County football getting better every season

SIDELINES

September 23, 1992|By Pat O'Malley

After an extremely eventful weekend on the high school football scene, many "Questions Without Answers" are left over, sports fans.

Let me remind you that if you have any answers or questions of your own, please call the 24-Hour Sportsline, 647-2499, and fire away.

* If you thought the county Class 4A Region IV football league was very competitive in the past, what do you think of this season so far?

Four teams -- Annapolis, Broadneck, North County and Queen Anne's -- are 2-1 while Severna Park, Glen Burnie, Meade and Chesapeake are 1-2. Arundel and Old Mill stand winless in three games.

North County, Old Mill and Severna Park were county tri-champions last year while Chesapeake, a team that very easily could be 3-0, won only one game, as did Queen Anne's.

And how about the smaller schools, Class 2A Southern knocking off Wilde Lake, 28-27, in double overtime, and St. Mary's of the Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference nipping Calvert Hall of the MSA A Conference, 14-13?

Anne Arundel County football is pretty good, wouldn't you say?

* If you attended the Annapolis at North County game Friday night and watched junior quarterback Juan Johnson pass the visiting Panthers to a thrilling 20-19 victory, do you wonder why Annapolis doesn't throw the ball more?

Johnson put the ball up only eight times, completing four, including an 11-yard touchdown pass to Matt Criscimagna with 31 seconds left and a subsequent two-point conversion pass to Criscimagna to win it.

In contrast, North County's run-and-shoot quarterback Eric Howard threw 38 times and completed 18 for one touchdown and 183 yards.

Do you realize that by going to its version of the run-and-shoot honed during the summer passing league that Annapolis beat North County at its own game?

Watching Johnson so efficiently pass the Panthers into the end zone, were you also startled that when Annapolis got the ball back for its crucial drive with only about three minutes left, it ran the ball the first three plays?

Had they not scored and had time run out with the Panthers knocking on the door and possibly needing one more down, wouldn't coach Roy Brown and offensive coordinator Billy Phebus been kicking themselves in the butt all the way to the locker room?

Annapolis fans have been complaining that the Panthers don't air it out more often and have questioned the purpose of playing in the summer aerial league if you're not going to throw in the regular season.

With its wealth of speed and quickness, not to mention Johnson's strong arm and mobility, how prolific could the Annapolis offense be if it threw the ball more or about half as many times as pass-crazy North County does?

The Panthers could have a more explosive offense than North County's, but it is easy to second-guess.

And I don't in any way mean to take anything away from Brown and his staff for their big win over the Knights.

The Panthers were extremely well-prepared for the run-and-shoot.

They didn't stop it. They simply contained it.

Also, how about the gutsy decision by Brown to go for two points and the win with 31 seconds left rather than take his chances in overtime?

He said, "I didn't want to lose to North County, period," when asked why he went for two.

* How about this assessment from Chesapeake football coach Tom Kraning after his Cougars dropped a 19-14 decision to Glen Burnie?

"We didn't play too well tonight. The bottom line is we were down 13-0 at halftime and our line did an amazing thing," said Kraning, who has been known to be dry and sarcastic with his remarks.

"It's awful hard for that many people to avoid contact out on the field, but they did a good job doing it. Glen Burnie was all over us in the first half."

* Do you football fans realize that Chesapeake senior running back Brandon Steinheim, who carried 17 times for 158 yards and two touchdowns (runs of 78 and 30 yards) against Glen Burnie, has scored seven touchdowns and 44 of the 51 points scored by Chesapeake in its first three games?

* How about this for precision from Severn's returning all-county quarterback Brad Fowler in the 3-0 Admirals' 49-6 romp over Perryville (1-2) of Cecil County on Saturday -- 7-for-8 passing for 242 yards and four touchdowns?

* Have you baseball fans heard that 22-year-old former Broadneck High pitcher Brian Toronto -- who has attended Anne Arundel Community College and Texas -- has one year of college eligibility left and will attend Francis Marion College in South Carolina this spring?

Toronto dropped out of the big-time Texas program about a year ago and spent last summer job hunting in Florida.

The crafty left-hander with the exceptional pickoff move to first base attempted to catch the eye of a pro club but nothing developed.

* Is Anne Arundel Community College athletic director Buddy Beardmore considering stepping down as men's lacrosse coach to keep up with his AD duties?

* Finally, if ESPN's Chris Berman, of incredible nickname fame, did scores and highlights on Anne Arundel County sports would these athletes and coaches be tagged this way?

Severn running back Jake "Mack" Truck; North County receiver Damon "Ribs" Martin; North County run-and-shoot pioneer Coach "Chuck-it" Markiewicz; Annapolis jayvee football coach Tom "Alfred E." Newman; and St. Mary's High defensive coordinator Mike "Cape" Codd.

And how about a few more: Annapolis assistant football coach Kenny "Stick a fork in me I'm" Dunn; Annapolis quarterback "Wave Your Magic" Juan Johnson; Meade running back Kenny "Sky" Walker; Meade basketball coach, Butch "Forever" Young; and Old Mill assistant track coach "Neon" Leon Walters.

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