Deep within the trenches of yesterday's Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference game between host No. 19 Gilman and No. 15 Forest Park, a battle took place that proved a microcosm of the game.
Gilman's 5-foot-10, 207-pound center David Shapiro drew the assignment of blocking 6-2, 340-pound Eric Conaway. Though smaller, Shapiro eventually wore down his man rendering him ineffective.
For the undersized Greyhounds, facing a defensive line that averaged 289 pounds, it was this kind of play that made the difference in their 6-0 win.
"We did a great job on the line, overall," said Shapiro. "Our coaches told us all week that, even though we were smaller, if we got low and drove our feet we could beat them."
Gilman put together a 16-play, 70-yard drive to start the third quarter that led to the game's only score. What's more, it kept an already weary Forest Park defense on the field for nearly eight minutes.
"That drive was very important," said Gilman coach Sherm Bristow, whose team improved to 2-0 both overall and in the conference. "It took a lot out of them. We thought we'd have to have a hot day and a lot of extended drives to wear them down, but this one drive seemed to do it."
Starting on their 30, the Greyhounds moved the ball by handing off to Wade Ware (19 carries for 68 yards) and Victor Carter-Bey (nine for 63). Then at the Forest Park 20, quarterback Mark Cornes rolled left and hit Tim Elliott, who carried to the 3.
Two plays later, Cornes scored on a quarterback sneak from 1 yard out to put Gilman ahead 6-0 with 4 minutes, 34 seconds left in the third quarter.
Said Carter-Bey: "We knew they had big size, so we tried to run on the outside, away from the big guys."
Said Bristow: "I think we sealed their defensive line really well. Going in, I wouldn't have put much money on us doing that."
Other than that drive, however, the game was a defensive struggle. Neither team got closer than the other's 31 the rest of the game.
Excluding its first drive, Forest Park (0-2, 0-2) never got past the Gilman 46. In the second half, it gained just 54 yards.
"We're still killing ourselves," said Forest Park coach Obie Barnes. "We're supposed to be experienced on the line, but we're just not blocking well."