Mark Cates' Mount Hebron Vikings open their season with a bang

September 16, 1992|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Pigskin ponderings:

One coach celebrated his first victory, another enjoyed his best start in four years, the state's longest winning streak survived, some players turned in superb performances and one of the county's proudest programs took an embarrassing shot to the chops.

And that was only part of an eventful weekend for the county's high school football teams.

The cigar of the week goes to first-year coach Mark Cates, whose Mount Hebron Vikings gave Cates his first victory as a head coach with a memorable 28-14 win at Hereford.

"It was how you wish your first one will be. In every situation, someone else was the star," Cates said.

The prime attraction was senior tailback Travis Hairston, who rushed for 174 yards on 23 carries (7.5 average), scored two touchdowns and returned a kickoff 46 yards to set up another score. It was Hairston's second 100-yard game. He gained 119 yards in Hebron's season-opening 12-8 loss to Owings Mills.

Masai Demus started a wild second half by returning the opening kickoff 95 yards to break a scoreless tie. The teams combined for five touchdowns after that. Quarterback Phil Tonkins completed 8-of-18 passes for 101 yards. Fullback Sammy Kang rushed for 68 yards on only four carries. Running back Wesley Garrison also ran for a 31-yard touchdown.

In all, the Vikings rolled up 368 yards and recovered five fumbles, while not committing a turnover. Hebron has one turnover in two games. They still have plenty of questions to answer, but have TC eye-catching speed and clearly are headed in the right direction.

The Hammond Golden Bears had a similar type of offensive day against Owings Mills. They piled up 338 yards, thanks to halfback Erin Woodward (21 carries, 159 yards), quarterback Rudy Cooper (12-for-16, 101 yards, one TD) and receiver Kelvin Stevens (10 catches, 89 yards, one TD, one interception, one fumble recovery). But Hammond had to rely on its defense to preserve an ugly 7-0 victory.

Defense saved Hammond in its season-opening 14-13 victory against Towson. The Bears, off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 1988, blocked a fourth-quarter punt to set up the winning score. And defense helped the Bears overcome seven penalties -- at a cost of 80 yards -- against Owings Mills.

Atholton rebounded from a 55-20 pounding by Rockville behind quarterback Ryan McQueeny, who threw for 108 yards and two TDs, and added 99 yards rushing and another score on Saturday to lead the Raiders to a 36-28 victory over Liberty.

Howard (1-1) also bounced back from a 16-15 defeat to Parkville. The Lions, behind fullback Guy Smith (14 carries, 119 yards, one TD), whipped North Carroll, 23-6.

Smith also teamed up with former quarterback Brad Stubbs -- whom Howard coach John Quinn decided to switch to mid

dle linebacker -- on defense. Smith forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, had eight solo tackles and five assists. Stubbs had six tackles.

Second-year Glenelg coach Ed Ashwell's wish to win early has been granted. With Saturday's 14-7 victory over Boys' Latin, the Gladiators are off to a 2-0 start and have equaled last year's victory total.

Running back Paul Brosenne has been the leader. After rush

ing for 177 yards against Liberty, Brosenne gained 156 against Boys' Latin.

Oakland Mills, always a county power and a perennial playoff team, is off to its worst start ever. Oh, the Scorpions have been 0-2 before, but not under these conditions. Saturday, they endured the most lopsided defeat in school history, 45-0, at the hands of defending state 3A champion Linganore.

The Scorpions managed just two first downs, one by penalty. They committed six turnovers. They trailed, 38-0, at halftime in front of their stunned fans. And Linganore extended the lead despite playing the entire second half with its first string watching from the sidelines.

"It could have been 100-0 if they wanted it to be," Oakland Mills coach Ken Klock said. "What bothered me was the way we reacted to getting our heads kicked in. It was like we didn't care. We're so young, we don't know how to react to adversity. Our biggest problem is we're not mentally tough."

The Scorpions' poor performance can be explained by several factors. First, this is their most inexperienced team in at least a decade. Second, their two top players -- co-captains Justin Wethington and Matt Silver -- are out with injuries. Third, Oakland Mills is hamstrung by a brutal September schedule. They dropped a 22-2 decision two weeks ago to North County, whom many pick to go far in the 4A playoffs.

Still, it is hard to picture Oakland Mills being outscored 67-2 in its first two games. It is harder to picture an Oakland Mills offense starting a season with eight scoreless quarters.

Finally, Wilde Lake has made things interesting while starting out 2-0 and extending its winning streak to 28. The Wildecats have outscored their opponents, South Carroll and Dundalk, 50-15, but they have needed fourth-quarter rallies to secure each victory.

The Wildecats have responded in typical fashion. In the fourth period, they have outscored their opponents, 36-0.

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