Anne Arundel County high school football teams started the 1990 season with a better cumulative record against out-of-county foes than last fall's opening slate, but still had a losing record. County teams were 4-7 against outsiders, and if you add the wins by Severn School and St. Mary's Labor Day weekend, that's a 6-7 start.
Last season at this time, county schools produced a dismal 3-9 mark the first full weekend, and with Severn and St. Mary's opening with lopsided losses, 3-11 overall. County schools (16) went on to compile a cumulative 19-41 record, including the 20-6 loss by AA's only playoff team Annapolis to Gaithersburg of Montgomery County, against outside competition while being outscored 1,078-619.
County 4A schools were 6-11 against outside competition while the 3A, 2A, and 1A teamswere 10-14 and the three private schools (Severn, Spalding and St. Mary's) were 3-16. Public schools (13) were 16-25 together.
Most of those 1,078 points were given up by the non-4A schools who were dominated 812-385 while the eight larger schools were outscored 266-234.
The county had only one winning week against the outsiders and that was a 5-3 slate the sixth full week. Only three county schools had winning records against the outsiders: Andover, which has merged with Brooklyn Park to become North County High, at 4-2, and 4A teams Arundel and Meade at 2-1 each.
Archbishop Spalding had the worse record of all in playing non-county squads at 0-6 followed by 0-3 Annapolis (4A), and two teams at 1-5 in Southern (2A) and St. Mary's.
In addition, county schools were shut out some 15 times by outsiders while posting only four shutouts of their own. Andover had a pair of whitewashes while Meade (4A) and Severn School had the others.
Severn however, was shut out twice as the private schools combined got blanked eight of the 15 times -- three each by St. Mary's and Spalding. County 4A schools were 1-3 in shutouts against the outsiders while the other smaller public schools were 2-4.
This opening weekend county schools got shutout thrice -- Spalding 34-0 by St. Paul's; Annapolis 21-0 by Friendly of Prince George's County and Glen Burnie, 14-0 by Queen Anne's. Old Mill had the only county shutout in the win column, 33-zip over LaPlata. County teams were outscored 204-113 the first full week, but 99 of those points were given up by Spalding, Chesapeake (lost to Thomas Stone 35-6) and Northeast (a 30-6 loser to Chesapeake of Baltimore County).
Including Severn's 13-12 victory over Bishop Walsh and St. Mary's 13-7 triumph over Model School of D.C. over Labor Day weekend, the county was outscored 223-139. Local 4A schools, the county's top teams, were only 2-4 and got outscored 102-66.
What do all these stats say about the caliber of our teams? I'm really not sure, so how about you telling me. Give me a call on my 24-HOUR SPORTSLINE, 647-2499 with your opinion as to why our 16 county schools as a whole are being pushed around by teams outside our county.
I've got a theory, but am not convinced it is the main reason and am anxious to hear from you before I offer my analysis. You don't have to divulge your identity on the 24-HOUR SPORTSLINE, but if you want me to quote you please, give your name and phone number.
Those wishing to identify themselves, but preferring not to be named in print, can rely on their anonymity when calling.
Let me hear from you fans, parents and coaches as to what the crux of why our county teams are not faring well outside the county. It would make an interesting future column.
Now let's get to some of the top highlights and quotes from the first full football weekend.
St. Mary's Saints of second-year head coach Brad Best won its second in a row on Saturday by 23-22 in double overtime at John Carroll High in Harford County.
"It was great to win on the road again," said Best, whose Saints were avenging a 28-0 hammering at the hands of the Patriots a year ago.
"I thought our offensive line was outstanding and our defensive line was after John Carroll's first couple possessions."
St. Mary's held a 15-7 lead with a minute to go when JC struck on a 60-yard bomb and added the two-point conversion to send the game into OT. After the home team scored in the second OT, but missed the conversion, the Saints got a four-yard TD run by Charlie Finamore and subsequent two-pointer by the senior back to win it.
Junior wingback Joe Conte rambled for 130 yards including a 24-yard TD jaunt on 16 carries and senior QB-kicker Charlie Griffith scored on a 1-yard plunge and booted the point after plus a 22-yard field goal in the third period.
Also, Saturday Glen Burnie's Gophers got blanked a second year in a row by the Queen Anne's Lions of the Eastern Shore, 14-0. The Lions shut out Glen Burnie 15-0 a year ago.