The short-term effects of the win were inconsequential. The season ended at 3-7, rather than 2-8. Hardly a cause for massive celebration.
But Broadneck coach Jeff Herrick saw greater importance in the 14-6 victory at Queen Anne's last November. The long-term effects, he believed, were invaluable.
"We can use that as a steppingstone to this season," he said. "Wewere in several ballgames. It was just a matter of closing the door."
And not allowing potential wins to slither away, as so often happened last fall, when the Bruins lost four games by a total of nine points.
This could be the year Broadneck does, indeed, close the door. And turns the lock.
"Our team has a philosophy about the fourth quarter," said junior quarterback Brian Tate. "A lot of teams aren't ready for the fourth quarter. But with our conditioning, that's when we take control of the ball."
Now it's time to take control of more games. And a good season from Tate, who started the last three games of 1990 after recovering from a pulled thigh muscle, could enablethe Bruins to do just that.
Tate's biggest obstacle at practices was establishing himself as the leader and earning the confidence of his teammates.
"It's more or less a big jump ahead because most high school quarterbacks are seniors," he said. "I'm trying to be a leader out there now, and it's hard, being an underclassman. I'm just going to take things one step at a time. I'm going to give it everything I have and try to lead our team as far as we can go."
Herrick said, "Our system last year was exactly what we're doing this year. As a sophomore, he sat back and learned what we did, and then applied itthose last three games, and again in the (Central Maryland Summer Passing League). He's had a lot of experience. He knows the system verywell.
"He, right now, is a step above what he was last year."
When Tate steps back to pass, he can expect ample protection from an offensive line that returns all but one starter.
"We have a very good offensive line," Tate said, sounding relieved. "They give me protection in the backfield, they give me enough time to throw the football. All I have to do is get the ball to a receiver and let them do the work."
Still in question is who will do the bulk of the work in the backfield, now that David Taylor (975 yards) has graduated.
The two players vying for the starting tailback spot are Chuck Eaton and Larry Krzyzaniak. Eaton rushed for more than 1,200 yards on the junior varsity last year, while Krzyzaniak was a starting defensive backon the varsity.
"Between the two, one or the two of them togethershould produce a lot of yardage for us," Herrick said.
Seth Lopatkiewicz, who became a starter late in the season, returns at fullback.
On defense, the Bruins lost a couple of talents in All-County linemen Jeff Esterling and Carlos Cromwell and safeties Steve Reilly and Mike Norton.
Two of Reilly's six interceptions last year came inthe season-opener against South River, a team the Bruins never have beaten. They'll get another chance Sept. 6.
Then comes the 4A League competition, where Herrick said there are "no breathers."
"Eachgame is a dogfight," he said. "There aren't any weak sisters."
Hecan smile at the last comment. He knows Broadneck is anything but weak this year.
. . . in brief
School mascot: Bruins
School colors: Maroon, gray and white
Name of field/stadium: Lawrence E. Knight Stadium
Address: 1265 Green Holly Drive, Annapolis,Md. 21401
Phone number: 757-1300
Principal: Lawrence E. Knight
Athletic director: Kevin McMullen
Cheerleading adviser: Holly Johansen
Marching band director: Kevin Pallett
School enrollment: 1,020