Gopher Rushes Along

Opponents Find It Hard To Catch Generette

September 22, 1991|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff writer

Alphonso Generette entered Friday night's football game at Chesapeake as the county's leading rusher and certainly the fastest.

And inrushing 23 times for 111 yards and the game-winning touchdown in a 21-14 double-overtime victory over the Cougars (1-2), the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Glen Burnie running back showed that he may be among the bestaround.

"Generette's just a very talented athlete," said Gophers coach Dave Rigot of the running back, who gained 160 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown in last week's 20-16 victory over Broadneck.

"He's strong with great balance and that makes him very hard to bring down," Rigot said.

Generette entered the contest ranked third in area rushing with 293 yards and among the top seven scorers with three touchdowns. But the Cougars were well prepared for him, and his longest gains were only 19 and 16 yards.

In fact, his touchdown run from 9 yards out in the Gophers' second, four-down overtime series was the onlytime he went untouched all night.

"I told the coach 'Thank God for calling that play,' " said Generette, who was out most of last season with a chronic ankle injury.

He recovered in the spring to win outdoor county track titles in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes.

"They were keying on me all night, but I think our line helped me overcome that," he said.

Against Chesapeake, the Gophers were without starting senior quarterback Dave Lanham, who was replaced by juniornewcomer John Sponaugle. Lanham suffered a broken fibula in his leftleg against Broadneck and might be lost for the season.

Sponaugle, a junior varsity starter last year, had completed just one pass in six attempts before his successful 6-yard touchdown pass to Mike McDowell put the Gophers ahead, 14-7, in their first four downs from the 10-yard line.

But the Cougars came right back with quarterback Jamie Robertson's 1-yard keeper and Tim Wilde's extra-point kick to tie the game.

Generette's touchdown and McDowell's third and final extra-point kick gave the Gophers their winning margin, but they still needed heroics from Trae Gillis, who sacked Robertson for a 4-yard loss on the final series and intercepted him at the 1-yard line to end the game.

"We played awesome defense -- championship defense," saidGillis. "Afterwards, I asked the team, 'Doesn't it feel great to win?'"

Both regulation touchdowns were scored in the first quarter.

After Glen Burnie's Ray Harrod capped a seven-play, 65-yard drive for with his touchdown 12-yard touchdown, Chesapeake's Brandon Stienhiem returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards.

Rigot, in his 15th season, says he's hoping for better things from his team this year.

"I don't mean to offend last year's team, because all of the kids have worked hard over the years, but I think this team's a lot better than last year's, talent-wise," said Rigot, who has a 62-81 career record."I just hope that we can do something with it."

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