It would have been easy for Severn to look beyond Saturday's opponent, Archbishop Spalding.
After all, Spalding hadn't been on the winning end of a football game since October 1988 and had lost its firsttwo games of this season by a combined score of 66-14.
But following last week's heartbreaking 27-23 loss to Southern, Severn coach Jim Doyle wasn't about to let his Admirals lose their intensity against their Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference counterparts.
Host Severn racked up 520 yards of total offense en route to a 46-14 blowout, improving its overall record to 2-2 (1-0 conference).
"This was a big win for us -- we really needed it," Doyle said. "We had talked about today's game all week, and I told them that they (Spalding) would be tough."
For the opening 15 minutes of the contest, the first-year coach's expectations ran true to form.
The Cavs (0-3, 0-1 conference) capitalized on the first of three fumbles at the 9:17, when Severn's Jake Mack bobbled Cavalier Dan Edwards' punt at his own 45. Senior linebacker Matt Demarco pounced on the ball, giving Spalding its best starting field position for the entire contest.
Eleven plays and nearly five minutes later, Edwards (9-for-20, 75 yards, three interceptions) reached the end zone on a two-yard quarterback sneak. Tim Alber's extra point sailed wide right, but the underdogs had taken a surprising 6-0 lead.
The Admirals took just 3:29 to steal the momentum away from the visitors, as Brad Fowlerconnected with split end-defensive back Chris Pitkin (two catches, 51 yards plus two interceptions) on a 39-yard scoring pass. Brian Kight's first of five extra points gave Severn a lead it would never relinquish.
"I think we gave out a little too early -- not our attitude, but our physical talent," Cavalier coach Greg Fuhrman said. "They (Severn) just have so much talent overall that they eventually did what they wanted to do on offense, although we knew what was coming."
Fowler's nine-yard scoring jaunt around left end and subsequent two-point conversion pass to Dave LaChapelle put the Admirals firmly ahead, 15-6. Kight's 20-yard field goal with 1:46 upped the bulge to 18-6 at the half. Fowler finished the game with 36 yards rushing on fourcarries.
"After having a mediocre game last week, Brad had a big game, he looked pretty good," Doyle said of the junior left-hander, who completed six of 11 passing attempts for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
In the opening drive of the second half, Jason Wade (seven carries, 148 yards) sparked a seven-play, 77-yard drive by running 62 yards on three carries -- capping the series with a 29-yard burst around the left side of the Cavalier defense, bowling over defensive backs Chris Locus and Edwards on his way to the end zone.
Said Fuhrman, "Severn has some studs in that backfield. Wade, Mack (four carries,50 yards) and (Randy) Morse (seven carries, 47 yards): They're all great backs."
Mike Fisher's 41-yard touchdown reception and second-string tailback Jason Scott's 11-yard run opened up a 39-6 margin forSevern midway in the final period.
Spalding fullback Scott Mattison's seven-yard run and two-point conversion capped a 70-yard drive and made the score 39-16. But reserve quarterback Doug Shafer added icing on the cake for the winners, going virtually untouched on a 34-yard scoring run.
"We did some things well, but we're still too inconsistent," Fuhrman said. "It's a long season, and there's plenty of time for us to get things going."