Southern-AA upsets Wilde Lake, 28-27 Defending champ's streak ends in OT

September 20, 1992|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

Defending Class 1A state champion Wilde Lake's winning streak was ended at 28 games yesterday, as the unranked Southern-Anne Arundel Bulldogs upset the host Wildecats, 28-27, in overtime.

In a game in which the lead changed hands five times, Southern's Jason Poknis scored on fourth-and-inches in the Bulldogs' second series in overtime, and Jimmy Galvin added the extra point for the win.

"I knew from the start that we could beat them," said running back Corey Contee, who rushed for 94 yards on 11 carries to lead Southern's ground attack. "Everybody was pumped up for this one. That's all we wanted to do -- end their 28-game streak."

But it wasn't easy.

Trailing, 21-13, early in the fourth quarter, Southern (2-1) pulled to within two as split end Troy Dennis caught a screen pass near the right sideline and raced 46 yards cross-field for the score with 3 minutes left in regulation. Then, after a Wilde Lake penalty gave Southern the ball at the 1 1/2 on the ensuing conversion attempt, Poknis ran it in to tie the game at 21-21 and force overtime.

"I caught the ball and cut back, and it was wide open," said Dennis. "I couldn't wait until I got in there [the end zone]. I thought I would never do it."

But the battle continued in overtime, where each team had four chances to score from the 10-yard line.

After each team fumbled on its first possession, Wilde Lake's Mike Green broke the tie with a 1-yard plunge into the end zone, making it 27-21. Although Seth Willingham's extra-point attempt was blocked, Southern was forced to answer with a score or lose.

Southern opened its drive with 3-yard carries by Contee and Jayme Block, and Contee followed with a run that moved the ball inches from the goal line. With the game in the balance, Poknis then pushed his way into the end zone, and Galvin added the kick, to give Southern the upset victory.

"This is unbelievable," said Southern quarterback Joe McCafferty. "Nobody thought we could do it. I knew that as long as we didn't give up we had a chance."

On the Wildecats sideline, the mood was somber. Twelve players were still in junior high when Howard County's Wilde Lake lost its last game, to Damascus in the 1989 Class 1A state semifinals.

"We just didn't play; we didn't tackle," said Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVall, whose team fell to 2-1. "We thought we could just throw our jerseys out there and beat them. They'll learn a lesson from this."

Three interceptions -- one returned for a touchdown -- and a pair of fumbles inside the Southern 10 cost the Wildecats several scoring opportunities. Although Wilde Lake's offense out-gained Southern, 250-192, the Wildecats managed just one second-half touchdown.

"I honestly thought we had a good chance of beating Wilde Lake before the game, but you can never sell them short," said Southern coach Buck Gardner. "I've seen them come back time after time. This just gives our program a big, big lift."

The game was scoreless midway through the second quarter when Green (18 carries for 156 yards) scored from 4 yards out to make it 7-0. Southern answered on its next possession as Poknis scored from the 5 to cap a six-play, 69-yard drive. The ensuing kick, however, was no good, and Wilde Lake still led, 7-6.

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