Randallstown's Larry Washington is human. He was stiff and sore and did not suit up for Baltimore County in yesterday's Greater Baltimore Football Classic. He had led the Rams to the state Class 4A championship Saturday.
It was just as well. The purpose of the game always has been to showcase the top seniors from Baltimore County and the Maryland Scholastic Association for college recruiters.
Washington, who gained 2,275 yards this season, needed no such showcase, but for Patapsco's Chris McFadden, it was the perfect stage.
It did not matter that the MSA won, 46-26. McFadden proved to all that he can play with the big boys. He's only 5 feet 10, 170 pounds, but displayed outstanding speed on a 58-yard kickoff return and a 31-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Donnie Burks of Perry Hall.
"I knew what I could do," said McFadden. "I want to go to college and I'd like to play football there. I'm hoping somebody noticed. I've been looking at Bridgewater and Frostburg State."
"McFadden can play this game and I've told a couple of college coaches that already," said Randallstown's John Buchheister, who coached the Baltimore County team. "He was probably our biggest surprise. If not, it was Kenwood center Steve Clay. And our quarterback [Burks] throws a really nice pass. If they want to, they can all play somewhere in college, maybe not at a big Division I school, but there's a lot of places where they could go and do the job."
The MSA had its share of offensive heroes, too. Forest Park's Obie Barnes Jr. broke off a long run in the first quarter, later scored on a 2-yard dive, and didn't surface again until the fourth quarter when he scored another touchdown.
"Coach Wrenn [Patterson's Roger Wrenn] did a great job for all of us," said Barnes. "He wanted to get everyone in as much as possible."
Gilman's Edward Trusty showed the MSA's superior depth. Trusty did not run with the MSA's first team, but still scored twice and showed that his shifty speed is enough to overcome his size (5-7, 175).
"This was a great experience," said Trusty. "I'm going to college. I really like Brown. I'm not sure if I'll play football though. I'm going for an education first. If I can get that and have fun playing football, that would be great. If not, that's OK, too."
"I thought our depth really showed," said Wrenn. "I was never totally convinced I had the best 11 on the field at first. We had two good tailbacks in Barnes and Trusty, two good fullbacks in Monte Bowens [Northwestern] and David Harris [Gibbons]. We had two good quarterbacks, too. DeWayne Washington [Lake Clifton] and Diarra Davis [Southwestern] were equally effective.
"I was impressed by some of those county kids. I never heard of McFadden before today. He is an excellent player, but that's what this game is all about."
An estimated 2,000 fans showed up, and many probably came to see Washington, but they didn't leave disappointed. McFadden, Trusty, Barnes, Burks and all the rest saw to that.