Ask City quarterback Terrence Suber for his opinion on the outcome of tomorrow's showdown between No. 1 Calvert Hall and No. 2 City, and he dodges the issue as deftly as he directs the Black Knights' slick option offense.
"I don't pay attention to the rankings," he said. "I'll wait for the rankings at the end of the season. If we deserve No. 1, we'll show it."
Ask Calvert Hall defensive end Sean Mackley if his team feels snubbed that many area football fans favor City and he flatly states, "City should be favored."
How's that again, Sean?
"I see it as a positive," he said. "It's motivation for us to win. The rankings are not a worry to our team."
Mackley and Suber are two-way performers who likely will bang pads many times when the Cardinals (7-0) visit City (6-0) at 2:45 p.m. tomorrow. Mackley, a senior, plays tight end offensively, or sheds his No. 81 jersey for No. 64 and shifts to center. As the defensive end, however, he will have the unenviable job of forcing Suber to choose his options before he really wants to.
"Coach Wineke [Calvert Hall defensive coordinator Larry Wineke] has been around the option a long time and knows it well," said Mackley. "He has a plan to stop it and
we'll carry that out as best we can."
Suber, who also plays defensive back, has a plan, too. He will read the Cardinals' defense and decide on the fly how to beat it.
He might hand off to powerful fullback Antonio Travers, slip off tackle himself, or pitch to trailing tailback Hari Lymon. Or he might pull up and pass.
As a sophomore last fall, Suber faced Calvert Hall on a miserable day and the Cardinals prevailed, 29-8.
"Experience really helps," said Suber. "Last year, it was hard to run the option in the mud. The cold didn't bother me, but the mud did."
The weather is not expected to be a factor tomorrow, but Suber could be.
He came up through the Overlea recreation program as a tailback. City coach George Petrides recognized his athletic ability and asked him to learn how to run the option last year. As expected, Suber was inconsistent, but it wasn't for his lack of effort. He and tight end Charles Ramsom spent a lot of hours in the heat this summer fine-tuning his passing accuracy.
"Our scouting reports say he has an exceptional arm, and both running backs are very good," said Mackley, sounding like the coach's son that he is. His father, Bill, is Calvert Hall's head coach.