Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and now, Bush. Five men have been president of the United States since Cardinal Gibbons had beaten Poly in a football game.
But Friday the clock expired with Poly's Ian Smith coming up inches short of the goal line on the final play to give unranked Gibbons a 9-6 win over the top-ranked Engineers.
TC "This is the first time we've beaten them in 22 years," said Gibbons coach Frank Trcka. "I think this year is the first time
we've had the attitude that you're going to have to beat us because we're not going to let you beat us."
Poly was opening its season, while Gibbons had lost its opener two weeks ago, 28-27, to Cambridge-South Dorchester. The Crusaders took last week off to prepare for the Engineers. They practiced running their first four plays without a huddle, hoping to catch Poly before its defense was set.
"We went with no huddle the first four plays and they all worked," Trcka said. "I was figuring Poly hadn't played a game and might not be that sharp to start."
Gibbons took the opening kickoff and drove to its only touchdown of the day.
Poly dressed 47 men and Gibbons just 23 position players and a kicker, sophomore Kevin Duke, whose 40-yard field goal in the second quarter created the final score.
"We used about 16 players, totally," Trcka said. "We've got enough so we can rotate 'em. If it'd been 90 degrees we'd have never been in the ballgame."
* After 21 years of coaching in recreation leagues and as an assistant at John Carroll and Calvert Hall, Tim Perry got his first win as a head coach yesterday when Mount St. Joseph beat MSA A Conference newcomer Lake Clifton, 14-8.
After losing their first two games this year, on top of last year's 0-9 mark, the Gaels were down 8-6 to the Lakers in the fourth quarter. But they stopped Lake Clifton on a fourth-and-one at their 26-yard line and drove 74 yards on the ground, culminating in Julius Weems' 25-yard touchdown run. Weems, a sophomore, added a two-point conversion.
Another sophomore tailback, Eddie Pailen, carried 16 times for 101 yards. "He got us tough yards when we needed them," Perry said.
The thrill of Perry's first win lost some its edge when, just as the last play was to be run, a frustrated Lakers lineman jumped offside andplowed into Gaels quarterback Shaun Neal. A fight erupted and both benches emptied, but coaches and officials separated the teams quickly. After consulting with Perry and Lake Clifton coach Dave White, the officials let the last few seconds lapse. No one was ejected from the game, which had been played hard and clean to that point.
A few hours later, Perry had recovered from the excitement. "Right now, inside I'm ecstatic," he said. "But I feel really good for those seniors and [former coach] Walt Lambert, who went through last year."
* Perennial Howard County power Oakland Mills won its first game in three tries, 28-3, over Thomas Johnson, just in time for this week's showdown with arch-rival Wilde Lake. But the price the Scorpions paid was excruciating.
Starting quarterback Antwan Baker was ejected from the game after a second-quarter shoving incident and, because of a Howard County rule, must sit out one game. Starting tailback Kenya Edwards moved over to quarterback and suffered a broken arm in the third quarter. And starting fullback Akil Benjamin went out with a broken ankle.
* Severn's offense is producing some stunning numbers. Fullback Jason Wade, moved from fullback to tailback this season, has rushed 40 times for 427 yards, a 10.7-yard average, with six touchdowns. He's caught two passes for 62 yards and both went for TDs.
"We've been a tailback-oriented offense in the past," said coach Jim Doyle. "This year we have another ingredient. Our flanker, Jake Mack, is catching and running the ball from that position, giving us another dimension." Mack has 19 carries for 228 yards (12.0 avg.) and 10 catches for 196 yards.
Quarterback Brad Fowler has completed 26 of 61 passes for 466 yards and seven TDs with no interceptions. Split end Chris Pitkin has caught four for 208 yards (29.7 avg.) and two touchdowns. The other split end, Mike Fisher, has four catches, 129 yards (32.3 avg.) and 2 TDs.
The Admirals had 477 yards total offense in a 46-14 win over Spalding.
* Southwestern will try to stop Severn this week, but the Sabres have a secret weapon of their own. Joe Gamble, their 5-foot-7, 155-pound nose guard, is a demon on special teams. Two weeks ago he made two blocks on one kickoff return for a touchdown. Friday, in a 20-0 win over Boys' Latin, Gamble fell on a blocked punt in the end zone for his own score.