Western Maryland scores with The Play

October 15, 1991|By Jeff Fletcher

Dale Sprague calls it G-8 Power Flea Flicker. Others call it, simply, The Play.

Earlier this season, the Western Maryland coach said that his combination reverse/flea flicker has resulted in six completions -- five of them touchdowns -- in the seven times the Green Terrors had run The Play.

Add one touchdown.

On Saturday, Western Maryland (4-1) used it to score the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter of a 27-14 victory over Randolph-Macon.

The Play starts with quarterback Paul McCord tossing the ball to a back (usually tailback Eric Frees) on what looks like a sweep. The back then hands it to a crossing receiver, and the play looks like a reverse. But the receiver then flips it back to McCord, who heaves the ball downfield, where there should be nothing but a receiver and an end zone.

Sprague said he and then-St. Lawrence coach Andy Talley started running the play when Sprague was Talley's offensive coordinator from 1982-83. Sprague admits The Play -- as many great ones have been -- was copied from Florida State's Bobby Bowden.

"Bowden's a brilliant football coach," Sprague said. "A lot of people call those trick plays, but doggone it, he's got about 200 wins off them."

Sprague, whose Green Terrors are off to their first 3-0 Centennial Football Conference start, has had good results with The Play himself.

In 1989, the year Sprague started running it at Western Maryland, The Play resulted in a game-tying touchdown in a 21-13 win against Albright. In the opener this season against Albright, The Play ended in a 75-yard touchdown that pulled Western Maryland within one point in the game's final five minutes.

G-8 Power Flea Flicker feeds off teams that alter their defense to stop Frees, who is fifth on the Division III rushing list with 4,461 yards.

* TOWSON STATE: As if being 0-5 isn't bad enough, the Tigers could be without seven starters when they face Northeastern on Saturday.

Defensive tackle Bill Fisher (nerve injury in his shoulder) and linebacker James Dutton (strained shoulder) will miss this week. Center Joe Field (sprained knee) will be out two to three weeks. Senior linebacker Jared Freeze, who suffered the third concussion of his career Saturday, may be done for the season. Defensive end Bob Meehan (sprained left knee) has been out since Sept. 28. Strong safety Keith Williams (hip pointer) is listed as doubtful. Tight end Michael Mazur (hip pointer) is listed as questionable.

Reserve defensive lineman Scott Tull, who broke his hand in practice last week, is out indefinitely.

* SALISBURY STATE: Offensive guard Mark Craemer (Milford Mill),who injured a knee on Sept. 14, still is out of the Sea Gulls lineup. Craemer is doubtful for Saturday's game against Wagner, but he could be back the next week.

* BOWIE STATE: Junior tight end Wayne Fajerski (Brooklyn Park) broke his right leg in the Bulldogs' 35-13 loss to Norfolk State on Saturday. He will be out for the season. Freshman Swain Sherman (Howard), who was switched from the defensive line to tight end in the spring, will replace Fajerski.

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