The Model School for the Deaf was Severn School's enemy on paper on Saturday afternoon. However, the Admirals eventually found themselves to be their own worst enemy.
Two costly fumbles deep inside Eagle territory resulted in a 13-6 loss to the visitors from Washington, D.C., in non-conference football action. Model quarterback Stefan Bergen's 7-yard sprint around the right sideline sealed the win with 22 seconds remaining in the contest.
"We had plenty of opportunities to win the game, no question about it," said Severn head coach Doug Williams. "We just didn't cash in on them. It all came down to who made the fewest mistakes, Model was just a tough team."
Model's winning score was set up in part by a gamble on the part of the Admirals. With 2:43 remaining in the last quarter, Williams elected to let his troops go for a first down on a fourth-and-four situation. On the pivotal play, quarterback Kyong So threw a timing pass to Mike Fisher. The junior split end failed to hold onto the ball, giving Model excellent field position.
The Admirals (1-1) started the game with a bang when sophomore split end-safety Jake Mack took the opening kickoff 50 yards to the Eagle 45. However, Kyong So's third-down pass to Brendan Haggerty gained only 12 of the 16 yards needed to keep their opening drive alive, forcing Severn to punt.
Following Andy Plummer's sack of Bergen, Model was forced to punt deep inside their own territory, Admiral halfback Daniel Wu (19 carries, 140 yards) bolted 22 yards to the Model 10-yard line. On the ensuing play, the football found its way out of So's hands and into the grasp of defensive back Mark Wolfangle at the Eagle 20.
"Any time the ball is inside of the opponent's 20, the good teams usually take advantage and score, the young teams make the mistakes," Williams said. "We're a good football team, but we're still young."
Eleven plays and 80 yards later, Wolfangle scampered six yards to put Model (1-1) on top 6-0. The Eagles faked the extra point kick, and Bergen's roll-out pass sailed over the outstretched hands of Mike Kent.
Mack once again broke loose and raced 52 yards on the kickoff return to put the Admirals inside Eagle territory. Three plays later, the Admirals were forced to punt.
Late in the first half, Daniel Wu gained 35 yards on five carries during a drive which lasted more than four minutes, capping the 49-yard drive with a 11-yard scoring jaunt through several would-be defenders on his way to pay dirt, tying the game 6-6. The 6-foot, 7-inch Kent (6 catches for 65 yards) stopped So's bid to put the Admirals up by blocking the extra point kick.
Late in the third quarter, the Admirals threatened to take control of the game, starting from their own 27. A series of carries by Wu coupled with a 10-yard completion from So to Mack took Severn down to the Eagle 10. One play later, fullback Randy Morse fumbled while attempting to break free from a crowd of Eagle defenders.
Throughout the second half, Model's sophomore halfback Andrew Olsen ran roughshod over the Admiral defense, gaining a team high 114 yards on 18 carries.
"Their quarterback (Bergen 12-for-25, 125 yards, 1 interception) and their halfback (Olsen) was the difference for their team," Williams said. "We slowed Kent down a little, but we didn't stop the other two from making the big plays."