Patriots are sinking while Admirals ascend Severn School refuses to wallow in early success

September 25, 1992|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Staff Writer

A 3-0 record should make any football coach smile.

Toss in a shutout victory and an 85-18 total point differential and you might even expect some laughter from the man in charge.

Severn School's football team has done all of the above, but second-year coach Jim Doyle refuses to get too excited, too soon.

"Other than the Southern game [which Severn won 22-12], we haven't been tested," said Doyle, who believes the Admirals' first "real test" will come tonight when they take on Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference rival Archbishop Spalding at 7:30 p.m. at the old Brooklyn Park High School.

What has excited -- and surprised -- Doyle has been his young defense's ability to keep opposing teams out of the end zone. Although Severn's defense has given up three touchdowns in as many games, Doyle knows that points-against total could be even lower.

"We shut out John Carroll [14-0] and at Southern we gave up some ground because we were playing soft in the second half," said Doyle, who lost eight starters on defense to graduation.

"Then, [in last week's 49-6 win over Perryville] we put some of our backups in late in the game, and we got scored on, so our defense has really been a bright spot. But again, we haven't been really tested yet."

Regardless of the caliber of the competition, Severn has managed to produce some pretty impressive statistics on both sides of the ball.

Senior quarterback Brad Fowler has completed 20-of-30 passes for 424 yards, four touchdowns and has thrown only one interception.

Fowler's favorite targets have been senior split end Chris Pitkin (seven catches, 173 yards, two touchdowns), sophomore flanker John Vereen (five catches, 114 yards, one touchdown) and senior tailback Jamand "Jake" Mack (three catches, 94 yards, one touchdown).

When he's not running pass routes, Mack has been running rampant over opposing defenses. He already has 50 carries for 415 yards and five touchdowns.

Severn's second-highest ground-gainer is Fowler, who has plunged, scampered and scrambled his way to 151 yards and two touchdowns.

"Jake is the key, but we're also very good on the outside," said Doyle, whose team has gained 742 yards rushing. "If they key on Jake, Brad can take it himself or dish it off. Brad was real good last year, and we expected him to be more consistent this year.

"Brad's performance has not surprised me, but what has surprised me is the defensive effort that our team has given so far," the coach said.

Anchoring the up-and-coming defensive unit are inside linebackers Brian Cha and Scott Singleton.

Cha, a junior, leads Severn School with 26 tackles, followed by Singleton, a senior, with 23 tackles, and first-year end Matt Greer with 17 tackles, including three sacks.

Severn has gained excellent field position in its first three contests, compliments of five fumble recoveries and six interceptions. Fowler, who also plays in the Admirals' secondary, leads the team in interceptions with three, followed by Pitkin with two and David Lachappelle with one, which he returned 60 yards for a touchdown.

Spalding first-year coach Del Hughes has not had a chance to see the Admirals in action, but with a bye last week, he has had two weeks to prepare his Cavaliers for tonight's game.

"We know they have a lot of team speed and a lot outstanding people on offense," said Hughes, whose 1-1 team defeated Catoctin, 7-0, before bowing to Northeast, 22-6.

"Their quarterback throws the ball well, he has good receivers, and they have a good running game with Mack in the backfield," Hughes said.

"What we have to do is contain their running game and force them to do things they're not as comfortable with doing," he said.

Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, the only thing Severn School doesn't appear to be comfortable with is losing.

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