Last season, Roy Marsh's long run in the closing seconds gave Perry Hall a 14-8 victory at Wilde Lake and kept the Wildecats from going undefeated in the regular season.
Yesterday, sixth-ranked Wilde Lake (2-0) got even, using 161 yards on 10 carries and three touchdowns by Raphael Wall to defeat the No. 7 Gators, 28-7, at Perry Hall. The home club fell to 1-1.
Marsh rushed for 50 yards on eight carries.
"This is the toughest week of practice we've had in a long time," Wildecats coach Doug Duvall said. "We've never been undefeated, and I woke up in cold sweats thinking about last year [the loss to Perry Hall]. The players have a shirt that has the word 'team' printed on it in three-inch letters, and 'me' printed in small letters at the bottom. We played as a team today, and it showed."
The Wildecats wasted little time getting on the board. On the opening possession, Wall rushed five times, including a 25-yard run on fourth-and-two for the game's first score, ending a 65-yard drive with 8 minutes, 26 seconds left in the first quarter. The extra point made it 7-0.
Perry Hall answered with 5:34 left in the half. After a Wildecats fumble was recovered by Michael Stefanoni at the Wilde Lake 34, the Gators used six plays to tie the score with a 9-yard pass from Donnie Burks to Kevin Loewe and Robert Hamer's extra point.
Perry Hall took the opening kickoff of the second half, but got only to its 35. A short punt gave the Wildecats the ball at the Gators' 47, and Wilde Lake needed only four plays, including a 33-yard touchdown run by Wall, to take the lead, 14-7, with 5:12 left in the third quarter.
The Gators moved the ball on their next two plays, but a mishandled pitch on the third was recovered by Wilde Lake's Joey Guyton on the Perry Hall 47. Eight plays later, Wall scored his final touchdown on a 5-yard run, boosting the lead to 21-7 with 11:03 left.
After holding the Gators on the next series, the Wildecats took over at the Perry Hall 42. Ten plays later, Oba McMillan caught Mike Jones' 23-yard pass to close the scoring.
"I don't think revenge was that much of a factor," Wall said. "We kept hearing Marsh's name in practice, and I knew we had to stop him. We keyed on him, and everybody wanted a shot."
"We couldn't stop their ground game," Perry Hall coach Joe Stoy said. He [Wall] is a good back and we knew we had to stop him, but we couldn't."