Chance U.]
Rees was the second leading scorer to Robinson in '87, his junior season, while also finishing second in assists and third in steals, and leading the team in free throw percentage. His senior season, Rees not only led the Midshipmen in scoring, but assists, steals, three-pointers made, and free throw percentage, as well. Rees finished his career as the Midshipmen's 11th (still top 20) all-time leading scorer (1,189), 5th (now 6th) all-time in assists (389), and 3rd (now 6th) in free throw percentage (.818), while shooting 48% from the floor for his career, and added 262 rebounds.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:35 PM
Conwell began his career as a Hammond Bear, playing as a freshman, then averaged 16.8 points per game as a sophomore. In his first season on Kilimanjaro, Conwell shared the Howard County Player of the Year award with Hill in '95, his junior season, after averaging 20.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals per game, the only player in county history to average 20/7/5/4 per game. Conwell added 45 threes.
Conwell scored 36 points versus Loyola, shot 13 of 18, and scored 32 points versus Thomas Johnson, scored 32 versus Hammond, against many of his former teammates, and scored 27 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and dished out 4 assists versus Cambridge South Dorchester in the state semifinal. The Scorpions lost to nationally ranked Dunbar in the state final.
The following year, Conwell would win the Howard County Player of the Year award again, leading the Scorpions to a regional title, after averaging 25.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 4 steals per game. Conwell's 25.8 scoring average ranks 6th all-time in county history, and the second best mark over the last 30 years. Conwell is just one of five players in county history to average 25 points and 10 rebounds per game in a season. He again scored 32 points versus Thomas Johnson, grabbing 10 rebounds, and scored 27 in the regional final loss to South Hagerstown.
Conwell was named to the Washington Post All-Met 2nd team, and the Baltimore Sun All-Met 1st team, one of just seven players to make either one of the Post's first two All-Met teams, and make the Sun's 1st team in the same season. Conwell is just one of five players in county history to win two Howard County Player of the Year awards - Perry Young, Barry Young, Coleman Scott, and Damien Biggs. Conwell is just one of ten players in county history to average 20 points per game in two seasons, and the only player in county history to average 4 steals per game in two seasons.
Conwell ranks 4th all-time in county history in scoring (1,628), 9th in rebounding (682), 17th in assists (275), 2nd in steals (269), and 15th in three-pointers made (110). Conwell is the only player in county history to score 1,500 points, grab 500 rebounds, and add 250 assists and 250 steals.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:36 PM
Instead, Thomas still ranks among the all-time top 3 in both scoring and rebounding, ranking 3rd in scoring, with 1,717 points, and 3rd in rebounding, with 887 rebounds. Thomas is one of three players (B Young, Burton) to average at least 20 points and 11 rebounds in two different seasons, and one of 5 players to average at least 17 points in three different seasons. Thomas, Barry Young and Glenelg's Greg Smith are the only players in county history to average at least 12.5 points per game in four seasons.
Thomas is, in my opinion, the best player this county has seen over the last 30 years. Thomas has scored more points and grabbed more rebounds than any other player in the county over the last 30 years.
After averaging 12.7 points as a freshman, Thomas became the first sophomore in 11 years in 2013 to be named to the All-County 1st team, after averaging 17 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, shooting 60% from the floor, and help the Hawks, who went 4-18 the year before, to 17 wins in '13, a 13 game improvement. In his junior season, Thomas set the Hawks all-time scoring mark, just one of two players in county history to set his program's scoring mark during his junior season. Thomas averaged 20.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game in '14, leading the county in rebounding, and finishing second in scoring.
In his senior season, Thomas was named Howard County Player of the Year Award, ahead of the Baltimore Sun Player of the Year, Oakland Mills' Will Robinson. Thomas became just the fourth player in county history to be named to both the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun prestgious All-Met 1st teams. Thomas, who averaged 23.2 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 61% from the floor, is just one of three players to average 23 and 11 a game over the last 30 years, and just one of seven to average 23 points alone, over the last 30 years.
Thomas set a Hawks single-game scoring record, and approached Barry Young's all-time county mark, when he scored 46 points versus Hammond, 37 in the second half. After winning his first two post-season games in his fourth season, Thomas and the Hawks lost a heartbreaker to Centennial in the regional final, with a buzzer-beating 17 footer from Connor Clemons, and while the Eagles would go on to win the state championship, the Hawks talented 6'7 senior's career came to an end.
Thomas, Bo Ryan, and Wisconsin, kept their courtship underground for the most part, before the All-Met forward committed to the Badgers. Unlike his dad, 'Big Charlie', the former Seneca Valley All-Met forward in the 80's, who was highly recruited, before committing to Wake Forest. ['Big Charlie' would play two seasons for the Demon Decons, before teaming with Luc Longley in New Mexico, and becoming a Lobo favorite. Thomas averaged 17.5 points per game as a junior, shooting 57%, and 16.5 points per game, shooting 62% his senior season. Thomas and the Lobos beat then #1 Arizona, and UCLA, both wins at 'The Pit', one of the more legendary arenas in the country.]
Young Charlie IV committed to the Badgers just before they won the national championship. Thomas Badgers career would transform early in his freshman year, when Ryan abruptly retired 18 games in. Thomas went from a rotation player with Ryan, to a very limited role player over his last 3+ years. Thomas did get to experience a pair of Sweet 16's, a player's dream, no matter the role. In the spirit of one of two to do this, one of two to that, it must be noted, Thomas is just one of two to do just that, make the Sweet 16, joining Barry Young, who did it 26 years earlier, with the Runnin' Rebels of UNLV. Good company.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:36 PM
Scott was the first player to integrate the Mount Hebron basketball program in 1971, in its second varsity season, following 4 junior high teams. Mt Hebron opened as a junior high school in 1965, then converted to a high school in 1969. With its induction as a high school, re-districting shifted many black students from Hilltop in Ellicott City, from Howard High to Mt. Hebron.
Young's impact was felt in his very first season, as he started as a freshman. As a sophomore, Scott averaged 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game, before being recognized on the All-County 1st and the Evening Sun All-Met Honorable Mention teams. Young's two free throws with 2 seconds to go in the regular season finale versus Howard, gave the Vikings their first county championship (a share w/ Atholton).
As a junior, Vikings coach Bill Davis moved Scott inside, out of necessity, after suffereing attrition, due to losing four starters from the '72 county title team to graduation. Scott would set a Howard County mark in 1973 for rebounding average in a season, with an amazing 18.0 boards per clip, to go with 19.6 points and 5.6 assists per game.
In his senior season, Scott led the Vikings to an undefeated county record, at 8-0, the Vikings second county championship in three years, and the second of seven county titles he and his brothers would win in Vikings uniforms. Scott averaged 19.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists; and 3.3 steals per game, leading to an Evening Sun All-Met 3rd team selection, as well as his third All-County 1st team selection.
Scott finished his career with 1,435 points, 796 rebounds, and 320 assists, which ranks 6th best all-time in county history in all three categories. Scott is just one of seven players in county history to average at least 5 assists per game in two seasons. Scott is the only player to score 1,400 points, grab 700 rebounds, and register 300 assists. He and Cliff Rees are the only players to hit the 1200/500/300 mark.
Coach Bill Davis, who had previously coached at City College in the city league, called Scott "the best player I ever coached". Scott guarded the toughest opponent, no matter the position. Scott showed his scoring prowess, as one of just six players (B Young, C Thomas, Rees, Conwell, Mike Hill) in county history to average at least 17 points in three different seasons, his rebounding talent by holding the county's single-season average at 18 per game, and his passing acumen by his top 10 assist total. Scott went on to play at Allegany Community College, before moving on to Frostburg State, then Western Maryland.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:37 PM
Whittington's senior season, ranks up there with the best in county history, and he remains the only player in county history to win the prestigious Washington Post Player of the Year award, encompassing both public and private league players, from Northern Virginia, DC, and the DC area Maryland suburbs.
As a sophomore, the still progressing offensive talent led the Scorpions in rebounding (7.8) and blocked shots (4.2). By Whittington's junior year, his offensive game began to come together, translating into the junior leading an Oakland Mills resurrection that has led to the best 10 year run by any school in county history, beginning the '09-10 season, Whittington's junior year, going through the 2018-19 season.
Things began to gel around the new year of 2010, where the Scorpions went 16-1 down the stretch with the talented forward in the lineup, before the first of two heart-breaking regional final losses to Gwynn Park. Prior to the regional final, Whittington led the Scorpions to a 64-61 overtime win over county champion Hammond in the regional semifinal, after hitting a 3-pointer to put the game in overtime, scoring 7 points in the extra session, and finishing with 25 points, setting up a showdown with the Yellowjackets in the regional final at Wise High School. The Scorpions squandered an 8 point lead before the Jackets forced overtime, and before Whittington fouled out within the first 20 seconds of overtime, spelling doom for the Scorps. Whittington scored 17 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and blocked 5 shots before picking up his fifth, before several thousand in the vast Pumas den, almost identical to his average over his final 16 games.
Over the summer following his junior year, Whittington helped lead Howard County Elite to a Final 4 finish at the AAU Nationals in Orlando. That's when a national buzz surrounded the 3-and-D, 6'8 swing. Georgetown, Maryland, Texas and Clemson clamored for his talents, among others, including DePaul.
Whittington took his game to another level his senior season, all the while leading the Scorpions to the best overall win streak in county history, winning their first 25 games of the season. Whottington gave it to everyone - 25p, 16r v Woodlawn, 30p, 13r, 4b, 3s v Atholton, 30p (14-20), 14r, 4b v Marriotts Ridge, 29p (10-14), 12r v Reservoir, 28p, 11r, 7b v Hammond, 31p, 12r v Western Tech, 31p, 10r, 6b v Howard, 30p (14-21), 14r v Reservoir, 29p, 13r, 7b v Hammond, 30 and 13 v Glenelg, and 34 (9-9 FT) and 8 v Mt Hebron.
With Big John Thompson sitting courtside for three nights on Kilimanjaro, Whittington began by scoring 15 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking 8 shots in a blowout win over Central on Monday, then scored 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked 6 shots a double-digit win over Douglass in the regional semifinal on Wednesday, and scored 19 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked 6 shots in the second Yellowjackets heart-breaker on Friday. Whittington finished his season averaging 23.5 points, 11.6 rebounds, 4.4 blocks, 3 steals, and 2.7 assists per game, while shooting 60.3% from the field, 40.3% from beyond the arc, before being named the Washington Post's top player.
Whittington is one of just four players in county history to be named to the Washington Post All-Met 1st team and the Baltimore Sun 1st team. Whittington went 40-3 in his final 43 games he played in a Scorpions uniform, 0-2 v Gwynn Park, 40-1 v everyone else. That's the best 43 game stretch for any player in county history. Whittington is just one of three players to average four blocked shots per game in three different seasons.
Whittington chose Georgetown, who had sent the 'Godfather of Georgetown Basketball to pay his respects, five times that season. As a freshman for the Hoyas, Whittington averaged 12.1 points per game (4th on team), was second in rebounding, second in steals, fourth in three-pointers made, and led the Hoyas in blocked shots. An injury derailed his sophomore season, and his brief but productive career with the Hoyas would come to an abrupt end shortly thereafter. Whittington would play in the NBA Summer League with the Miami Heat, before winning the D-League championship with Sioux City, as a main ingredient. Whittington played professionally in Austrailia, before playing in China, where he currently plays.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:37 PM
Steenberge became just the sixth player in county history to average 15 rebounds per game in his junior season, while setting the county single-season blocked shot record, at 6.9 per game. Steenberge averaged 15.2 points and 15.1 rebounds per game. Steenberge scored 21 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and recorded 8 blocked shots v county co-champ Long Reach and '01 HoCo POY Josh Gross, and scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds v Mt Hebron and '00 HoCo POY Eric Toback. Steenberge was named to the Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mention team, as well as to the All-County 1st team.
Steenberge led River Hill to its first county championship in '02, his senior season, as he recorded 21 double-doubles in 23 games, with 5 triple-doubles, a county single-season record. Versus Long Reach, Steenberge produced one of the greatest games in county history, scoring 36 points, registering 27 rebounds, and swatting 15 shots. Versus Oakland Mills, Steenberge scored 21 points, grabbed 28 rebounds, and recorded a second 15 blocked shots game.
Steenberge set a Hawks single-season scoring record, averaging 24.8 points per game, which ranks as the seventh best mark in county history. Steenberge averaged 17.2 rebounds per game, second to only "Bunky' Scotts average of 18.0 for Mt Hebron in 1973. Steenberge also broke his own block shots record, registering 7.5 per game (since broken by Chris Moore HOW '06 7.8). Steenberge shot 62% from the floor. Only Steenberge, Barry Young, Greg Whittington, and Charlie Thomas, were named to both the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun All-Met
Steenberge ranks fourth all-time in county history in career rebounds (880), and 22nd all-time in scoring (1,084), and as mentioned, is the county's all-time leading shot blocker (394). Only Steenberge and Barry Young have registered 1,000+ points, pulled down 800+ rebounds, and blocked 300+ shots. Steenberge holds the county record with 7 career triple-doubles.
Steenberge matriculated on to the University of Richmond following his River Hill career, playing 120 games for the Spiders, over four years. In his sophomore year, he and the Spiders earned a NCAA tournament berth. In '05, his junior season, Steenberge led the Spiders in scoring, rebounding, block shots, and field goal percentage. In his senior season, Steenberge again led the Spiders in rebounding and block shots, and was second in scoring. Steenberge finished his Spiders career scoring more than 900 points, grabbing more than 500 rebounds, and second in school history in block shots (154).
Steenberge would begin a professional career in Spain, then back in the states in the CBA with Butte, Montana, before going to Japan to play with Ryukyu Golden Kings, then on to Holland, then on to Poland, before returning to Japan, and finishing with the Golden Kings, leading the team in rebounding (8.2) and field goal percentage (58.1%).
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:37 PM
Smith teamed with his brother Robbie in his first two seasons, and it was clear that he was ahead of his years, capable of running an offense, with one of the best shooting strokes in county history. Of the top 10 scoring games among freshman in county history, Barry Young had eight of those games, Greg Smith has the other two, scoring 30 v Centennial, and 28 v Brooklyn Park, on 13-20 shooting.
As a sophomore, Smith averaged 19.3 points per game, the second highest total in county history for a sophomore, behind only Barry Young. Smith, his brother Robbie, and John King, both seniors, helped lead the Gladiators to their second best season (16-8) in 20 years, finishing third in the county, behind state champion Hammond, and Oakland Mills. Smith and Barry Young are the only players in county history to score more than 700 points by their sophomore years. This would be the first of three All-County 1st team selections.
With his brother Robbie and John King graduating, Smith was counted on to do it all for the Gladiators, and that he did, averaging 20.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game, and is just one of five players to join the 1,000 point club as a junior. Smith is just one of six players to average 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game in a season. Smith earned his second All-County 1st team selection, as well as a All-Met Honorable Mention nod. Smith averaged 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3.6 steals per game as a senior, earning his third All-County 1st team selection. Smith shot 86% from the line.
Smith is just one of five players to surpass 1,500 points in county history, and just one of two players to eclipse 1,500 points (1,504), 400 rebounds (411), and 300 assists (376), along with Cliff Rees. Smith ranks 5th all-time in county history in scoring, fourth all-time in assists, 3rd all-time in steals, and unofficially, one of the two best free throw shooters of all-time, along with Rees, shooting well over 80%.
Smith, like Barry Young and Cliff Rees, didn't have the benefit of the three-point line. Had he, Smith could be the county's all-time leading shooter beyond the arc, and consequently, would have surpassed 1,700 points. He was that good of shooter, while being adept at running an offense.
Smith was selected in the 1985 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs in the 2nd round, directly out of high school. In his first season in Class A ball, Smith hit .270, with 56 RBI, 23 doubles, 5 triples, and 26 stolen bases. The next season, in Winston Salem, Smith batted .280, and stole 52 bases and had 101 hits in 95 games. The following season, in '89, Smith was brought up briefly with the big leaguers, the division champ Cubs, coached by Hall of Famer Don Zimmer. Smith spent parts of three seasons in the big leagues, with the Cubs and Dodgers, playing for two Hall of Famers, Zimmer and Tommy Lasorda, and with five Hall of Famers - Ryne Sandburg, Andre Dawson, Greg Maddox, Gary Carter, and one of his childhood favorites, Eddie Murray.
Smith also played with Darryl Strawberry, Mitch 'Wild Thing' Williams, and Rick Sutcliffe. There are probably a few stories stuck in there somewhere. When it was all said and done, Smith totaled over 1,000 hits, scored 567 runs, knocked in 419 runs, and stole 278 bases in an 11 year minor league career.
Posted 12 August 2019 - 03:27 PM
50 '16 Glenelg Gladiators (10-3, 8-2) - Coach Butch Schaffer 🥉 >>> The '16 Gladiators were coming off of three straight playoff appearances, and Coach Butch Schaffer had turned Glenelg into a force in Howard County. The '16 group was led by a record-breaking sophomore running back, Wande Owens.
The Gladiators finished the '16 season tied with River Hill for second place in the county, a game behind the 4A regional champions, Howard Lions. They were the only team other than the 4A champion Wise Pumas to beat the Lions in the '16 season.
The Gladiators kicked off their season with a 29-7 win over Oakland Mills, followed by a resounding 49-7 rout of River Hill on the road. Then, the Gladiators suffered their first loss of the season to Wilde Lake, after surrendering a game-winning, fourth quarter touchdown. From there, the Gladiators shut out Hammond, 44-0, then beat Mt Hebron, 44-12.
The Gladiators pulled oiut a 17-13 win over Reservoir, before suffering their second loss of the season, to Long Reach. After a 35-13 win over Marriotts Ridge, the Gladiators needed a win versus Howard in the Elgard Bowl to assure a playoff berth. The Lions were carrying a 32 game county win streak, tied for the second longest streak of its kind in county history.
Though the Gladiators lost the Elgard Bowl in '15, they had won 5 of the last 7 meetings with the Lions. The game was tied at 7, after the Lions allowed the first touchdown scored against them in the first stanza, all season. The Lions led 14-7 before Glenelg put together a 15 play, 86 yard drive, finished by an 8 yard touchdown run by Owens to cut the lead to 14-13, which would hold through halftime.
Owens opened the scoring in the second half to give the Gladiators a 19-14 lead. The Lions own sophomore sensation, Devin Dawkins, countered with a 33 yard touchdown run to give the Lions a 20-19 edge entering the fourth quarter. Glenelg responded with a game-winning, 10 play, 78 yard scoring drive for a 25-20 win. The Glads finished out with a 30 point win over Centennial, setting up a rematch with Wilde Lake in the opening round of the post-season.
The Cats held Owens and the Gladiators scoreless in the first half of the regional semifinal, after Glenelg misfired on two field goal attempts. On the first drive of the second half, Owens led the Gladiators on a 10 play scoring drive to tie the game at 7. Owens would score the game-winning touchdown with 9:44 to play, then added an interception to seal the win and put the Gladiators in the regional final.
Next up was River Hill, playing in their 10th regional final in 12 years, while Coach Schaffer’s squad was looking for their third straight regional title. Owens led the Glads to their second rout of the Hawks of the season, 38-7, with Owens rushing for 211 yards and scoring three touchdowns.
'Big Red' faced the Indians of Franklin in the state semifinals, one game away from the finals for the second time in three years. The Indians proved to be too much, dismissing the Glads with a 30-7 victory.
Owens finished his sophomore campaign with a county record 2,504 rushing yards, scoring 28 touchdowns, with five 200 yard games. He shattered the previous single-season county rushing record of 2,129 yards by his former teammate, Trey Davis, set the year before, by 375 yards. Owens found holes to run through behind All-Met linemen Dakota Davis and Trae Folkman.
49 '78 Wilde Lake Wildecats (8-2, 6-1) - Coach Doug DuVall >>> A year after having to forfeit five wins, thereby losing what would have been their first playoff berth, the Cats regrouped, looking to '78 to set precedent, with All-Met Jim Traber leading the troops.
Though the Cats faced the top ranked team in Baltimore, Poly, in the opening week of '78, they knew their post-season hopes likely hung on a week 10 win over their arch rival Oakland Mills.
The Cats would have still made the '77 playoffs, despite their 27-21 overtime loss to the Scorpions, if not for the forfeit ruling following week 10, but the Scorpions returned enough to make it likely that they would be 9-0 in week 10, making it a winner-take-all showdown in the regular season finale.
In the opener with the top ranked Engineers, Poly went up early, before the Cats cut it to 25-18, with a potential game-tying possession in the third quarter, before bowing out, 39-18. The Cats smashed Northern, 32-0, in week 2, then stomped Old Mill, 28-12, before ripping through their first six county opponents, outscoring the county foes, 191-48. Not one of the six scored more than a touchdown on the Cats, setting up the week 10 showdown with the Scorpions, with the regional championship and a playoff berth on the line.
The '77 week 10 meeting produced an instant classic, a Scorpions 27-21 overtime win, where the Cats came back from 21-7 down to force an extra session.
The '78 matchup would be played in front of the second largest crowd to ever witness a high school sporting event in the county, before 4,200 fans. It was tough sledding for both of the offensive units in the first half, as they wrestled to a 8-8 first half tie, following Jeff Neale's 8 yard score for the Scorps, and a 4 yard touchdown pass from the Cats Traber to Reggie Fletcher.
The Scorpions had a pair of touchdowns slip through their hands in the first half, one literally. All-County receiver Brian Winfield’s fumble at the Cats 1 yard line bounced through the end zone for a touchback. The other, an apparent 85 yard punt return for a touchdown by Winfield was called back for an illegal block.
With the game tied at 14 midway through the the fourth quarter, it looked as though the two Columbia heavyweights were headed to another overtime game again. With 6 minutes to play, the Scorps had the ball on their own 22 yard line, when Chet Gee directed a 7 play, 78 yard drive, capped off by Dudley Redding's 24 yard score with 3:07 to play, to give Oakland Mills a 22-14 lead. The Scorpions defense held, and the Cats fell just short of their cross-town rivals, again.
Traber finished his illustrious Cats career as not only the county's all-time leading passer, with 3,351 yards, but also the county's all-time leader in interceptions, on the other side of the ball, with 22. Traber was named the Player of the Year by the Evening Sun, selected to the All-Met 1st team as a safety (Gee was named to the 1st team as QB).
Joining Traber on the All-County 1st team was Jeff Starnes, who finished as the county's all-time leading rusher, with 3,621 yards, and Reggie Fletcher, who posted 646 receivng yards and 10 receiving touchdowns in ‘78. Lineman Larry Brockington (U of Cinci), Joe Scott, Ron Hoff, and Brad Powell, all were named to the All-County team, as well.
48 '07 Wilde Lake Wildecats (10-3, 8-2) - Coach Doug DuVall 🥉 >>> Coach DuVall's outlook on '07 looked promising, though 11 months earlier things didn't look so rosy, as the Cats stood 2-2 in week 4 of '06, and was under water in their last 23 (11-12) games. Then, the Cats rallied to win their final 6 games of '06, averaging 39.8 points per game, with a +30.0 point differential.
These Cats wouldn't win their 6th state title in '07, but were 10-win, regional champions, and set up Coach DuVall's 7th state champioship appearance the following year, in his 36th and final season at Wilde Lake.
Of the Cats 3 losses in '07, two were to state champions - 14-0 River Hill and 13-1 Damascus, and the other they were to exact revenge on in the post-season.
The '07 Cats rolled out to a 4-0 record, having outscored their quartet of foes, 184-0. Week 5 presented a showdown with 4-0 River Hill, winners of 16 straight league games, and victors in 34 of their last 35 league games.
The Hawks, who were 13-1 and state finalists in '06, punched early, on the first possession, when Malek Redd picked up a blocked punt and ran 7 yards for a 6-0 lead. After stopping the Cats on the next possession, Redd raced 52 yards to paydirt to give the eventual state champions a two score lead. Mike Campanaro scored on a 30 yard run to give the Hawks a 18-0 halftime lead, on their way to a 25-8 win. The Cats and Eastern Tech (in the state final) were the only two teams that came within 27 points of the '07 Hawks.
After beating both Reservoir and Long Reach soundly, the Cats traveled to Howard to take on the 6-1 Lions. The Cats held a 14-0 lead, before the Lions ran off 21 unanswered points in the second half for a 21-14 win. The Cats closed out the season with a 42-6 win over Oakland Mills, then a 42-7 win over Mt Hebron, to set up a rematch with Howard in the first round of the playoffs.
The Cats responded in the second meeting with the Lions, with a convincing 17-0 shutout, putting Coach DuVall and the Cats in their 14th regional championship game. In the regional final, Ashton Hayes rushed for 225 yards on 19 carries, and Jarrell Epps added 123 yards on the ground in a 26-6 win over North Harford. Hayes scored all four touchdowns, including scoring runs of 32, 53, and 74 yards.
The Cats met their match with Damascus in the state semifinal, who they had faced in the '89 state semifinal (DAM 20-12) and '90 state final (WL 13-7 OT), in a 35-6 loss. The Swarmin' Hornets limited the Cats to 56 yards in the first half, staking a 20-0 halftime lead, and never looked back, winning their third state title under Coach 'Moo' Makosy.
Hayes and Epps both made the All-County 1st team, with the former gaining 1,311 yards on the ground, with 18 touchdowns, and the latter rushing for 1,278 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns. Lineman Dave Klotz and Cody Blue, who paved the way for both Hayes and Epps, were both selected to the All-County 1st team, with Blue named to the All-Met 1st team. Kicker Graham Spicer was named to the All-County 1st team. Mike Arsenault and junior Danny March were named to the 1st team Defensive unit.
47 '13 River Hill Hawks (10-3, 8-2) - Coach Brian Van Deusen 🥉 >>> The Hawks had a second chance at a state title 3-peat, after falling short in the state semifinal in their first attempt in '09, and a potential 5th state championship in 7 seasons. The Hawks were also shooting for their 8th regional championship in 9 years.
The Hawks would open '13 with a dogfight, holding off eventual county champion Glenelg, 7-3. This, after the 2012 Hawks set a county record by scoring 42.9 points per game. Still, the Hawks posted a quality win over the Gladiators, who would go on to win their final 9 games of the regular season. The Hawks also held the Gladiators out of the end zone, a team that averaged 31.4 points per game over their next 9 games.
In week 2, the Hawks shut out Marriotts Ridge, 49-0, then would handle Centennial, who would finish 7-3, 42-7, in week 4. Following a 33-0 shutout of Wilde Lake in week 6, the Hawks took their first loss in 30 games at Hammond, in a wild 47-38 shootout. The Hawks had given up just 24 points in their first six games, before Tyler Martin and the Bears unleashed the barrage of 47 points.
Having the target on their back was nothing new for the Hawks, as they had been top dog in the county for a decade now. Following a resounding 48-6 win over Oakland Mills, the Hawks took a 21-3 loss to Howard, who they would tie for second place in the county, one game behind Glenelg. In week 10, the Hawks pulled out a 14-13 win over playoff bound Reservoir.
At this point, the Hawks are not a top 50 team, but their production over the next three weeks gets them in, just ahead of the '13 Gladiators and Lions. The Hawks began the post-season with a 49-0 pasting of City College, setting up a rematch with Reservoir, two weeks after a 1 point win over the Gators. The Gatots came an extra point away from sending the regular season matchup with the Hawks to overtime, but this time, the Hawks would make easy work of the Gators, shutting out the guests, 28-0, capping their 8th regional title in 9 years.
The Hawks traveled to Linganore for the state semifinal, to face the undefeated Lancers. This would be a tale of two halves, especially if one half can be considered the first 28 minutes, and the second half being the last 20. The Hawks ran out to a 24-12 halftime lead, then after holding the Lancers on their first possession of the second half, grew that lead to 31-12 on a 70 yard touchdown pass from Drew Pritchard. The Lancers scored 29 unanswered points and held off the Hawks in a potential game-winning drive.
Josh Gontarek caught 3 touchdown passes, then returned a interception 65 yards for a fourth touchdown to give the Lancers a 41-31 lead. The Hawks Kelonji Moore scored on a short run to cut it to 3, 41-38, and had a last opportunity when it had the ball on their own 24 yard line with 45 seconds to play. The Hawks needed 55 yards for a legitimate game-tying field goal attempt, but three plays later, Gontarek finished his monster game with his second interception.
Cody Daniel, tight end and defensive end for the Hawks, was named to the All-Met 1st team, while linebacker Logan Kirby and kicker Alex Potecko, who made 57 of 58 extra points, was named to the All-Met 2nd team. Lineman Tyler Smith, Anthony Cordao (81 tackles, 10 tfl), and Matt Von Niede all made the All-County 1st team.
46 '10 Hammond Bears (10-2, 9-1) - Coach Dan 'Moo' Makosy >>> In its 33rd season, Hammond posted its first 10-win season in its school history. Never had it recorded a 9-win season, while history showed a pair of 8-win seasons. The 2010 season was only two years after the Beats went 0-10, getting outscored by a total of 408-65.
Enter Coach Dan 'Moo' Makosy, the the Hall of Fame coach that won three state championships at Damascis. Makosy and the Swarmin'Hornets made 10 playoff appearances in his 10 years there, posting a record of 102-20. The last winning season at Hammond was 15 years earlier, when Coach Joe Russo's Bears went 8-2.
In the opening week of 2010, Coach Makosy and the Bears were welcomed by the River Hill Hawks, winners of 45 straight county games, and winners of 60 of their last 61 regular season games. The Bears would make #46, and 61 of 62 in a 27-6 loss. In week 2, the Bears would face test #2, traveling to Atholton, who was coming off of a 10-win season. The Bears needed a fourth quarter comeback behind their dynamic duo in the backfield, junior Devon Paye and sophomore Dionte Jones, scoring 13 points in the final stanza to pull out a 19-13 win.
That win began the 9 game win streak, a school record, to close out the season, sharing the county title with the Hawks, who would lose to Atholton. This was the first, and stands as the only, county title ever won by the Bears in their program's 41 years of existence.
The Bears would look for their first playoff win in school history in a regional semifinal matchup with Southern of Anne Arundel County, who upset ,4A #1 seed Arundel in the regular season. Twenty five years after playing in its first playoff game, the Bears won their first playoff game ever as time expired, to knock off the Bulldogs. The Dawgs had a 13-6 halftime lead after Southern's Davonte Burke's two touchdown receptions, and the Bears Paye's 8 yard score. Paye scored again in the third quarter, to give the Bears a 14-13 lead. The Bulldogs Burke wasn't done, scoring on 54 yard run, then adding the two-point conversion to give Southern a 21-14 lead.
The Bears Jones scored early in the fourth quarter, but the failed a potential go-ahead two-point conversion, to trail by 1. Two possessions later, the Bears received the ball with 6 minutes to play, and put together a game-winning, clock draining 79 yard drive, that included a successful 4th-and-12, final8zed with Dionte Jones scoring on a 2 yard run as time expired to win 26-21.
The Bears faced #1 seed 10-1 McDonough in the regional final, who had dismissed Douglas of PG, 37-6, in the opening round. The Bears fell to the eventual state champion Rams, 28-18, but not before registering the greatest season in the Bears history.
🏆 - State Champion
🥈 - State Runner-up
🥉 - Regional Champion
🏅 - County Champion
Posted 13 August 2019 - 05:50 PM
45 '12 Atholton Raiders (10-2, 9-1) - Coach Kyle Schmidt >>> The '12 Atholton Raiders followed the best three year period in school history, winning 28 games, recording two 10-win seasons, and making the post-season all three seasons. This, after never registering as much as a 9-win season, making the post-season just three times in its first 42 years of the program's existence, and winning one playoff game during that span.
This would be the last of Kyle Schmidt's four years at Atholton, a season after the Raiders won their first county title in 22 years, when the Raiders shared the county title with Wilde Lake in ‘89. The Raiders '11 title remains the only outright county championship in school history. The Raiders also were following two regular season shutouts of the 3A defending champion River Hill, though the two wouldn't meet during the 10 game slate in 2012.
The Raiders had to pull out a 14-12 win over Wilde Lake in week 1, following that with a 28-25 victory versus Reservoir (regional finalist in '12) in week 2. In week 3, the Raiders came back from 21-0 down to shock Howard, 35-34. A fourth quarter, seven minute drive by the Raiders that was punctuated by a 3 yard shovel pass from Luke Casey to Patrick Mullens for a score gave A-Town its first lead of the game, 35-28. . The Lions responded with a score, but their potential game-winning two-point conversion was thwarted, and the Raiders were 3-0.
After winning on a two-point conversion versus Wilde Lake in week 1, needing 369 yards of offense to outlast Reservoir in week 2, and a failed two-point conversion being the difference in week 3, the Raiders luck ran out the n week 4, with a 13-12 loss to Long Reach. From there, the Raiders would face just one more test during the regular season.
The week 8 matchup with Hammond proved to the toughest task, with the Raiders edging out a 20-18 win, surrounded by a 25-0 shutout of Centennial, a 48-6 blowout of Oakland Mills, a 20 point win at Hebron, a 35-0 shutout of Marriotts Ride, and a 28-14 win over Glenelg, closing the regular season winning 6 straight games.
The Raiders were 35-5 over the last four regular seasons, but still looking for their first regional title in school history. Assuredly, if the Raiders were to win a regional title, it would have to go through River Hill, provided they could beat Reservoir in the regional semifinal, in a rematch of their 28-35 week 2 matchup. Resi' would be making its first post-season appearance in school history, the first of what would be four straight appearances.
The Raiders held a 14-0 lead over the Gators in the third quarter of the opening round, before fumbling a punt return, and before the Gators capitalized with an 18 yard touchdown pass from Max Shuster to James Simms, to cut the lead to one score. The Gators tied it up with a 77 yard double-pass touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. Neither team would score again in regulation, and overtime ensued.
The Raiders took a 21-14 lead on a 5 yard pass from Casey on second down. The Gators needed just one play to score, and in their first playoff game in school history, went for 2 and the win, but the Raiders held the Gators Avian White two yards short, setting up the first meeting of the season between the Raiders and River Hill in 2012, in the regional final.
The Raiders had beat the Hawks in two of their last three meetings, but the defending champs did win the last post-season meeting a year earlier, in a 30-3 rout in the regional final. This time though, the Hawks were 11-0, winning 18 straight games since getting shutout by the Raiders in '11. The Raiders held an early 7-6 lead, before the Hawks ripped off 29 straight points to take a 35-7 lead. The Raiders made a run with three straight touchdowns, falling short in a 35-27 loss. The Hawks would finish as undefeated state champions. The Raiders would finish 38-9 over Schmidt's four years, with three playoffs wins and three 10-win seasons.
Casey would be chosen to the All-County 1st team after throwing for 1,514 yards and 15 touchdowns, as would his receiver, Keyon Pinnock, who finished with 52 receptions for 823 yards and 10 touchdowns. Joining the pair on the All-County 1st team were be linebackers Mullens (93 tackles, 5 fumble recoveries) and Brandon Anthony, and offensive lineman Ben Matthews.
44 ‘93 Howard Lions (9-2, 6-1) - Coach John Quinn 🏅 >>> At one point, the Lions program was the most prestigious program in the county, but that had changed by ‘93, with Wilde Lake having won three straight state titles, and having won four state titles in eight years. It had been 18 years since the Lions won a county or advanced to the post-season. To add insult to injury, every other one of the six other county teams had advanced to the post-season since the Lions last did.
Only one Lions player, Curtis McTavish, was born when the Lions last earned a playoff berth and giving the Howard faithful something to cheer about in November. Lions Coach Coach John Quinn was playing in the 1975 Sugar Bowl for the Penn State Nittany Lions versus the Alabama Crimson Tide, two months after the Lions last played in a playoff game.
The '93 season looked to have promise, as the Lions closed out the '92 season with five straight wins, coinciding with then sophomore DaLawn Parrish put in as the starting quarterback position. And that promoise held through the first two weeks of the ‘93 season, with a pair of blowout shutouts of Parkville (48-0) and North Carroll (42-0).
After a convincing win over Liberty, the Lions suffered their only loss of the regular season in their league opener to Centennial, losing in the final minute, when Brian Dowdell, throwing his first pass of his career, hit Dominick Dinusio on a 28 yard fly pattern for a 18-15 win.
The week after, the Lions pulled out an 8-7 win over Hammond, when Seth Etheridge recovered a Bears fumble on their 14 yard line. The following play, the Lions Guy Smith ran it from there. A high snap on the point-after forced a Carlton Fox throw which found Scott Strother in the end zone for a Lions one point lead, which held.
The Lions went on to beat Glenelg in the Elgard Bowl, then Oakland Mills, 28-6, then Atholton, then three-time defending champ Wilde Lake, 18-16, followed by a 46-0 shutout of Mt Hebron. The Lions won the outright county title, one game ahead of Hammond. The Lions had won 14 of their last 15 games over the last two seasons with Parrish at quarterback, with their only loss coming in the last 90 seconds of their week 4 meeting with Centennial.
The Lions were an 8 seed heading into the state quarterfinals, playing the #1 team in the Baltimore area, the undefeated Poly Engineers. The Engineers took a 15-0 halftime lead and went on to win, 28-6, despite being out-gained by the Lions, 251-248. Nonetheless, the post-season and county title monkey was off the Lions back.
Guy Smith was named Howard County Offensive Player of the Year, rushing for 1,169 yards and 15 touchdowns, adding 71 tackles on defense. Parrish finished his junior season throwing for 727 yards and 7 touchdowns, rushing for 513 yards and 6 touchdowns, adding 5 interceptions and two fumble recoveries on defense. Etheridge finished with 10 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, and three forced fumbles.
Defensive backs Carlton Fox and Brian Bush joined Parrish on the All-County 1st team Defense, with both picking off 4 passes apiece. Offensive lineman Matt Allen joined Smith on the 1st team Offense.
43 '05 Long Reach Lightning (9-2, 8-1) - Coach Pete Hughes 🎖 >>> A year after falling one game short of winning their first county title to River Hill, who won their first county title, the Lightning shared their first with the Hawks in '05. The Lightning would make their first playoff appearance since earning a berth in their second year of existence in '97.
After a 40-0 shutout of Reservoir, the Lightning suffered their only regular season loss to Wilde Lake In week 2, 24-21. The game featured three scores of 70 yards or more, including the Lightning's Josh Brown's 70 yard reception to open the game. With the game tied at 14, Zach Brown gave the Cats a 21-14 lead on a 25 yard scoring run.
After a late field goal by the Wildecats, the Lightning's Keith Richardson returned the ensuing kickoff to the house, to cut the Cats lead to 3, 24-21, but the Cats held on to win.
The following week, the Lightning recorded a 28-13 victory over playoff-bound Atholton, 28-13. After relatively easy wins over Hammond, Howard, Oakland Mills and Glenelg, the Lightning would face 7-0 River Hill In week 8, who were carrying a +26.3 point differential. A loss for the Lightning would all but kill their chances for a share of the county title.
The Hawks looked to be moving to 8-0, when they had a 7 point lead late in the fourth quarter, before Richardson returned a punt 53 yards to the Hawks 19 yard line, setting up the game-winning touchdown and two-point conversion with 46 seconds to play.
The Lightning would hold on and close out the season with a pair of routs over Bowling Brook and Mt Hebron, notching a share of the county title with River Hill, its first in school history.
The Lightning would face the Hawks in the regional semifinal, with both looking for their first playoff win in their school's respective histories. The Lightning were playing in their third playoff game, River Hill their fourth.
The Lightning took a 7-0 lead following Josh Brown's 60 yard touchdown run, and set up two other scoring opportunities inside the Hawks 15 yard line in the first half, but came up short. One drive ended on downs at the Hawks 12 yard line, the other, halted by an interception from the Hawks Nick Campanaro. Daniel Hostetler tied the game at 7, when he capped a scoring drive with a 1 yard plunge. Then, Hostetler connected with his cousin Josh Hostetler on a 23 yard touchdown pass in the waning moments of the first half to give the Hawks a 7 point halftime lead. The Lightning would fall short in the rematch, 21-13.
Brian Taylor was named Howard County Defensive Player of the Year, after recording 130 tackles, 94 of those solo tackles. Richardson made the All-County 1st team for a second time, and Brown joined him after rushing for 1,209 yards and 11 touchdowns.
42 '99 Howard Lions (10-2, 9-1) - Coach Vince Purnell 🎖 >>> It had been 24 years since the Lions had last won a regional title, or won 10 games in a season, with just one playoff appearance to show since playing in back-to-bach state championship games in '74 and '75, winning the former. The ‘99 Lions were also following Oakland Mills winning a state title in '98, while Wilde Lake carried a 31 game win streak in league play.
The '99 Lions would go on to win 10 games that season, and go on to win the regional championships, both firsts in 24 years for the once proud program. The Lions would share the county title with Wilde Lake, snapping the Cats record-breaking 32 streak in league play.
After opening the season with wins over Woodlawn and Mt Hebron, the Lions faced the Wildecats, who hadn't lost to a county team since 1995. The Lions All-American Gerald Smith put the first points on the board with a 2 yard score, before the Cats Mario Merrills scored on a 36 yard run to even things up, and the subsequent point-after gave the Cats a 7-6 lead. In the third quarter, the Cats fumbled deep in their own territory, at their own 15 yard line. Two plays later, Travis Irving ran it in from 17 yards to give the Lions a 12-7 edge. The Cats countered again, with 1:34 left in the third, when John Quinn scored on a 1 yard run, which followed a 24 yard run from Merrills.
The Lions quarterback Anothony Durham scored with a 2 yard run, and the two-point conversion gave the Lions a 6 point lead, 20-14. Irving scored on a 49 yard run, two plays after the Cats attempted a fake punt. With three minutes left in the game, Jose Monzon took a 48 fumble recovery to the end zone l, and the Lions went on to a very convincing 33-14 win, snapping the Cats 3+ year streak.
In week 5, the Lions s faced defending state champion Oakland Mills, who were riding an overall 15 game win streak themselves. Played before 2,000 fans, Antuan Jones set the tone early, recovering a fumble on the third play of the game, the first of five Scorpions turnovers on the day., leading to a Lions 20-7 win. After thumping Hammond 42-6, the Lions were looking for their first win in four tries against cross-border rival Long Reach.
Before the game, Lightning Coach Pete Hughes told his charges, "There are three guarantees in life - death, taxes, and we don't lose to Howard". Hughes prophecy would hold true, as the Lightning capitalized on two Lions fumbles in the first quarter and won, 13-7, dropping the Lions to 6-1. The Lions would win out over their last 3 games, including a 17-7 win over River Hilli in the regular season finale, and shared the county title with Wilde Lake, finishing the regular season 9-1.
The Lions faced undefeated Middletown in the state quarterfinals, and a Knights team averaging 32 points per game. This slugfest would finish without an offensive touchdown by either team, with Louis Matthews' 58 yard fumble return on a mishandled snap on a field goal attempt being the only score of the game, coming with 2.8 seconds left in the first half. The Lions had won their first post-season game and regional title in 24 years.
The Lions faced their third undefeated team since October in the state semifinal, the Edmondson Redskins, who were scoring 40.5 points per game, allowing only 4.6 points per game. The Lions start was encouraging, staking a 7-0 lead, with a 25 yard from Gerald Smith, but the Skins high-powered offense scored 22 unanswered points in the third quarter, and went on to end the Lions season with a 37-14 win. The Skins scored all three of their third quarter touchdowns within the first three minutes of the second half, including a 90 yard kickoff return to open the third quarter.
Smith was named HoCo Defensive Player of the Year by the Howard County Times, while finishing his Lions career with 3,681 rushing yards, more than 5,600 total yards, and 52 touchdowns. Smith would go to play at Penn State. Joey Tortella was named as Defensive Player of the Year by the Columbia Flier, recording 116 tackles and 3 interceptions. Irving was named to the All-County 1st team, as was Antuan Jones.
41 '03 Glenelg Gladiators (10-2, 9-1) - Coach John Davis 🎖 >>> This was the third straight county championship (or share) for the Gladiators, and third straight 10-win season, the only three of its kind in Glenelg history, at the time. By this time, Coach John Davis' Double Wing T offense was running like a machine, and this was the third straight year the Glads averaged better than 30 points per game, also the only three seasons that had ever been achieved in school history. The Gladiators carried an overall 26 regular season game win streak into the season, as well as a 23 league game win streak.
All but one of the Gladiators victories were won by 15 points or more. The Gladiators rolled through September, beating Centennial, Reservoir, Hammond and Howard, by a total of 140 to 19, including a 21-6 win over the Lions in the Elgard bowl. The Gladiators smashed Southern-B, 56-16, then routed up-and-coming Long Reach, 47-21.
In week 8, the undefeated Gladiators, at 7-0, met undefeated Oakland Mills, also 7-0. Glenelg ran out to a 14-0 halftime lead, and cruised to a 21-6 win, their fifth straight win over the Orange & Black.
The Gladiators traveled to River Hill in week 10, with a chance to complete their third consecutive undefeated regular season at 10-0, which, at the time, had only been done once before, when Howard did it four straight years from '72-75. River Hill ('06-09) and Howard ('14-17) both achieved the feat later, both accomplishing the feat four years in a row.
With the scored tied at 7, the Hawks Tim Morgan's scored on a 18 yard run to put the hosts up 7. Late in the fourth quarter, Glenelg drove inside the Hawks 10 yard line, but was stopped on a 4th-and-2 at 6, and the 32 game county win streak came to an end. The overall 35 game win streak dated back to September 29, 2000, when the Howard Lions topped the Gladiators in the wildest Elgard Bowl game ever played, 40-38.
The Gladiators faced Southern of Anne Arundel County in the newly created regional semifinal (playoffs expanded to 16 teams per classification), but without their two-time All-County1st team, two-time 1,000 yard rushing back Tim Siders, who was injured in the second quarter of the week 10 loss to River Hill. The Gladiators didn't need Siders versus the Bulldogs, as Stephen Bullard stepped in and rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown, and returned a blocked punt recovery for a score in the Gladiators 28-6 win.
In the regional final, the Glads met the Potomac Wolverines, 50-27 winners over Forestville in the opening round. The Wolverines held a 18-6 edge in the second quarter, before Joe Blodgett returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards to the house, to cut the lead Wolves lead to 18-14. The Wolverines gained insurance with a score to go up 26-14, before Blodgett scored again, on a 27 yard touchdown reception to cut the lead to 5, 26-21. The Gladiators had two chances late, the last ending their hopes on an interception, with 48 seconds to play.
Siders made the All-County 1st team a second time, after rushing for 1,146 yards and 14 touchdowns. Three Gladiators made the All-County 1st team defensive unit - defensive back Scott Dunsmore (5 int), and linebackers Blodgett (93 tackles) and Justin Frederick, who led the county with 167 tackles, the second highest total in county history, was named Howard County Defensive Player of the Year. Kicker Josh Isaacs made the All-County 1st team for a second time.
🏆 - State Champions
🥈 - State Runner-up
🥉 - Regional Champions
🏅 - County Champions
Posted 14 August 2019 - 11:31 AM
40 '69 Howard Lions (9-1, 3-0) - Coach Bill Caudill 🎖 >>> This was Coach Caudill's first 1-loss team, one that led the Lions program to a 66-7-2 record over a 7 year period from '69 through '75. 7 years, 7 losses. Caudill had the talent that would coincide with the successful winning formula that he would use until he took a job at WT Woodson, a larger Virginia school just across the southern border.
Caudill would later lament that the more successful the Lions got, the harder it was to schedule quality competition. In '69, the Lions had just 3 county teams to play, Glenelg, Atholton, whose program was three years young, and Mt Hebron, playing in its first varsity season. Shortly after this 9-1 season, and early on during its 47 game win streak, many other area powers refused to play the relatively smaller school (both Atholton and Hebron drained students/players from Howard over those several years), hence Caudill's desire to build a program on a bigger landscape.
The Lions traveled across the state to find competition, from Garrett County to the Eastern Shore. In '69, Caudill did find a few quality teams to play, in addition to its then 10 year rivalry game with Glenelg, in the Elgard Bowl. Future Hammond Head Coach Joe Russo was an assistant to Caudill, who also once had two other legendary area coaches by his side just outside the white lines - longtime Atholton Coach Don Van Deusen, who along with his son Brian, would later go on to build the River Hill program, and Roger Wrenn, who would go on to win 284 games at Poly and Patterson.
The running attack would feature a back that would hold the all-time county rushing mark for a sophomore for 47 years, until both Glenelg's Wande Owens and the Lions Devin Dawkins finally snapped the total in 2016. Caudill's defense would allow just 6 touchdowns all season, posting 5 shutouts in 10 games.
The Lions began the season with a 44-8 pasting of Francis Scott Key, then a 20-0 shutout of Andover. Caudill and the Lions finally had a quality opponent in front of them in week 3, Mt St Joe of the powerful MSA conference.
The Lions shocked the Gaels, 20-19, in an upset that would put the Lions on the area's gridiron map. The Lions had to dig themselves out of a hole, fumbling on their first possession, and taking a 19-6 deficit into intermission. That's when the Lions showed area sports fans what it would be about for the foreseeable future, with a defense that gave away nothing, and a running attack that would both control the ball and score touchdowns.
In the second half, the Lions defense stymied the Gaels, holding the favorites scoreless in the second half, not allowing them across midfield. Meanwhile, super sophomore back Jerome Moore scored two of his three touchdowns after intermission to lead the Lions to a 20-19 comeback, upset win. Moore rushed for 203 yards and three scores on 26 carries.
The following week, the Lions shut out Brooklyn Parl, 32-0, beginning a six week run of outscoring their six opponents by a total of 170-12, including four shutouts. Moore added another 200 yard (202) game in the 30-0 win over Easton.
The Lions did pay a toll while rolling to 9-0, losing five defensive starters between weeks seven through nine. It meant little in the 62-0 thrashing of first year program Mt Hebron in week 9, but it would prove costly in week 10, when the Lions suffered their first loss to The Sun's #4 ranked Edgewood, 20-0. The Lions depleted defense, who had allowed just three touchdowns in nine games, allowed three in just one.
The Lions allowed just 5.7 points per game that season, which still ranks 11th all-time in county history. Moore led the county in rushing, with 1,481 yards, scoring 14 touchdowns, and was named to the All-Met Honorable Mention team. Moore's 134.4 yards per game (16 gms or more) for his career still ranks tops among the Lions all-time greats. Keith Krantz was the Lions top lineman, making paths for Moore. Don White, the signal caller, guided the Lions. Defendive end Bill Nelson and linebackers Jim Carpenter and Clint Dawda led the Lions D.
39 '98 Wilde Lake Wildecats (9-2, 9-0) - Coach Doug DuVall 🎖 >>> The Cats followed their undefeated state champion predecessors, and completed an unbeaten county slate themselves. Though they wouldn't win a 6th state title for themselves and Coach DuVall, the Cats would beat a team that would win a state chsmpionship, by two touchdowns.
Things started out rocky for 'The Lake', losing their opener to Bel Air, 27-21. The Cats would face their arch rival Oakland Mills in an unusual early season matchup in week 2. The Cats took their opening drive to the Scorpions 7 yard line, but the Scorps stuffed the defending state champion four straight times. Early in the second quarter, the Cats Kye Snell was stripped of the ball, and OM recovered the ball on the Cats 22 yard line. Two plays later, TJ Welsh connected on a 22 yard touchdown pass to Tom Browne for the game's first score.
The Cats tied it up on the following possession, on a Danny Bayron 2 yard run. The Scorpions countered, as Julian Barfield plunged in from 2 yards to give the Scorpions a 13-7 lead with 1:12 to play before intermission. The Cats needed just 5 plays and 53 yards to score, on a 5 yard pass to Snell, and the extra point gave the Cats a 14-13 halftime lead.
The Scorpions had lost the momentum, then lost the ball on the second half kickoff, and it was all Cats the rest of the way. Jimmy Levins scored twice in the 27-13 win over the Scorpions, who would go on to win 11 straight games and the 1A state title.
The Cats followed up the rivalry game by putting away River Hill, 27-7. The following week, the Cats scored 20 unanswered points to beat Centennial, 33-15. In week 10, the Cats annihilated Howard, 55-27, where the defending state champs built a 35-6 halftime lead, and won their 30th consecutive league game. As usual, the Cats featured a dynamic running game, as shown in the Lions win. Levins gained 166 yards on the ground and scored three touchdowns, while Danny Bayron rushed for 119 yards and three touchdowns, on 19 carries.
The Cats faced undefeated Eastern Tech in the state quarterfinals, played at Kenwood High in Baltimore County. The Mavericks struck early, scoring on the second play from scrimmage when Scott Pearce hit Steve Larston on a 64 yard touchdown pass. Bayron evened it up with a 3 yard score after a 12 play, 61 yard drive. The Mavs responded with a Ray Jones 9 yard run to give the Mavs a 13-7 lead. The Cats took the lead with just 19 seconds to play in the first half when Seth Smith hit Kye Shell on a 42 yard score, to go up, 14-13.
Bayron added to the lead in the third quarter with another score, and the Cats had a 20-13 margin. But the Mavs Pearce hooked up with Lawston for two scores in the fourth quarter, the last with 1:37 to play, to take a 27-20 lead, which would stand.
Bayron was named to the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post All-Met 1st team as a defensive back, after registering 127 tackles (75 solo), adding 887 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns, while returning 15 punts for 201 yards. Levins led the league in rushing with 1,541 yards, scoring 23 touchdowns. Lineman Sean Jefferson and Alex Stanley made the All-County 1st team, paving the way for Levins and Bayron.
Also joining those Cats on the All-County 1st team were linebacker Nick Service, who made 125 tackles (71 solo), and led the league in tackles for loss, with 25. Josh Vanderwagen recorded 15 tackles for loss, and 7 sacks. Defensive back Chris Yetter added 99 tackles, and was named to the All-County team.
38 '02 Glenelg Gladiators (10-1, 8-0) - Coach John Davis 🥉🎖 >>> The '02 Gladiators followed a '01 team that went 10-1, finishing with a 10-0 regular season for the first time in school history, which followed a regional title team in '00. These Gladiators shared the county title with Wilde Lake, who also went 10-0, as the two didn't meet during the 8 game league slate.
The Gladiators had only two league opponents come within 14 points of them - in a 28-26 win over River Hill, and a 18-14 victory over Long Reach. The Gladiators leader, Kevin Ganascioli, came up huge in the win over the Hawks, rushing for 161 yards, while making 14 tackles on the other side of the ball. In the week 6 matchup with the Long Reach, the Lightning jumped out to a 14-0 lead, before the Gladiators put together a 60 yard touchdown drive in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 8, 14-6.
In the third quarter, the Bolts fumbled twice in Glenelg territory. With less than 7 minutes to play, Tim Phelps hit Randy Gardner on a slant that turned into a 22 yard touchdown, and the Lightning lead was 14-12, after a failed two-point conversion. After Ty Moyers recovered the Lightning's fourth fumble with less than 5 minutes to play, the Gladiators took their first lead three plays later on a 20 yard Phelps to Ganascioli pass for a 18-14 lead, and ultimately, the win.
The Gladiators dominated Howard in the Elgard Bowl, pummeling the Lions, 48-8. The Gladiators showed their offensive prowess by scoring 47 points in a 28 point win over Mt Hebron, 49 in a 36 point win over Hammond, and 55 in a 49 point win over Atholton.
A week later, the Glads topped 5-1 Oakland Mills, 28-13. The Gladiators closed out the regular season with a 56-12 trouncing of Century, to finish 10-0 for the second year in a row, and winning back-to-back county titles for the first time in school history.
The Gladiators faced Middletown in the state quarterfinals, in the same round the Knights dispatched the Glads a year earlier, 7-0. This was played in a downpour at Glenelg, in a rain soaked quagmire. On the first play from scrimmage, the Gladiators Tim Siders took advantage of the conditions and scampered for a 68 yard touchdown. The Knights evened it up early in the second quarter, then took the lead on Josh Kenney's 5 yard run with less than three minutes to play in the first half. Glenelg cut the margin to 4, 14-10, following Josh Isaac's 21 yard field goal, after they couldn't get the ball into the end zone. Siders finished with 133 rushing yards in the first half.
The Knights went up two scores when Kenney broke off a 69 yard score of his own, with less than five minutes to play. While Siders was held to 11 rushing yards in the second half, the Knights Kenney scored his third touchdown of the day, and finished with 289 yards rushing in the 28-10 win. The Gladiators back-to-back perfect regular seasons both came to an abrupt end from the hands of the Knights, both in the state quarterfinals.
Ganascioli was named Howard County Player of the Year, after rushing for 1,000 yards for a second year in a row. Siders, a junior, also rushed for 1,000 yards, and was named to the All-County 1st team. Linebacker Bryan Walsh and kicker Josh Isaacs, also a junior, also were named to the county's top team. The Gladiators 37.5 points per game scoring average in the regular season ranks 10th best in county history.
37 '74 Wilde Lake Wildecats (9-1, 4-1) >>> These Wildecats neither won the county title or made the playoffs, but considering their one loss was to the legendary '74 Howard Lions team, by one possession, denying the Cats the county title, and likely the state title, and considering the Lions crushed Paint Branch, 40-14, in the state title game, these Cats were one of the best seasons n the area.
The Cats smashed a pair of MSA programs, Mt St Joe (37-6) and Cardinal Gibbons (36-0). Tony Tsonis threw for 140 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 70 yards and a touchdown in the win over Gibbons, while thr Cats held their opponents to a meager 12 yards of offense.
The Cats began their rivalry series with Oakland Mills in '74, in the Scorpions first season, shutting out the Scorpions, 34-0. The Cats scored 48 on Catonsville in a 38 point win, and scored 52 points in a 39 point win over Atholton. The Cats also posted a 22-8 victory over previously unbeaten St Mary's.
This juggernaut followed a pair of 1-9 seasons in their first two years of the program. The '74 Cats were one of the most explosive offensive units in the state, with the passing game behind the arm of Tsonis, and the running game behind the legs of junior Eric Brooks.
What stood in front of them were the defending District V (pre-MPSSAA) Champion Howard Lions, who had a 31 overall game win streak heading into their week 8 showdown with the Cats. The Lions came into the showdown 7-0, averaging 41 points per game, allowing only 12 points in 7 games. The Cats, also 7-0, came in averaging 375 yards of offense, and 34 points per game.
This would be one for the ages, played before the biggest crowd to ever see a sporting event in Howard County history, with an estimated 5,500 in attendance at the Lions Den, including yours truly. Old school, new school. The new Columbia school four years young, and the county flagship, once known as Howard County High.
The buzz was in the air, both inside the stadium and the four-deep rows outside the fence. The buzz turned ballistic when Tsonis hit Mike Burgess on a 83 yard touchdown pass on the first play of the game. The Lions had allowed just one touchdowns in their first seven games in '74, just three in their last eighteen games, dating back to '73. First play. The place was in a frenzy.
Later in the first quarter, future pro Wayne Wilson's touchdown run gave the Lions a 7-6 lead. The Cats Chuck Johnston nailed a 36 yard field hoal to give the Cats a 9-7 lead that carried into intermission.
The Lions countered, and retook the lead at 10 -9 following Dan Hottowe's 26 yards field goal early in the third quarter. The Wildecats had a huge opportunity when Bruce Williams intercepted a Scott Swope pass, and after a penalty tacked on, had the ball on the Lions 23. Three plays later, following a penalty, Johnston's potential go-ahead 46 yard field goal went awry and the Lions had the ball on their own 20 yard line.
The Lions capitalized, methodically gaining 35 yards on 6 plays, before Swope found Craig Harrington on a 45 yard touchdown pass to give the Lions a 17-9 lead. The Lions defense smothered the Cats on their final three possessions and went on to win their 32nd straight game. Meanwhile, the Cats post-season hopes were exstinguished, losing a one possession game to one of the best programs in the state.
Tsonis was named the Baltimore Sun All-Met 1st team, throwing for 1,629 yards and 15 touchdowns, while running in 5 scores. Brooks, the junior back, was the county's leading rusher, gaining 1,573 yards on the ground, scoring 14 times. Receiver Burgess led the state in touchdown receptions, with 11. Johnston, the offensive lineman and kicker, was named to the All-County 1st team, as was the defensive end, Williams. Brooks 157.3 yards per game (1.4 yards behind Rafael Wall's '90 mark of 158.7 for second) still ranks third best in school history, while Tsonis 162.9 passing yards per game through the air ranks second in Cats history, 2.4 yards behind Jim Traber's '77 mark of 165.3.
36 '01 Glenelg Gladiators (10-1, 9-0) - Coach John Davis 🎖 >>> A year after winning their first playoff game in school history, in their fourth appearance in the post-season, the '01 Gladiators won their first outright county title in 22 years. The '77 team was awarded the county championship after Wilde Lake had to forfeit the crown due to an age eligibility violation. Two years later, in '79, the Glads won their only other outright county title, though at 8-2, didn't qualify for the playoffs. The Gladiators also gained shares of the county title in '81 and '85.
This would be the first of three straight seasons that the Gladiators would win 10 games, and the first of three straight seasons that coach John Davis' charges would average more than 30 points per game in the Double Wing-T.
The Gladiators began county play with a 35-0 shutout of Oakland Mills, a team that were undefeated county champions just ten months before. Following another 35-0 shutout of Howard in the Elgard Bowl in week 4, the Gladiators faced emerging River Hill the following week
The game was tied at 20, when Kevin Ganascioli capped off a 8 play, 54 yard drive with a 2 yard touchdown run to make it 27-20, with 9:32 to play. The Hawks responded with a 14 play scoring drive, finished with a Matt Hostetler to Curt Gilliam 14 yard touchdown pass, followed by a successful two-point conversion when John Clark caught a Hostetler pass in the end zone, and the Hawks took a one point lead, with 3:11 to play.
The Gladiators responded with a rare Tim Phelps pass for an eventual game-winning score from 21 yards out with 1:37 to go. The Gladiators defense held firm, and the Glads moved to 5-0 with a 33-28 win. Glenelg added a 23 point win over Centennial and a 23 point victory against Hammond, before winning a wild 46-36 contest with Mt Hebron in week 8.
The Gladiators finished out their first undefeated season in school history with wins in weeks 9 and 10, and completed the regular season ranked #2 in the Baltimore Sun. The Gladiators would face another undefeated squad in Middletown, which was played before a crowd of 2,500 at Glenelg.
The Gladiators explosive offense was shut down by the Knights, and the Knights took a 7-0 lead on Josh Kenney's 3 yard run midway through the second period, capping off a 9 play, 53 yard drive. Meanwhile, the Gladiators mustered only 53 yards of offense in the first half. That trend continued after intermission, but the Gladiators did approach the Knights 'red zone' with just under 10 minutes to play, when on a 2nd-and-9 on the 26, Phelps was intercepted. The Gladiators running duo of Ganascioli and Jay Hamilton, who had averaged 208 rushing yards per game coming in, managed just 78 yards on 27 carries. Despite Kenney gaining 189 yards on the ground, the Gladiators defense held the 11-0 Knights to just one score.
Rob LeHayne was the first, and remains the only, offensive lineman in Howard County history to be named Player of the Year. Le Hayne and All-County 1st team lineman Will Partington paved the way for the Gladiators, who averaged 33.6 points per game in the regular season, and boasted two 1,000 yard rushers.
Ganascioli, a junior, was named to the All-County 1st team after gaining 1,060 yards averaging 11.4 yards per carry. The junior put together one of the greatest performances in county history when he rushed for 219 yards and 3 touchdowns on 10 carries in a victory over Mt Hebron, all the while returning a 99 yard kickoff return for a score, and returning two interceptions for touchdowns, scoring 6 touchdowns in all.
Hamilton joined Ganascioli on the All-County 1st team, after the 6'0 190 pound senior gained 1,090 yards on the ground, giving the Gladiators a pair of '1k' backs. Kenny Dunsmore, who missed his junior year with a neck injury, rebounded to join the dynamic duo on the 1st team.
🏆 - State Champions
🥈 - State Runner-up
🥉 - Regional Champions
🏅 - County Champions
Posted 15 August 2019 - 08:50 AM
Those questions were alleviated early, as the Scorps ran through their trio of out-of-county contests, all played on the road, which was standard practice at the time on Kilimanjaro. After a 26-0 shutout at Frederick, the Scorpions followed that with a 9-3 victory at Good Counsel, then a 28-6 rout of Central.
The Scorpions received just one test before their winner-take-all week 10 showdown with Wilde Lake. That came in their Homecoming Game, where the Scorpions trailed 20-6 at halftime to Atholton. The Scorps hadn't allowed 20 points in an entire game in 24 games. The Scorpions responded with 21 unanswered points in the second half to go 6-0. The Raiders win followed a 35-12 rout at Glenelg, where the Scorpions uncharacteristically threw four touchdown passes, compliments of Oklahoma transplant Brian Small. The Scorpions handled Mt Hebron, then shut out both Centennial and Howard, heading into their prize fight at Wilde Lake, where they would be Homecoming guests.
The week 10 clash featured the Scorpions, with their punishing rushing attack, averaging 241 yards per game on the ground, led by Steve Payne, and complimented by Thomas Washington and Rodney Hall. Add to that, a defense that had allowed just 3 touchdowns in the 8.5 games, outside the first half with Atholton. Wilde Lake, meanwhile, also boasted an attacking defense, a sound running game, and a dangerous passing attack, led by the arm of Jimmy Bennett, who then held the county record for throwing 391 yards in a game.
The game was a slugfest on that blustery day on Trumpeter Road, one that remained scoreless deep into the first half, until the Scorps sophomore call-up Tom Arnett banged through a 32 yard field goal for the only points of the first half. In the third quarter, the Scorpions went for it on a 4th-and-8 inside the Cats 30 yard line, when Small hit Doug Green on a 27 yard touchdown pass to give the guests a 9-0 lead. The Cats blocked their second kick of the game on the extra point, after blocking a field goal attempt in the first quarter.
The Cats seemed to receive a gift, when back to punt, the Scorpions punter Jeff Bright felt pressure and never got off the kick, and the Cats had the ball on their rivals 20 yard line. Two plays later, after a 3 yard loss, Leonard Bluitt hit Scoop Parham on a 23 yard halfback-option pass for a score to cut the lead to 9-6, after the Scorpions blocked the point after.
In the fourth, Small fumbled, and the Cats had the ball on the Scorps 33 yard line. Two players later, the Orange & Black got the ball back on a fumble recovery. After milking the clock to 1:39 remaining behind runs from Payne, the Cats had one shot left to give their Homecoming faithful something to cheer about. It wasn't to be as the stingy Scorpions defense stopped the Cats on four downs, finalized by an interception by Derek Faison, and the guests held on, 9-6.
The Scorpions faced fellow undefeated Milford Mill in the state semifinals, with the Millers featuring future NFL & MLB pro, Brian Jordan. The Millers scored on their first drive, going 76 yards, largely behind Jordan, to take a 6-0 lead. Defense on both dides dominated the rest of the half, and the score stood at 6-0 at intermission, with the Scorpions receiving the ball in the second half.
Then, the turning point in the game, when the Scorps fumbled the kickoff at their own 18. Six plays later, the Millers capitalized, to go up 14-0. The Scorpions got on the board with a 27 yard pass from Small to Mike Todd, to cut the lead to 7 in the fourth, but couldn't find the end zone again. The Scorpions defense came through again, but the offense didn't deliver. Following the first drive, the Scorpions held Jordan to 46 yards on 15 carries.
The Scorpions fell short in their third playoff appearance, but were the first county team to go 10-0 in the regular season since the ‘78 Scorpions did, 5 years earlier. The Scorpions 6.5 points allowed ranks 16th best, all-time in county history.
Two-way Lineman Terrence McMillian was named Howard County Defensive Player of the Year, while being named to the Baltimore Sun All-Met 2st team on offense. Two-time All-County 1st team defensive end Kenny Hoff was named to the Baltimore Sun All-Met 2nd team, after leading the league in sacks, with 12.5, adding 4 blocked kicks. Two-way lineman John Bates was named to the Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mention team.
Joining the trio of lineman on the All-County team were the Scorpions leading tackler, inside linebacker David Pritchett, the Scorpions leading rusher, Steve Payne, and safety Mike Todd, who grabbed 7 percent interceptions.
34 '04 River Hill Hawks (10-1, 9-0) - Coach Brian Van Deusen🎖 >>> This Hawks team led to the succession of titles the program would capture shortly thereafter, and would be the first in school history to register a 10-0 regular season, and the first of five that would accomplish the feat over the next six seasons. ‘04 would be the the first of seven straight county titles or shares for the Hawks.
The Hawks handled the county competition rather easily, as Mt Hebron was the only team in the league to come within single-digits, in a 19-17 contest. The week before the Vikings scare, the Hawks routed then 7-0 Long Reach, 52-21. The Lightning, who came in looking to take the county lead, had allowed just six touchdowns in their seven games, before the Hawks 52 point outburst.
The Hawks sprinted out to a 28 point lead in the second quarter, thanks to a pair of Davonl Smith touchdown runs, one from 31 yards out, and another from 49 yards out. The Lightning scored twice in the second quarter, but the Hawks found the end zone again, taking a 35-14 halftime lead. The Hawks added their fifth, sixth and seventh touchdowns of the day in the 52-21 romp to take control of the county race, at 8-0.
The Hawks week 9 showdown also paired of unbeaten teams, the Hawks and Mt Hebron, with both looking to go 9-0 for the first time in the histories of either of the programs. The Vikings held the Hawks out of the end zone in the first half, and led 10-3 at intermission. The Vikes took their lead to 17-3 following Chris Eccleston's 60 yard scamper. The Hawks clawed back when Tyler Martin caught a 22 yard touchdown pass from Ben Hostetler to cut the lead to 7.
The Hawks added another touchdown with 38 seconds left in the third quarter, but missed the extra point, and trailed, 17-16. But Ryan Dieter made up for his missed extra point by banging through a game-winning 39 yard field goal to win it 19-17.
Following their first unbeaten regular season in school history, the Hawks faced Douglass of Prince George's County in the regional semifinal. The Hawks and Eagles saw a wild first half, one that saw 6 touchdowns scored. For every Eagles touchdown, the Hawks matched, though the Eagles carried a 22-20 lead at half, after converting two of three two-point conversions.
Davon Smith caight a 25 yard touchdown pass from Hostetler midway through the third quarter, to give the Hawks a 26-22 advantage. The Eagles countered this time, with a 49 yard touchdown run to retake the lead, 30-26, late in the third quarter. The Eagles added another score in the fourth, and the Hawks couldn't muster any more points, losing 36-26.
Eight Hawks made the All-County 1st team. Remarkably, all on offense. Ben Hostetler made All-County 1st team as a QB, All-Met 2nd team as a DB. Hostetler threw for 16 TD, ran for 8 TD, and picked off 10 INT. Tyler Martin gained 1,221 rushing yards, scored 13 times, and registered 6 sacks. Greg Nowak had 37 receptions for 604 yards and 6 TD.
Lineman BJ Benning, David Erdman, and Kevin Biegel all made the All-County 1st team. Tight end John Pattillo had 26 receptions for 307 yards and 4 TD. Kicker Ryan Dieter hit 5 FG, including game-winner v Mt Hebron.
33 '02 Wilde Lake Wildecats (10-1, 8-0) - Coach Doug DuVall 🎖 >>> After having advanced to the playoffs in 12 of 15 years, the Cats had been shut out of the post-season in 2000 and 2001. It also had been five years since 'The Lake' had won a playoff game. Meanwhile, in those five years, Oakland Mills had won a state title in '98, and finished as a runner-up in '01, while both Howard and Glenelg had won regional titles.
The '02 Wildecats were fortified with the main ingredients that had propelled them in the past, a crushing defense, and a dominant run game. The Cats opened the season by beating Howard and Atholton by a total of 92-0.
Then the Cats annihilated Oakland Mills, giving their cross-town rivals their worst loss in the rivalry series, 47-7, since it first began in the early 70's. The Cats jumped out to a 27 point halftime lead and cruised, with AJ Case running for 165 yards and two touchdowns, and Austen Marrills rushing for 131 yards on 14 carries. Case added a 36 yard interception for a score.
Two weeks later, the Cats would face the quickly emerging River Hill program, which was 4-1. The Hawks was on the scoreboard first, and maintained a 13-7 lead into halftime. In the third quarter, quarterback Derek Bell took a 6 yard into the end zone to give the Wildecats a 14-13 lead. The Hawks added a field goal in the third to retake the lead, 16-14. In the fourth, the Cats countered with a 13 play drive, but couldn't punch it in, and a potential go-ahead three-point try from 21 yards away was no good.
The Cats stopped the Hawks on the ensuing drive and had the ball with 4:28 remaining in the game. Case then punctuated a 7 play, 61 yard drive with a 20 yard touchdown run to put the Cats up 20-16 with 1:18 to play. But a Chris Martin fumble recovered by the Cats Garth Hendrick sealed the deal for the Hawks, to put the 'Green and Yellow' at 5-0.
In week 10, with the Cats standing at 9-0, Coach Doug DuVall won his 250th game in a 43-22 victory over Mt Hebron.
The Cats had to face Montgomery County's Northwest in the state quarterfinal (the MPSSAA playoffs would expand to 16 teams per classification a year later). The Cats started out with a 13 play, 82 yard drive, but resulted in a 29 yard field goal attempt that fell short. The Jaguars mounted their own 13 play, 87 yard drive in the second quarter and capitalized on a 2 yard score by Travis Jackdon to take a 6-0 lead, that would carry into halftime.
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, Jackson fumbled on the Jags own 15 yard line and the Cats pounced. Four plays later, Case scored on a 2 yard run, and with a successful kick, the Cats took a 7-6 lead. After a pair of back-and-forth punts, the Jags went ahead with a 47 yard run from Jackson, 12-7, late in the third quarter. Jackson added a 33 yard interception for six in the fourth to put the Cats away, 19-7. Case rushed for 132 yards and a score on 22 carries, but the Cats would score just once.
Case and Merrills became the first pair of teammates to both gain over 1,200 rushing yards in the same season. Merrills rushed for 1,312 yards and 18 touchdowns, and Case gained 1,227 yards on the ground, scoring 17 touchdowns. Case was named to the Baltimore Sun All-Met 1st team, while Merrills was named to the 2nd team.
Defensive lineman Doug Smith was named HoCo Defensive Player of the Year. Joining that trio on the All-County 1st team was defensive end Jeff Woodson (93 tackles, 13 tfl), defensive lineman Dane Randolph, lineman Colin Queen and Shawn Frederick, and quarterback Hemp Fields.
32 '96 Wilde Lake Wildecats (10-1, 7-0) - Coach Doug DuVall 🎖 >>> It had been four years since winning a county title, after four years of unusual mediocrity from the Cats, and four years after their predecessors had won or shared 8 of the prior 9 county banners. This Cats group turned everything around, producing one of the most dominant regular seasons in county history.
The '96 Cats outscored their regular season opponents by a count of 372 to 44, or 37.2 to 4.4 per game. Like old times, these Cats possessed a stout defense and a punishing running game. The '96 Cats, despite coming up short in the playoffs, delivered a 35.1 scoring average, which currently ranks as 12th best in county history, allowed just 6.2 points per game, 9th best in county history, with a +28.9 point differential, also 9th best in county history.
The closest anyone in the county came to the Cats were the Atholton Raiders, who suffered a 21-7 defeat. The Wildecats dominated their arch rival, Oakland Mills, 27-3, where the four-time champs outplayed their villains in all facets of the game, including the running game, with star back Dain Lewis gaining 163 yards and scoring four touchdowns on 26 carries.
Lewis, who had accounted 186 points himself through the first 10 games, was one half of the Cats pair of backs that rushed for 1,000 yards. After going 10-0, the Cats were intent on winning their fourth state championship in seven years, and fifth overall. A run of three straight playoff victories would equal that state title, and give the legendary coach his 200th win in the title game.
The Cats closed out the regular season not having allowed a touchdown in their last three games.
The Cats faced Middletown in the quarterfinals, and things looked rosy almost immediately, when the Cats Matt Shannon recovered a Knights fumble on the opening kickoff, to give the hosts the ball on their opponents 29 yard line. The Cats faced a 4th-and-6 on the Knights 8 when Derek Bell hit a wide open Warren Bragg in the back of the end zone before bouncing off the receivers pads. The Knights responded with an 8 play, 92 yard drive to go up 7-0. Following an interception by Brandon Finney, the Cats tied it up when Bell connected with Anthony Jackson on a 37 yard touchdown pass, with 11:24 remaining in the first half. The Cats and Knights traded interceptions, but it was the Knights that capitalized, taking a 14-7 midway through the second quarter.
The Cats struck quickly, shortly thereafter, when Dain Lewis two yard scoring run followed a Bell to Jackson 38 yard completion to tie it at 14. The Knights added a field goal in the waning moments of the first half to take a 17-14 lead into intermission. The Knights stuffed the Cats prolific running game in the second half and added another touchdown to win 24-14.
Lewis was named to the Baltimore Sun All-Met 1st team after rushing for 1,571 yards and scoring 27 touchdowns, while adding 114 tackles (61 solo) and 10 tackles for loss. Safety Tony Jackson and tackle Josh Vanderwagen joined Lewis on the All-Met 1st team. Jackson recorded 124 tackles (68 solo), 10 tackles for loss, and 4 interceptions, while adding 23 receptions for 485 yards and 5 touchdowns. Vanderwagen was a big part of their running game that accumulated more than 3,000 rushing yards. A 6'6, 265 pound big part.
Sean Jefferson was one of the eight Cats named to the All-County 1st team, joining the three above, after rushing for 1,111 yards and adding 5 interceptions on defense. Center Pat Chamberlain, safety Quentin Collins (6 interceptions, 2 TD), and linebackers Kyle Liebe (115 tackles) and Pat North (117 tackles, 25 tfl) rounded out the eight Cats on the All-County 1st team.
31 '89 Wilde Lake Wildecats (10-2, 7-0) - Coach Doug DuVall 🥉🎖 >>> This '89 Cat pack was the precursor to the three straight state champions of '90-92, a team that had very few challenges during league play, and one that led to the first of four post-season classics with the Swarmin' Hornets of Damascus. This would be the fifth county title in six years for the Cats, and the second in which the Cats scratched through league play unbeaten.
The Cats quest for an overall unbeaten season came to an abrupt end early in September, when Perry Hall, ranked #6 in The Sun, knocked off the Cats, 14-8, winning on a go route on the last play of the game. The Cats opened with a 32-6 win over Havre de Grace, a team that had played in four straight 1A state title games. The Cats toughest test in league play came against Atholton, where the Cats needed last minute heroics of their own to knock off the Raiders. Down 10-7, Cats quarterback Phil White found Ronnie Brooks going down the right sideline for a 46 yard game-winning touchdown pass with less than 30 seconds to play to win it.
They would play the next two toughest opponents in the county in weeks 9 and 10, Hammond and Oakland Mills. In week 9, the Cats took a 10-0 lead on the Bears, before Hammond evened it up at 10 in the second quarter. Then, with 1:14 left in the first half, the Cats used six plays to go 72 yards, punctuated by White's 9 yard scramble to put the Cats ahead, 17-10, at halftime. The Cats held the Bears scoreless in the second half and held on, 20-10.
In the week 10 finale against the arch rival Scorpions, the Cats started out with a bang. Junior Rafael Wall broke off a 80 yard touchdown run on the first play of the game and never looked back, Wall would score on a 9 yard run in the second half to give the Cats a 21-6 lead, where it stayed. The Cats would make their fourth playoff appearance in five years.
These Cats had the same ingredients their '85 state title team possessed, a run heavy offense, with a suffocating defense. There was a time when the Cats possessed an aerial attack on their better teams, such as the '74 team with hurler Tony Tsonis, the '77 and '78 teams with record-breaking quarterback Jim Traber, and the '83 team with Jimmy Bennett, who would throw 391 yards in one game. But the '89 team mirrored the '85 title team, and the Cats '90, '91, '92, and '97 title teams that would come down the road, led by a punishing rushing attack, led by the junior Wall, and the senior Brooks.
The Cats faced Aberdeen in the state quarterfinals, and disposed of 'The Deen', with a 28-0 shutout. Wall rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, and Brooks added 84 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. The line play on both sides of the ball had been instrumental all year, led by All-County 1st teamers CJ Johnson and Ken Gray. Lineman Pat Grace, junior junior Ricky Rowe, and Danny Tregar added to the stout defense that held the Eagles scoreless, and all were named to the All-County 1st team.
In the state semifinal versus the Swarmin' Hornets, things got off to a rocky start for the Cats, when Brooks fumbled on the third play of the game. Three plays later, the Hornets cashed in with a short 3 yard pass to take a 7-0 lead. Brooks redeemed himself by taking the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown. After a missed extra point, the Cats trailed 7-6. But the following possession, the Swarmin' Hornets produced an 11 play, 64 yard touchdown drive to go up, 14-6. The Cats clawed back with a touchdown score in the second quarter, but couldn't add anything with a failed conversion, and trailed 14-12.
The Cats running attack was stymied in the second half, and the Hornets capitalized on a drive where the Cats were penalized for three unsportsmanlike plays, and would add a final score to win 20-12. Cats were doomed by 14 penalties, costing them 115 yards.
Both Wall and Brooks made the All-County 1st team after amassing just short of 2,500 yards on the ground, collectively. Wall and Rowe would return the following year beginning the run of the Cats three straight state titles.
🏆 - State Champions
🥈 - State Runner-up
🥉 - Regional Champions
🏅 - County Champions
Posted 16 August 2019 - 08:47 AM
30 '10 River Hill Hawks (10-2, 9-1) - Coach Brian Van Deusen 🥉🎖 >>> These Hawks were the class that had their 5 regional title, 48 game county win streak snapped, but did keep their seven straight county title streak intact. A year after losing a heartbreaker in the state semifinal at Huntingtown, denying the Hawks a state title 3-peat, these Hawks opened the '10 season with a 27-6 win over eventual county co-champ Hammond.
The Hawks continued to roll with a trio of romps over Centennial, Long Reach and Reservoir, by an average point differential of +32.7, scoring 42.7 points per game. Then, the 48 county win streak came to an end, when the Atholton Raiders had done what no other county school had done since 2005, beat the two-time state champions, in a 12-0 shutout. It was the first shutout of the Hawks in 11 years.
After shutting out Howard, 34-0, the Hawks faced the eventual 3A state champion Wilde Lake. The Hawks led 14-0, when the Hawks Ryheem Vaughn returned an interception 80 yards for a score to make it 21-0, before winning 21-6. The Hawks would finish the regular season at 9-1, tied with Hammond for the league title, two games ahead of the Cats.
The Hawks would win their 11th of their last 12 playoff games with an opening round trouncing of Decatur, 47-14, setting up a rematch with Wilde Lake in the regional final. While the Hawks were looking for their third state championship in four years, the Cats were vying for their sixth state title in school history.
The Hawks opened the game with a 65 yard scoring drive, capped off by an Aaron Wells 3 yard score. The Cats evened it up just before halftime when AJ Harris converted a 4th-and-15 into a 26 yard touchdown run. The two Howard County juggernauts kept each other scoreless in the second half, sending the regional final to overtime.
In the extra session, Joe Kelly found E'Ron Pruitt on a 5 yard touchdown pass, but the point after was blocked. The Hawks, who were held scoreless since their first drive of the game, were kept out of the end zone again, and the Cats won their 9th regional championship, and eventually, won their 6th state title.
Wells was selected to the All-County 1st team, after rushing for 1,366 yards and 20 touchdowns. Linebacker Brett Kluge was named to the Washington Post All-Met 2nd team.
Defensive lineman Jordan Griffin and linebacker Billy Davis, who registered 125 tackles, were also selected to the All-County 1sr team. The '10 Hawks finished with a +21.7 point differential, with a loss to the eventual state champion in overtime.
Coach Van Deusen has led the Hawks to their county record 7th straight county title, a period where the Hawks went 84-7, 66-2 in league play.
The ‘10 Hawks averaged 31.4 points per game, with a +21.7 point differential, 22nd best in county history. The Hawks finished ranked #18 in the Maryland Football Writers Media Poll, #11 among Maryland public schools.
29 '90 Oakland Mills Scorpions (10-2, 7-1) - Coach Ken Klock 🎖 >>> Despite losing the state of Maryland's leading rusher in week 9, these Scorpions were an overtime away from playing in the state final game. Losing Korey Singleton, who had rushed for 1,817 yards and 24 touchdowns in nine games, was just too much to overcome, both in their battle with Wilde Lake in week 10 for the county title, and CM Wright, where they suffered their overtime loss in the state semifinal.
The Scorpions rolled out to a 9-0 record with a healthy Singleton in the backfield, having outscored their six county opponents by a margin of 246 to 30, an average of 41.5-5 per game. The Scorpions began the season with a very impressive shutout at Calvert Hall, 19-0, following that win with an equally impressive 13-7 victory at Frederick power, Linganore. In week 9, the Scorps crushed Glenelg, 64-12, but received the most crushing blow, losing Singleton from its backfield, in a 52 point rout.
The Scorpions had allowed just four touchdowns in their six cointy games heading into the week 10 showdown with fellow 9-0, Wilde Lake. The Scorpions were never in it, physically or mentally, and the Wildecats cashed in, 18-0, for the county title.
The Scorpions faced Laurel in the state quarterfinal, and the outlook remained grim early in the contest, trailing 12-0, before the Scorpions responded with three second quarter touchdowns to take a 21-12 halftime lead.
With the Scorpions playing without their top two rushers, Singleton and Eric Graham (671 yards), they relied on sophomore Derrick Brooks to carry the rushing load.
Brooks scored the first and second touchdowns in the quarter, before the passing game opened up, when Joe Coughlan found Greg Washington in the end zone on a 9 yard pass for the third score, their third connection on the drive. The Spartans cut it to 21-18 with 1:57 left in the third quarter, on a 40 yard run.
Then l, it was the sophomore Brooks who exploded for a 67 yard touchdown run to put the Scorps up 27-18 l, early in the fourth quarter. The Spartans countered with a touchdown of their own, to make it a one point game with 9:10 to play. Later, the Spartans used a 47 yard pass play to get to the Scorpions 23 yard line, before Washington grabbed a game-saving interception in the end zone, and the Scorps held on for a 27-26 win.
A week after being called upon to replace Singleton and Graham, and getting stuffed by the Wildecats, Brooks finished with 133 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries.
The Scorpions traveled to CM Wright for the state semifinal, in what is known on Kilimanjaro as the 'Fog Bowl', as they and the Mustangs played amidst a dry mist. The Mustangs struck first, with a 42 yard run to take a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. Late in the third quarter, with the Scorpions facing a 3rd-and-15, Coughlan hit Washington for 24 yard completion to give the Scorps the ball at the 'Stangs 8 yard line. Three plays later, Ricky Gray scored from 3 yards out to tie the game at 7, just inside the fourth quarter.
The Scorpions had a great chance to win it in regulation, driving 62 yards, including a 31 yard completion that set up a potential game-winning field goal that would have put them in the state title game, but the kick was blocked.
The Scorpions offense started the extra session, and on second down, Coughlan hit Washington in the end zone, but the apparent score was nullified by an illegal motion. The following play, Coughlan was intercepted. On second down, the Mustangs won on a 6 yard run.
Singleton was named to the All-Met 1st team, and despite the recent heroics of Wande Owens at Glenelg, the Scorpions back remains the only player in county history to average 200 rushing yards per game (201.9). Washington, who along with Coughlan, won the state title that March in basketball, was named to the All-County 1st team, as was defensive end Kelly Sykes, while lineman Robbie Bundy was named to the All-Met 2nd team.
The Scorpions 30.6 points per game in county play ranks 4th best in school history, and its +19.2 point differential, ranks 2nd, behind the ‘78 Scorpions.
28 '05 River Hill Hawks (11-2, 8-1) - Coach Brian Van Deusen 🥉🎖 >>> These '05 Hawks were the pre-dawn of what would be back-to-back state champions in '07 and '08, and the precursor to the '06 state finalists. The '05 Hawks would win the second of seven straight county titles.
The Hawks opened the '05 season with a 26-6 win over Atholton, who would go on to play in the 3A regional final. Only two teams came within 13 points of the Hawks in the '05 regular season. One, was a 21-14 week 2 win over Hammond.
The other, their only league loss, a 15-14 heartbreaker to Long Reach. The Lightning scored the touchdown and game-winning two-point conversion with 45 seconds to play. The Hawks would give themselves an opportunity to win, before a potential game-winning field goal went awry. Following a 61-6 rout of Howard in week 10, the Hawks had given themselves another shot at Long Reach in the regional semifinal.
The Lightning's Josh Brown opened the scoring with a 50 yard touchdown run, but squandered two other opportunities inside the Hawks 'red zone', the last, a fumble in the Hawks end zone that the Hawks capitalized on, steering an 80 yard drive afterwards, punctuated by by a 1 yard plunge by quarterback Dan Hostetler to tie it up, with 2:15 left before intermission. On its next possession, Hostetler hit his cousin Josh Hostetler on a 23 yard touchdown pass play to give the Hawks a 14-7 lead, just before halftime.
The Hawks signal caller added a 2 yard scoring run in the third quarter, to put the Hawks up 21-7, and before moving on with a 21-13 victory, exacting revenge on their one loss, and eliminating their county foes. This was the Hawks second appearance in a regional final game, after losing their first in '00.
The Hawks faced Severna Park in the regional final, a Falcons team that went unbeaten in Anne Arundel play, and whose only loss came to Calvert Hall. The Hawks held a 34-21 lead with 6:11 to play,, following Nick Campanarp's third touchdown of the day. The Falcons came back with a tipped, 48 yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to one possession with 4:34 to play. After a three-and-out by the Hawks, the Falcons quarterback Greg Zingler had Severna Park at midfield, with 1:39 to go.
After a successful 25 yard pass play was negated by holding, Zingler was intercepted and the Hawks would play in their first (of many) state semifinal game.
Campanaro finished with 167 rushing yards, to go with his three scores, and BJ Benning, who, when he wasn't opening holes for Campanaro, was registering three sacks, with a fumble recovery.
The Hawks faced undefeated Gwynn Park, ranked #4 in the Washington Post, in the state semifinal. The Hawks got out to a tremendous start, staking a 21-9 lead in the fourth quarter, before the Yellowjackets stung the Hawks with 21 unanswered points, with three touchdowns within six minutes, and the Hawks first berth in a state final would be put on hold. Hostetler threw for two touchdowns and ran for one for the Hawks. Gwynn Park would go on to win the state title and finish 14-0.
Campanaro finished the season with 1,562 yards and 22 touchdowns, while Benning was named Howard County Defensive Player of the Year, recording 75 tackles and 12 sacks. Hostetler was named to the All-County 1st team as a defensive back. Sophomore Zach Martin set a Howard County record with 169 tackles. Greg Nowak finished with 34 receptions for 502 yards and 7 touchdowns. Linebacker Peter Ridge registered 134 tackles, and lineman Boris Tartrowski joined the aforemention six Hawks on the All-County 1st team.
27 '82 Mt Hebron Vikings (10-2, 6-1) - Coach Ed Holshue 🥉🎖 >>> In 2018, Mt Hebron completed its 50th varsity season. They won a county title in its second season, in ‘70, going 2-1 in county play. They have since shared the county title just twice over the last 50 years, with the '82 Vikings team being the only Vikings team to win a playoff game in those 50 years, and the only one to win 10 games in a season.
Two years after earning their first playoff berth, finishing 8-3 in ‘80, losing 45-0 in the state semifinal, the Vikings captured their second regional title. The '82 Vikings were equipped with a top-notch defense, and one of the top aerial attacks in the region at the time, one of the few to average more than 20 passing attempts per game.
The Vikings went 6-1 in league play, behind a defense that allowed just 53 points in league play, while quarterback John Fleming and Jim Bimestefer formed one of the best passing game combinations in the state.
The '82 Vikings were the only team to beat county co-champion Oakland Mills in the regular season, with a 6-0 shutout of the Class B state runner-up, who committed a costly 5 turnovers. The Vikings suffered their only regular season loss to Atholton, 13-7, where the Vikings committed 5 turnovers themselves, and where their aerial attack failed them for once, with four interceptions.
The stout Vikings defense produced a remarkable six shutouts in the regular season, before producing its seventh in the state semifinal, with a 14-0 win over Northern of Garrett County. It was the running game that aided the defense in the semifinal, as Derek Jones ran 33 yards to open the scoring, before Robert Jackson rambled in from four yards for the second score.
Chris Kelly provided 81 yards on 11 carries, while adding 11 tackles and two interceptions. Jackson finished with 83 rushing yards, and Jones added 61 on the ground. The defense, led by Kelly, Larry Luthe, Joe Sanders, and Co., stymied the Northern attack, holding its foe scoreless.
The Vikings faced Snow Hill again, this time in the Class C title game, two years after their 45-0 loss to the Eagles in the state semifinal. The '82 final started the same way, as the Eagles ran out to a 28-0 lead, before the Vikings came to life, cutting the deficit to 28-18 with 11 minutes to play. Fleming hit Bimestefer on a 43 yard score just before halftime, then found Bimestefer on a 12 yard touchdown pass to cut it to 28-12, early in the third quarter. Then, early in the fourth, Fleming threw his third touchdown pass to Kelly, to cut the lead to 10.
Failure on three point after plays prevented the Vikings from making it a one score margin. The Vikings had another opportunity following a Eagles fumble, and had a 1st-and-10 on the Eagles 17 yard line, before Fleming was intercepted, and Snow Hill won their second state title in three years.
Fleming finished his career with 3,199 career passing yards, second to only Wilde Lake's Jim Traber at the time. Bimestefer was named to the Baltimore Sun All-Met 1st team, and Kelly, who also served as the Vikings kicker, was named to the All-Met 2nd team, after nailing five field goals. The 6.8 points per game allowed by the Vikings still stands as the 17th best in county history.
26 '08 Wilde Lake Wildecats (12-2, 9-1) - Coach Doug DuVall 🥈 >>> This was Hall of Fame Coach DuVall's last hurrah, his 36th year at the helm, with a legitimate chance to win his 6th state title, his 8th regional title, and his 17th county title, though defending undefeated 2A champion River Hill remained the favorite to win the county title.
DuVall had established Wilde Lake as a statewide contender, then superpower, as far back as 34 years earlier, when his Cats gave the legendary '74 Howard Lions their toughest test in their undefeated season, and the Cats finished 9-1.
Coach DuVall had taken his program to the top of county lore, with its state, regional and county titles, and had survived the epic rivalry with cross-town rival Oakland Mills, one that very few in the state could match from '77 to '03. But now, it was beginning to look like the Cats torch would be passed to the defending champion Hawks, who had shed the 'up-and-coming' label.
The '07 Cats had finished 10-2, and '08 Cats held much promise. That promise was tested several times, as the Cats won five one-possession games, including a 22-21 win over Atholton, and a 7-6 victory over Marriotts Ridge, saved by a failed Mustangs two-point conversion.
The Cats did suffer one county loss, finishing the regular season at 9-1. That 12-0 loss came to River Hill, who won go on to win the 2A title, and finish undefeated again. The Cats 12 point loss was the closest margin of victory for the Hawks, and they were the only county team to come within 31 points of the back-to-back champs. No other county team kept the Hawks below 41 points.
In the opening round of the playoffs, the Cats faced Howard, and dealt the Lions their second loss of the season to their old-time rival, 21-14, in their fifth one-possession win of the season, though this contest wasn't ever really in doubt. The Cats Jerrell Epps took in a 6 yard score in the second quarter, then added a 5 yard touchdown run, and a 35 yard touchdown reception, to give the Cats a 21-0 lead in the third quarter.
In the regional final, Fallston took a 3-0 lead, before the Cats dominated, taking a 32-3 lead, before notching a 39-15 victory. Epps scored 3 touchdowns, while Danny March added a pair.
The Cats faced 3-time state champ Hereford in the state semifinal, after the Bulls dispatched Milford Mill, 41-14, in their regional final, gaining 237 yards in the second quarter, alone. The semifinal started with Epps continuing his assault on the post-season, scoring his sixth and seventh post-season touchdowns within the first two minutes of the game. Epps began the game with a 70 yard kickoff return for a score, then scored four plays after the Bulls had fumbled the kickoff. Epps finished with 120 rushing yards on 12 carries, and including his kickoff return, scored four touchdowns.
The young Cats had the old Cat, Coach DuValll, in his seventh state title game, with an opportunity to win his sixth. The Cats faced Westlake in the final, in Coach DuVall's send off. However, the Wolverines shut down the Cats when it counted, as Coach DuVall charges crossed midfield eight times, yet were kept off the scoreboard, 13-0. In the end, it was a great final act, finishing as 12-win, state runner-ups, with its only two losses suffered at the hands of a pair of state champions.
Epps finished with 1,441 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns, including the seven scores in the post-season. March was selected as HoCo's Defensive Player of the Year, after registering 112 tackles (94 solo), 7 interceptions, and 4 blocked kicks. Lineman Matt Bounds, Ramin Nejaadehsuan, and Jackson Drury, were all selected to the All-County 1st team. The Cats finished ranked #11 in the Maryland Football Writers Media Poll, 8th among public schools. Coach DuVall finished his illustrious career with 308 victories, 2nd all-time in MPSSAA history.
🏆 - State Champions
🥈 - State Runner-up
🥉 - Regional Champions
🏅 - County Champions
Posted 19 August 2019 - 03:34 PM
‘84 Wilde Lake Wildecats (8-1) - Coach Doug DuVall 🏅 >>> The Cats missed the playoffs, one year before the MPSSAA expanded to 8 teams per classification. The Cats 5.4 points allowed ranks 10th best in county history, though they averaged a modest 22.9 points per game themselves.
The county champs suffered their only loss to Hammond, 9-7, with a 12-6 overtime win over Glenelg. The Wildecats shut out Oakland Mills, 21-0, in week 10, to clinch their first outright county title in school history.
‘09 Atholton Raiders (10-2, 9-1) - Coach Kyle Schmidt >>> The Raiders were the only 10-win team in county history to not make the top 50, landing just outside. The Raiders finished second to regional champion River Hill has n the county standings. Won 10 games with a +6.6 point differential.
The Raiders rolled out to an 8-0 record, before meeting the 8-0 Hawks in week 9. The Raiders held a 14-7 halftime lead, before the two-time defending champs scored 28 unanswered points. In the regional final, the Hawks routed A-Town, 30-3.
‘04 Long Reach Lightning (9-2, 9-1) - Coach Pete Hughes >>> The Lightning finished a game behind River Hill in the county race. The Lightning’s only league loss was a 52-27 defeat to the Hawks. The Lightning were 7-0 going into the week 8 meeting.
In week 10, the Lightning took on 8-1 Mt Hebron, with a playoff berth going to the winner. The Bolts came back from 19-7 down, before knocking off the Vikes, 22-19, to send the Lightning to their second playoff appearance in school history. The Lightning lost to Gwynn Park in the opening round of the playoffs, 20-19.
‘94 Oakland Mills Scorpions (8-3, 7-0) - Coach Ken Hovet 🏅 >>> After losing two tough out-of-county games in the first three weeks to Thomas Johnson and Linganore, the Scorpions ripped off 7 straight county wins, joining the ‘78 and ‘83 Scorps as the only three teams to go undefeated in county play in the program’s first 21 years.
The Scorpions trounced Wilde Lake, 27-7, the came back to knock off the defending county champs, Howard, 19-18, in week 9. The Scorps trailed 18-6 in the second half. The Scorpions fell to Fort Hill, 33-19, in the state quarterfinals, despite gaining 419 yards. The Scorpions The Scorpions posted a +27.6 point differential in league play.
‘86 Wilde Lake Wildecats (9-2, 7-0) - Coach Doug DuVall 🏅 >>> The Cats followed the ‘85 state champion Cats, and were the first team in school history to finish undefeated in league play. After a week 1 loss to the area’s top ranked team Gilman, 8-0, the Wildecats won their next 9 games.
The Cats edged Oakland Mills, 7-0, for the county title. The Cats lost to Anne Arundel’s Northeast, 20-14, in the state quarterfinals. The ‘86 Cats 7.5 points allowed ranks 22nd best in county history. The Cats went 9-2, averaging just 16.1 points per game.
‘00 Oakland Mills Scorpions (9-2, 9-0) - Coach Ken Hovet 🏅 >> The Scorpions would rank among the top 25 if the list were limited to the regular season, averaging 34.7 points per game, with a +25.3 point differential.
The Scorpions outstanding season came to a halt in the quarterfinals, as their offensive machine was shut down by Glenelg, ending their season with their first loss of the season, 14-7. The ‘00 Scorpions remain the last team to win a county title on Kilimanjaro.
‘14 Glenelg Gladiators (9-4, 7-3) - Coach Butch Schaffer 🏅 >>> Though the Gladiators finished third in county play, they did beat second place Oakland Mills, 35-6, and were the only team to shut the Scorpions potent offensive attack down.
The Gladiators went on to win the regional title, beating City College, 41-6, then River Hill, 21-6, in the regional final, before losing to eventual state champion, Damascus, 33-0, in the state semifinal.
‘95 Oakland Mills Scorpions (8-3, 7-0) - Coach Ken Hovet 🏅 >>> These Scorpions capped off back-to-back undefeated seasons in league play, suffering a 3 point loss to Thomas Johnson, and a 7 point loss to Frederick power, Linganore, in our-of-county play.
The Scorpions held six of their seven county opponents to 7 points or less, with Wilde Lake scoring 15 in a 29-15 loss to the Scorpions. The Scorps lost at Linganore in the quarterfinals, 24-21, after leading 21-0.
‘13 Glenelg Gladiators (9-2, 9-1) - Coach Butch Schaffer 🏅 >>> The ‘13 Gladiators were county champions, finishing a game ahead of Howard, and two ahead of River Hill. The Glads outdueled second place Howard, 35-20, in the Elgard Bowl.
Only one regular season opponent scored double-digits on the Gladiators - the Lions, in their loss. The Gladiators were stunned by Reservoir, in the regional semifinal, 34-13.
‘14 Oakland Mills Scorpions (9-2, 9-1) - Coach Tom Browne >>> These Scorpions finished a game behind 4A regional champion Howard in league play, with their only loss coming to regional champion, Glenelg.
‘The Greatest Show on Turf’, led by David Pindell, averaged the second most points per game in county history, at 42.5 points per game, a touchdown from averaging the most in county history. The Scorpions lost to Patuxent, 60-41, in the regional semifinal, after leading 35-25 at halftime.
‘79 Glenelg Gladiators (8-2, 7-0) - Coach Neil Callahan 🏅 >>> Coach Callahan’s Gladiators were the first to win an outright county title in school history, but were denied a playoff berth, based on points.
The Gladiators only losses were to Fort Hill, 15-6, and Fairmont Heights, 22-13. The Gladiators held 7 of their remaining 8 opponents to 8 points or less. The Gladiators allowed just 6.8 points per game, 17th best in county history.
‘00 Glenelg Gladiators (8-4, 6-3) - Coach John Davis 🥉 >>> These Gladiators started 1-3, before winning their last 6 league games, leading to a 32 game county win streak, tied with Howard ‘13-16, as the second longest in county history.
The Gladiators shocked county champion Oakland Mills, 14-7, in the state quarterfinals, their first post-season victory in school history.
The only state finalist not to make the top 50.
‘01 Oakland Mills Scorpions (8-5, 6-3) - Coach Ken Hovet 🥈 >>> These Scorpions improbable post-season run came 2 points short of winning a state title, despite losing their first 3 games, falling to Allegany, 27-26.
The remaining 7 regional champions not listed in the top 50, or the 12 listed above.
‘77 Glenelg Gladiators (9-2, 6-1*) - Coach Neil Callahan 🥉🏅 >>> The Gladiators were awarded the regional title and playoff berth after it was determined Wilde Lake used an ineligible player. The Gladiators had lost to the Cats 41-6. The aGladiators lost to Cambridge-South Dorchester, 33-19, in the state semifinal.
‘80 Centennial Eagles (9-2, 6-1) - Coach Jack Walsh 🥉🏅 >>> This stands at the Eagles only county title in school history, sharing the crown with Wilde Lake. The Eagles lost to Elkton, 45-23, in the state semifinal. The Eagles went 9-2, despite a paltry +4.3 point differential.
‘80 Mt Hebron Vikings (8-3, 5-2) - Coach Ed Holshue 🥉 >>> This was the first, and remains just one of the two regional titles the Vikings have won. The Vikes lost 45-0 to Snow Hill in the state semifinal. The Vikes went 8-3 despite averaging just 12.7 points per game, thanks to their 8.6 points allowed.
‘84 Oakland Mills Scorpions (7-4, 4-3) - Coach Ken Klock 🥉 >>> Despite going 4-3 in league play, this was the third straight regional title for the Scorpions, the first time the feat was accomplished in league history.
‘15 Reservoir Gators (9-4, 7-3) - Coach Brian Cole 🥉 >>> This was the first and remains the only regional title in school history. The Gators got past JM Bennett and Glenelg in the regionals, before getting dispatched by Damascus, 48-7, in the state semifinal.
‘17 Glenelg Gladiators (8-4, 6-3) - Coach Butch Schaffer 🥉 >>> The Gladiators won a regional title despite going 6-3 in league play, tied with three others for third. The Glads topped River Hill and Thomas Stone in the regionals, before getting dismissed by Damascus, 42-7, in the state semifinal.
‘17 Long Reach Lightning (8-4, 6-3) - Coach Jamie Willis 🥉 >>> This remains the only season that the Lightning won a playoff game, winning two, before losing to Milford Mill in the state semifinal, 33-6.
HoCo’s Top 50 Football Teams of all-time will resume tomorrow, with #21-25. Wednesday, #16-20. Thursday, #11-15. Early next week, top 10.
Posted 20 August 2019 - 07:02 AM
If it’s offensive production could match its defensive production, this team would be state champions, and be in the top 10 on this list. The ‘83 Scorpions only regular season blemish was a 6-0 loss to county co-champ and fellow regional champion Mt Hebron, 6-0, in a game where its offense committed five turnovers.
The Scorpions defense recorded 5 shutouts, but like its ‘78 predecessors, it would need a win in week 10 over Wilde Lake in a winner-take-all showdown to capture an outright county title, a regional championship, and its second playoff berth.
The Scorpions crushed Frederick, 54-0, in week 1, then shut out Franklin, 19-0, in week 2. The Scorpions defense allowed just five touchdowns all season, before heading into their week 10 showdown with the Cats.
The Scorps responded with their 5th shutout of the season, blanking the Cats, 13-0, as Steve Payne scored on 12 and 40 yard runs. The Cats entered the Scorpions ‘red zone’ four times, largely because of great field position, and they were denied all four times of any points.
That presented another shot at the Allegany Campers, this time on Kilimanjaro. The Allegany faithful filled the visitors bleachers an hour before kickoff, with the help of 10 bus loads shuttling some of the Campers faithful in from the west.
Again, the Scorpions defensive unit came up huge. After an early Allegany score, the Scorpions defensive held the powerful Campers running attack scoreless the rest of the way. Following the score, the Scorpions Joey Randall returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, cutting the deficit to 7-6, after a failed two-point conversion.
Later, in the second quarter, the Scorpions Kenny Hoff recorded one of his two blocked punts on the day, and the Scorpions had the ball on the Campers 25 yard line. Two plays later, Tariq Shane connected with Eric Miller on a 26 yard touchdown pass, to give the Scorpions a 13-7 lead. Like clockwork, the Scorpions defense stymied ‘Big Blue’ and the Orange & Black were on their way to their first state championship game.
The Scorpions faced a daunting task in the state final, taking on undefeated JM Bennett, who had allowed just 2 touchdowns in 11 games, out scoring their opponents, 377-16. After a scoreless first half, the Clippers Cam Carte found Willie Shepherd on a 61 yard touchdown pass with 1:01 to go in the third quarter, to go up, 7-0.
The Scorpions defense came through again in the fourth, when sophomore Eddie Gough picked up a fumble and rambled 31 yards to put the ball at the Clippers 17 yard line, with 2 minutes to play. Six plays later, the Scorpions scored just the third touchdown of the season on the Clippers, to tie it at 7, and send the state title game to overtime.
The Clippers won the coin toss and elected to start on defense. On third down, Shane was intercepted, and the Scorpions chance to get any points, evaporated. The Clippers capitalized on their third down from the 7, as Don Williams slipped through for a score and the win.
Defensive ends Ron Williams (13.5) and Kenny Hoff (11.5) ranked #1 and #2 in the county in sacks, while inside linebacker John Rynn, the Scorpions leading tackler, was selected to the All-Met 2nd team, and named Howard County Defensive Player of the Year. Payne finished with 1,135 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, while Miller registered 6 touchdown receptions. The Scorps 6.3 points allowed rank 13th all-time in county history.
🏆 - State Champion
🥈 - State Runner-up
🥉 - Regional Champion
🏅 - County Champion
Posted 20 August 2019 - 07:03 AM
It would be a year of resilience for these Cats, surviving three county losses and still qualifying for the playoffs, with a far fetch shot at winning the schools sixth state championship, playing the role of ‘The Avengers’.
After three losses on the county slate, including a pair of one-possession games to playoff-bound teams Atholton and Hammond, the latter sharing the county title with River Hill, the Cats were in it to win it. The postseason would be one of redemption, starting with the regional semifinal at Atholton, who had snapped River Hill’s 46 game county win streak, six weeks earlier.
The Cats and Raiders were very familiar with one another, having met the week before, with the Raiders winning 27-15. In the rematch, the Wildecats out-matched the Raiders in all phases, with AJ Harris and EJ Gilman combining for 182 yards on 25 carries, and the Cats defense limiting the Raiders to just one score. The special teams unit also provided a 45 yard punt return, that set up one of their scores in the 21-7 win.
That presented a berth in the regional title game, with the Hawks of River Hill. The Hawks came in having won 51 of 52 games versus county foes, and winning five straight regional championships.
The Hawks Aaron Wells capped off a 15 play drive, with a 3 yard touchdown to give the hosts a 7-0 first quarter lead. The Hawks looked to be adding to that total after driving to the Wildecats 15 yard line, before Antoine Barnes intercepted a Hawks pass to keep the 7 point margin at halftime. Late in the fourth, the Cats got on the board when Harris ran 26 yards for a touchdown with :45 remaining.
In overtime, Joe Kelly hit E’Ron Pruitt for a 5 yard touchdown on third down on the extra session’s first possession to give the Cats their first lead. Then, the Cats defense stopped the Hawks at the 4 yard line after 4 plays, and the ‘Mean Green’ won their 9th regional title. The Hawks regional title run came to an end, and the Wildecats moved on to the state semifinals.
There, the Cats would meet an old friend in Damascus, the fourth meeting between the two in a state semifinal or state title game. The Swarmin’ Hornets dismissed the Cats, 20-12, in the ‘89 state semifinal, before the Cats took out the Hornets in overtime in the ‘90 state final, 13-7, followed by Damascus stomping ‘The Lake’, 35-6, in the ‘07 state semifinal.
The Swarmin’ Hornets were undefeated, playing in front of their home crowd. The Wildecats capitalized on the first of five Damascus turnovers to go up 7-0, and the last on what would turn out to be the game-winning score on a 4th and 1 run by EJ Gilman, with 2 minutes to play, to go up, 21-7. The Swarmin’ Hornets would score with :40 to play, but it was too late, and the Cats advanced to their 7th state title game.
The Cats took on Franklin in the state title game at M&T. The game was tied 7-7 in the first half, when Khalil Viera hit E’Ron Pruitt on a 8 yard halfback option pass to give the Cats a 13-7 lead. The trickery didn’t end there. Viera then scored on a double handoff in the third quarter. and the Cats converted on the 2-point conversion to go up 21-7.
The Cats would hold on to win another 21-14 game, and the Cats collected their sixth state championship, with longtime assistant Mike Harrison winning his first while at the helm.
EJ Gilman was named Howard County Defensive Player of the Year. Harrison was named Baltimore Sun Coach of the Year. Kelly was named to the All-Met 1st team as a defensive back. Viera was named to the All-County 1st team, after rushing for 1,148 yards. Tight End Tommy Klotz and Teka Hayes joined their teammates on the All-County 1st team.
The Cats are the only school in county history to win a state title with 3 league losses (finished 4th in the league). The Cats finished ranked #10 in the state, the #5 public school.
🏆 - State Champion
🥈 - State Runner-Up
🥉 - Regional Champion
🏅 - County Champion
Posted 20 August 2019 - 07:04 AM
Bill Caudill, who left following the ‘74 season for WT Woodson (VA), had built the Lions program into a state powerhouse, going 55-6-2 in his last 6 seasons. His assistant, Ned Sparks, took over the program. Gone also were All-Met Dan Hottowe, future NFL running back Wayne Wilson, quarterback Scott Swope, and playmakers LaVelle McNutt and Craig Harrington.
The Lions went through the regular season 10-0 again, for a state record fourth year in a row, though four were one-possession games.
Then, in the state semifinals, the Lions needed late game heroics again, to upend Cambridge - South Dorchester. The Lions climbed back from a 18-3 deficit by scoring 25 unanswered points, and extending their winning streak to 47 games. That, a week after pulling out an 11-8 overtime win over Mt Hebron on the road, before 3,000 fans, on a Jim Hillman field goal.
The Lions had to travel to the Eastern Shore to face Cambridge, where the Vikings raced out to a 12-0 lead, behind scoring runs of 91 yards and 65 yards, respectively. After a Hillman field goal to cut the deficit to 9, the Vikings Craig Linthicum, who scored on the 91 yard run, ran for his second touchdown of the day to give the hosts an 18-3 halftime lead.
But the Lions weren’t done, capitalizing on five second half turnovers by the Vikings, behind the running of Lions John Overbey, who finished with 127 rushing yards on 32 carries. Jim Hillman connected on his second field goal of the game, giving the Lions their first lead of the game, 21-18. Quarterback Kevin Mullarkey took in a 1 yard run to make it 28-18, capping off the Lions 25-0 second half, to run the streak to 47.
The Lions would face Paint Branch in the state final game, a year after pasting the Panthers 40-14 in the 1974 state title game. This would be a different Panthers team, who returned 17 starters from their runner-up squad of ‘74, including their entire backfield, featuring quarterback Tyree Hill.
The Panthers struck first, to take a 6-0 lead, before a Hillman field goal cut the deficit in half. From there, it was all Hill, as they added another score before halftime, then adding two more in the fourth quarter for a 28-3 win, and snap the Lions state record win streak. Hill finished with 124 rushing yards on 23 carries. The Lions, meanwhile, managed just 135 offensive yards. The ‘75 Panthers mirrored the ‘74 Lions, posting 8 shutouts that season.
This was the first defeat the Lions had suffered since a 16-0 loss to Edgewood in 1971. The Lions did post their first win over a AA (now 4A) school in the season opener, with a 20-14 victory over Glen Burnie. The 47 game win streak would hold as a state record until Urbana snapped the mark in 2000.
Overbey was named All-Met after rushing for 1,086 yards and 18 touchdowns. Linebacker Rick Lewis was also named to the All-Met team. Hillman, Mullarkey, Kevin Wynne and Brian Clapp were all key contributors for the state runner-up.
Coach Sparks would go on to be the Maryland Public School System Athletic Association’s Executive Director for 34 years, until retiring in 2015.
🏆 - State Champion
🥈 - State Runner-up
🥉 - Regional Champion
🏅 - County Champion
Posted 20 August 2019 - 07:04 AM
After a 28-7 win Reservoir in week 1, the Lions posted a pair of convincing wins, one over Wilde Lake, 34-6, another at River Hill, 28-7, two teams that would eventually earn playoff berths. Following that trifecta, the Lions closed the den for the next quartet of games, registering three shutouts, allowing just 6 points, out-scoring Mt Hebron, Oakland Mills, Centennial and Hammond by a tune of 161-6, collectively.
In addition to the stout defense of the Lions, a unit that had allowed just three touchdowns in 7 games, was a potent offense, who was averaging 35.9 points per game, and 40.3 over the last four games. The Lions offensive attack was ignited by super sophomore Devin Dawkins, who, along with Wande Owens, Glenelg’s own super soph’, would go on to shatter the county’s all-time single-season rushing mark for a sophomore, which had stood for 47 years.
The Lions had a showdown with cross-border rival Long Reach In week 8, in battle of two, 7-0, undefeated teams, in one of the most anticipated games in the county in recent memory. To add to the drama, the Lions were carrying a 31 game county win streak, looking to match Glenelg’s mark from ‘00-03, as the second longest in county history, topped only by River Hill’s mark set from ‘05-‘10, of 48.
Before a sold out crowd in the ‘Lions Den’, the two unbeatens would produce a game that had an abundance of big plays for yardage, but very few points. The Lions Dawkins scored on a 17 yard run on their second possession in the opening quarter, before the Lightning evened it up in the second quarter. The game then went scoreless the rest of the way, until Robby Porter connected with Cameron Hooper on a 14 yard game-winning touchdown with :24.9 seconds to play, to push the Lions to 8-0, and alone atop the county standings.
Dawkins rushed for 195 yards on 35 carries, his fifth straight game of 125 yards or more on the ground. The Lions held the Lightning to just one score, despite allowing nearly 300 yards, thanks in large part to the defense producing three picks, two by Bryson Craven.
With no rest for the weary, the Lions faced long-time arch rival Glenelg in week 9, in the 56th edition of the ‘Elgard Bowl’, featuring the two most productive sophomore running backs in the state, Dawkins and Owens.
The Lions held a 14-13 halftime lead, with Robby Porter throwing for a score and running for a score, and Owens scoring on a pair of runs for the Gladiators. The second half saw three lead changes, finalized by Owens 5 yard score, with 5 minutes to play, and pull out a 25-20 victory, snapping the Lions 32 game county streak. Owens finished with 186 yards and three scores, on 40 carries, while Dawkins gained 126 on the ground, notching his sixth straight week of 125 or more.
The Lions routed Atholton, 55-14, in the regular season finale, to win their third straight outright county title, a feat done by only three others since the league expanded to six teams in 1974 - WL ‘90-92, ‘96-98, RH ‘06-09.
The Lions pounced Bel Air, 41-14, in the regional semifinal, as Dawkins rushed for 289 yards and 5 touchdowns on 16 carries, the second most in a post season game (Malek Redd RH ‘08, 294 v Central) in county history. The Lions followed that with a 42-6 win over Mervo, a Mustangs team that had beaten Dunbar in league play. Dawkins rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns before leaving in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. Porter threw for 153 yards and two scores.
The Lions a faced a somewhat familiar foe in the state semifinal, the Wise Pumas, who they had met in the state title game, a year before.
These Pumas, led by former Lions great DaLawn Parrish, were every bit as potent as their ‘15 edition, having scored 35 points or more in all 12 of their games, with no one coming within 29 point nets of them in the regular season. In the regional final, the Pumas raced out to a 42-6 lead over Eleanor Roosevelt, before the Raiders scored a pair of late, meaningless touchdowns. For a second year in a row, Parrish and the Pumas took it out on his alma mater, winning 48-0. The Pumas would go on to rout Quince Orchard in the state final, 42-6.
The Lions finished as the 8th ranked public school in the Maryland Football Writers Media Poll, after averaging 31.8 points per game, with a +21.0 point differential.
Dawkins was selected to the All-Met team after rushing for 1,867 yards and 22 touchdowns on 203 carries, averaging 9.2 yards per carry. Dawkins and Owens (2,504) both shattered the previous single-season rushing mark for a sophomore, one that stood for nearly a half century, when the Lions Jerome Moore rushed for 1,481 yards in ten games during his sophomore campaign in 1969.
Lions linemen Matt Bernstein and Andy Chalfant were both were named to the All-County 1st team, joining Dawkins. The Lions placed five players on the All-County 1st team defensive unit, including defensive lineman Muddy McHemba (14 sacks) and Dimaji Olyainkwa (12 sacks), linebackers Ryan Kearney (109 tackles) and Donny Place (112 tackles), and defensive back Craven, who led the county with 8 interceptions. Craven finished his Lions career with 21 interceptions, second all-time in county history to Jim Traber’s mark of 22, with Wilde Lake.
🏆 - State Champion
🥈 - State Runner-up
🥉 - Regional Champion
🏅 - County Champion
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