Westminster Boys Win Carroll 'Super Bowl,' 7-6

November 21, 1990|By Mike Nortrup | Mike Nortrup,Contributing sports writer

Westminster Green Terrors Coach John Frech said he was sorry he showed up in Sykesville on that freezing afternoon in November 1989.

There his team was crushed 33-0 by North Carroll in the C Division game at last year's Carroll County Football League super bowl.

But he has very different feelings about Saturday's rematch at Perry Hall Junior High in Baltimore County at this year's three-part CCFL super bowl.

His 8- to 10-year-olds gained at least some measure of revenge as they edged North Carroll, 7-6.

It also marked the first time in the four-year history of the bowl, which matches the top two regular-season finishers in each of the CCFL's age groups, that the second-place team has beaten the regular-season champ.

In the other two super bowl games Saturday, Sykesville blanked Perry Hall, 12-0, for the B Division crown and Perry Hall topped Westminster, 38-12, in the A Division title fray.

Taiwan Veney had put Westminster ahead on the C Division game's second play from scrimmage when he broke from near midfield and sailed down the left sideline to score.

"It's my bread-and-butter play," Frech said, describing the misdirection play that won the game. "I call it 'everybody right.' The only guy going left is the ball carrier."

And, Westminster successfully converted after its touchdown.

North Carroll had a chance to tie in the second quarter on Adam Boog's 5-yard touchdown run, but the team couldn't convert the extra point.

Westminster then controlled the ball most of the second half, giving it up only twice.

But the second time proved almost fatal as North Carroll back Eric Etzel ran 50 yards to the Terror 35 in the game's waning moments.

Etzel's team then drove to the 11-yard line with one second remaining and called time out.

At that point everybody's hearts were pounding, including the referees'.

"They told me, 'Please, no stupid penalties,' " North Carroll Coach John Etzel said. "They didn't want a penalty deciding the game."

It didn't, and Boog's final -- around the right end was halted when he was pushed out of bounds at the 3.

John Etzel, though, is pleased with his 9-1 regular-season title, which denotes the true champion in each division.

"I got the trophy I wanted," he said.

Sykesville's B Division victory, meanwhile, gave the Raiders a sweep of six consecutive titles (three regular season and three super bowl) over the past three seasons -- one as a C team and two as a B squad. The same nucleus of players has won 34 consecutive games.

And Sykesville has victimized Perry Hall in each of its three super bowl wins.

This year's team, though, was special to coach Jon Barnowski. "This is the best team I've coached. Most of the core group has been there a while but now they've developed," Barnowski said.

He credited that development to a strong team emphasis on physical and mental fitness, and constant repetition in practice of a surprisingly complex playbook with more than two dozen offensive plays.

He also credited assistant coaches Ray Richardson, Ron Pagels, Ken Love, Sam Torosino and Will Taylor for helping him drill his 11- to 12-year-olds.

Saturday, though, the cold weather forced Sykesville to keep it simple, said Barnowski. "We wanted to grind it out on the ground," he said. "We threw only four passes. Usually it's 50-50 between pass and run."

Mike Chenoweth's 41-yard punt return set up Greg Love's 2-yard plunge that put Sykesville up, 6-0, in the second quarter.

Ed Ruch gave the Raiders some breathing room in the third quarter when he returned an interception 38 yards to pay dirt.

Meanwhile, Sykesville's defense smothered Perry Hall, which never crossed the Raider 25-yard line.

Barnowski and about a dozen of his players will move up to the A Division next fall.

He plans to combine his gridders, some of whom haven't lost in three years, with the holdovers from a squad that won only twice this year.

He said he looks forward to the rebuilding job.

"It will be a challenge to me," he said.

Westminster Chiefs Coach Dick Mercer probably wishes he could bottle Barnowski's potion for beating Perry Hall in super bowls.

The Baltimore County-based team, after its 38-12 trouncing of Westminster in Saturday's A game, has now beaten the Chiefs in three consecutive post-season meetings.

The highlight of this post-season for Westminster was a coin flip which helped break a three-way tie for first.

This fortuitous toss last week had given Mercer's team a bye while Perry Hall and Reisterstown duked it out in a playoff game Nov. 13 at Manchester's Christmas Tree Park.

"We hoped Reisterstown would win," Mercer said. "Perry Hall seems to be our stigma."

But the Gators prevailed, 16-6, in the first playoff game, and quickly took advantage of early Chiefs' mistakes Saturday to jump to an early 18-0 lead.

Skip Faries' two scoring runs brought Westminster to within striking distance, making it 18-12 at halftime, but Perry Hall pulled away thereafter.

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