Wilde Lake solves S. Carroll to win 27th straight, 28-7

September 06, 1992|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Wilde Lake scored 21 points in the fourth quarter yesterday against visiting South Carroll, and the Wildecats took the first step toward their third consecutive state title with a 28-7 victory.

The third-ranked Wildecats (1-0), who won their 27th straight game, spent three quarters trying to overcome South Carroll's massive size and effective, ball-control offense. In the end, Wilde Lake's speed and big-play capability finished the Cavaliers (0-1), who tired down the stretch in muggy, overcast weather.

Wilde Lake junior quarterback Seth Willingham, playing in his first varsity game, led the way. A minute after South Carroll had evened the score at 7-7 late in the third period on a 4-yard run by 6-foot-3, 245-pound fullback Mike Dodd, Willingham (three of four, 119 yards) went to work.

First, he hit running back Nate Cassella on a third-down play for 40 yards to move the ball to the Cavaliers' 17. Four plays later, on fourth-and-inches, Willingham rolled around right end and scored a 7-yard touchdown to give Wilde Lake a 14-7 lead. On Wilde Lake's next series, Willingham connected with Craig Butler for a 51-yard touchdown to give the Wildecats a 21-7 lead with 5:37 left.

Forrest Gwynn added the game's final score with a 30-yard run in the closing minutes. Willingham also kicked all four of Wilde Lake's extra points.

"We're young up front. They [South Carroll] were big and strong, and they pounded us," said Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVall, referring to Dodd and the Cavaliers' offensive line, which averages 230 pounds and manhandled the Wildecats at times.

"We hoped we'd get good special teams play. We hoped we wouldn't break on defense, and we hoped our speed would come through," he added. "We knew when it was 7-7, we'd have to air it out. Fortunately, Seth threw the ball well."

Wilde Lake piled up 264 yards on offense. And the heart of the Wildecats' two state title drives -- defense -- came through again. Despite taking some early punishment from Dodd (25 carries, 51 yards) and halfback Geof Weisenborn (nine, 39), the Wildecats regrouped to surrender 147 yards, including 15 in the fourth quarter.

Donald Gibson led the Wildecats with 12 tackles, six assists and two sacks of quarterback Ron Garrett (four of 13, 42 yards). Paul Knox had nine tackles and six assists. Craig Butler intercepted a Garrett pass just before his 51-yard touchdown reception. Wilde Lake also recovered two fumbles and blocked a punt.

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