Wilde Lake's football team picked a fine way to highlight coach Doug DuVall's storied career. Saturday's 42-0 blasting at Centennial not only marked DuVall's 150th career victory (against 34 losses, .815 winning percentage), it also represented the Wildecats' best performance of the season.
"We're pretty much right on track. We need a good game against Hammond (this week) to solidify it," said DuVall, who is thinking more about the Bears this week than the 11 county championships and two state titles he's bagged during the past 18 years at Wilde Lake.
"When I first started coaching, I said I wanted to win 150 games, and I figured it would take 25 years to do it," said DuVall, 43, who has coached exclusively at Wilde Lake. At his current pace, he would reach 200 victories before his 25th season.
"I'll think about 200 more after the season is over," he said.
The Wildecats can't play much better than they did against Centennial. Wilde Lake's offense mugged the Eagles early, taking a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter. The defense then scored two second-half touchdowns to finish Centennial (3-3).
The Wildecats improved their record to 6-0, extended their winning streak to 19 and looked very much like a team poised to repeat as state champions.
Offensively, quarterback Phil White hadhis best game of the year, completing six of seven passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. His lone incompletion was a dropped pass. White also ran 2 yards for a touchdown to give the Wildecats a 21-0 lead with 7 minutes, 30 seconds left in the half.
The real story for Wilde Lake, though, has been its defense. Under first-year defensive coach Mike Harrison, the Wildecats have recorded four shutouts -- including three straight against the county -- and are beginning to resemblethe unit that yielded 29 regular-season points and no rushing touchdowns last year.
For the first three games, Wilde Lake looked aboveaverage, as it surrendered four touchdowns. Since then, the Wildecats have not yielded a point in 12 quarters.
The streak is especially satisfying to Harrison. He replaced the popular Ed Ashwell, who left Wilde Lake after eight years as the defensive coordinator to take the head coaching job at Glenelg this year.
"There's no more cloud of Eddie hanging over. That was a challenge," Harrison said.
As Ashwell had great players like Ricky Rowe and Jack Bradford to lead hisdefenses, Harrison has senior inside linebacker Brent Guyton.
Guyton, the premier player in the county -- who is All-Metro material --made or assisted on 14 tackles in a little over two quarters Saturday. He is being pursued seriously by Michigan State, Miami, UCLA, Syracuse and Penn State, among others.
Besides Guyton, the key to the defense has been the secondary, considered the team's most vulnerablepart in preseason, mostly because of inexperience.
Senior transfer cornerback Andre Martin has been sensational at cornerback. He's only had one pass completed on him all year. And senior George Bradford, who hadn't played football in two years, leads the team with four interceptions.
The defense has forced 23 turnovers and scored four touchdowns.
Other football notes:
Atholton's run-and-shoot, grounded by Hammond in a 13-0 loss two weeks ago, returned in a 28-7 victory over Glenelg.
Quarterback Brian Van Deusen broke the 1,000-yard passing mark for the season by completing 18 of 33 for 188 yards and three TDs. He has completed 96 of 190 for 1,043 yards and 12 TDs. Involved on incredibly equivalent terms are wide receivers BrianSmith (28 catches, 250 yards, four TDs), Brian Gick (21 catches, 249yards, three TDs) and Brian Egolf (18 catches, 251 yards, one TD). The Raiders are 4-2 and have already surpassed last year's victory total.
Hammond (3-3), which lost 27-12 to Oakland Mills after losing four fumbles in the fourth quarter Saturday, has seen its season takeseveral unlucky turns.
Since preseason, the Golden Bears have lost five starters to injuries.
Center Brian Triantafillos went down during the preseason with an injured knee. Lineman Pat Brennan suffered a season-ending neck nerve injury two weeks ago, and could miss wrestling season as well. Running back Matt Cyran (knee) went down against Atholton and is gone for the year. Lineman Lars Unhjem (sprained ankle) and defensive back Andre Hopkins (broken toe) may return this week against Wilde Lake after suffering injuries last week.
Hopkins broke his toe in gym class.
Oakland Mills (3-3), because of its remaining schedule, shouldn't lose another game. The Scorpions are giving up an average of 1.2 rushing yards per carry and have allowed just three rushing touchdowns. And since moving to fullback two weeks ago, senior Monte Spencer has rushed for 174 yards (6.8 per carry) andthree TDs.
Finally, a volleyball update. The reasons for Centennial's 8-0 record are numerous.
The Eagles are serving at a 93.9 percent success rate, with eight players serving over 90 percent. Their front row trio of Shannon Saltzmann (74 kills, 14 point blocks),Laura Taneyhill (56 kills) and Carlyn Cangiano (51 kills, 13 point blocks) has been sensational. The same goes for setter Sezin Omer, whohas 96 assists and only nine bad sets in 242 attempts.