Surging South River Has A Shot At 3a State Playoffs

SIDELINES

October 07, 1991|By Pat O'Malley

Other than unbeaten Old Mill (5-0), there is no question that the rest of the pack in Class 4A Region IV football is out of control. They're knocking each other off, which ultimately could mean only one team from the region advancing to post-season.

That of course, would be the Region IV champion, but have you noticed what Class 3A South River has been doing?

The Seahawks are 4-1 overall, including Friday's upset victory over Randallstown (3-2) of Baltimore County by 27-14 and have a legitimate shot at winning their last five games.

Coach Dave Summey's Hawks visit 0-5 Lansdowne of Baltimore

County this Friday and then onsuccessive Fridays play at home vs. Perry Hall (3-2) of Baltimore County and Lackey (2-3) of Charles before closing on the road at countyClass 2A schools Northeast (3-2) and Southern at Harwood (2-3).

Certainly, those are all "winnable" games. But Perry Hall, a 16-7 winner over Randallstown, should be a tough game for South River. It's a plus for South River to have that one at home.

And even if South River stumbles once in the last five games, the Seahawks could still get into the 3A playoffs with an 8-2 record. At 9-1 it's almost guaranteed.

The four region winners across the state in each of the fourschool enrollment classes -- 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A -- automatically gaina playoff berth. Then, the next four teams with the best records andplayoff points average advance to post season.

That means as manyas three could come from one region and only one from another.

With the big win over Randallstown, South River has put itself in position to control its own destiny and as the county's only 3A school move into the playoffs for the first time since 1986 under Joe Papetti.

Summey's Hawks have a shot because of the Randallstown victory on the road at Catonsville Community College Friday and the fact they were fortunate enough to win their first two games of the season with virtually no offense.

South River outlasted Broadneck on the Bruins' home turf by 6-3 in overtime in game one and then won their home opener, 6-0, over St. Mary's of Annapolis.

Just this weekend, however, the Seahawks rolled up 317 yards of total offense with 279 coming on the ground. Senior backs Kevin Ferguson (17-for-102) and Chris Messineo (15-for-101) accounted for 203 of those rushing yards. Cameron only completed two of five passes for 38 yards, but one was a 21-yardtouchdown to Jimmy Wilson.

With the 27 points against Randallstown, South River has now outscored its opponents 72-31. The defense is yielding only an average 6.2 points a game, tops in the county.

Old Mill with a total of just 34 points yielded in five games is the only county team close to South River. So it's safe to say that South River has a good defense.

Summey has a group of guys who know how to make the big plays as evidenced by interceptions from senior defensive backs Edmund Hicks and Ricky Brookman and a crucial fumble recovery by senior nose guard Joey Fuqua in the win over Randallstown.

Fuqua's pouncing on a loose pigskin following a South River punt set up the clinching touchdown by Messineo from 7 yards out in the final period. That gave the Hawks a commanding 13-point lead late in the final period.

St. Mary's had 37 total yards and just two first downs against the Hawks. Bladensburg, the other team blanked by the Seahawks, only got 53 total yards (40 rushing and 13 passing) and four firstdowns.

And now with the offense clicking, Summey and his new staff of Jim Henne, Chuck Golch, Tom Newman and Lance Evans could be headed for post-season play for the first time. Henne is the only leftover from last year's staff with Dave Kraft and Denis Schanberger movingto Southwestern in Baltimore with Fred Kaiss.

Old Mill (5-0) remained the county's only unbeaten high school football team in what wasa weekend for field goals. Coach Pete Regala's Patriots held on to edge upstart North County (3-2) 3-0 on a 21-yard field goal by Steve Oliver in the third period.

After the loss, North County coach Chuck Markiewicz sounded a warning that might well be said by several coaches in this fiercely competitive county 4A League.

"We have five games left, and we plan to win them. You can print that," said Markiewicz of his Knights' remaining slate that includes a visit to Chesapeake this week, Severna Park (home), Meade (away), Glen Burnie (home) and Broadneck (home).

North County is now one of five county 4A teams at 3-2 after Friday's action. Severna Park and Meade posted victories to lift their overall records to 3-2 while Glen Burnie and Annapolis joined North County in slipping to that mark.

Severna Park buried Glen Burnie early and went on to post a 26-8 victory over the Gophers as John Milisitz set a school kicking record. The Falcons jumped out 23-0 at the half and added a school-record 47-yard field goal by Milisitz in the third period to put the game out of reach at 26-0.

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