That's a tough score to live with and a tough one to practice with because, to remember last year's 59-2 loss to Southwestern, Spalding began each practice last week with 59 push-ups.
1988-91. That's how long Spalding's 27-game winless streak had run entering Saturday's game against the Sabers at Brooklyn Park Junior High.
"Not one of our kids had been involved with a winning effort," said Spalding's second-year coach, Greg Fuhrman. "This week we said, 'The only way you guys are going to learn about winning is to start winning.' "
Trailing 12-0 in the second quarter, the Cavaliers started learning. As time expired in the first half, Pat Kiley caught a 9-yard Brian Edwards pass at the goal line, took a hit, but managed to keep his balance and get into the end zone. Then they scored again to open the second half. At the end, they hung on for a 13-12 victory and The Streak had ceased to exist.
"The thing that impressed me was that they didn't choke," said Southwestern coach Fred Kaiss. "They started smelling victory and they went for it. I'm sorry it had to be us, but I'm glad it happened [for them]."
Spalding coaches had extensively scouted Southwestern's run-and-shoot offense, Fuhrman said, and felt they had placed people in the best positions to defend against it. "But, it was still up to those people to execute," he said.
"I was incredibly proud of our captains, Matt DeMarco, Edwards, Osric Prioleau, Tommy Alber and Dan Wolf," he said. "It was the seventh week of the season and we still hadn't won, but they had the kids hopping every day in practice. Even when our bus was late for the game, they kept everybody focused."
* MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T GO HOME AGAIN: Next year, when C.M. Wright visits Bel Air, the Bobcats may have performed untold thousands of push-ups to remind them of Friday's 62-0 loss to the Mustangs. Wright, the area's highest scoring team at 44.6 points per game, led just 7-0 after the first quarter.
"They're crosstown rivals," said Wright coach Steve Harward. "It looked like it was going to be a close
game. They were all pumped up and sky-high."
But at half-time it was 35-0, and Wright began substituting early in the third quarter. The Mustangs picked up 414 yards rushing and 108 passing on their way to the area's highest point total this year. But the distinction, said Harward, "is not one I'd like to have. I went to Bel Air myself."
* MUSTANGS ARE LOOSE ALL OVER: In Meade's 34-0 win over Glen Burnie, senior cornerback Kevin Powell not only blocked two punts, but picked them both up and ran them in for touchdowns from 30 and 36 yards.
In the same game, Meade's Kenny Walker ran for 169 yards on 19 carries to become the area's first 1,000-yard rusher with 1,002 in 7 games.
* LINEMAN'S DREAM, COACH'S DREAM DEPT.: Winless Glenelg trailed Mount Hebron, 19-6, with about four minutes remaining and had just surrendered the ball on on interception at Mount Hebron's 5. On the first play, Gladiators' defensive tackle Hunter French hit the Vikings' tailback in the backfield, popping the ball into the end zone where blitzing linebacker Matt Gardner fell on it for the TD.
With the score 19-12 and 3:50 remaining, Glenelg attempted, and lost, an onside kick. But two plays later the Vikings fumbled. Glenelg recovered and drove to the 1. Jason
Beall then ran off tackle for a TD and two-point conversion to give the Gladiators their first win of the year and new coach Ed Ashwell his first win ever.
* WHAT'S HE DOING THERE?: In the first quarter of Overlea's 30-7 win over Chesapeake, Falcons quarterback Bernard Fitchette had established himself as a running threat by scooting 71 yards around left end for the weekend's longest scoring run from scrimmage.
In the second quarter, Overlea coach Terry Ward put Doug Howard at quarterback on a fourth-and-10, slipping Fitchette over to halfback. Howard took the snap and pitched to Fitchette who, rolling right, lofted a pass to tight end Bernard Hopkins alone at the three. The 6-foot-6 Hopkins, alone behind the defense, reached down below his knees to snag the pass, then stepped into the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown play.