Chesapeake's King thrills followers Bayhawks' back is tough to stop

October 05, 1992|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

The conventional logic called for a punt, but Ken Johnson never had a kick coming.

Johnson's Chesapeake team had a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter against Loch Raven and faced a fourth-down situation inside its own 35-yard line. The safe way to play it would be to surrender the ball.

But Johnson has the King. Lamar King, that is.

So the coach called for a handoff to his 6-foot-4, 237-pound junior running back, and less than 10 seconds later, King was stepping into Loch Raven's end zone. An illegal block nullified half of the yardage and the TD, but King scored again from the 4 six plays later. The point had been made.

The point being that when King wants to run, he is virtually unstoppable.

"Usually, I won't do something like that," Johnson said. "If the score had been 6-6 or 8-6, I probably wouldn't have. But I got a feeling. The right side of the offensive line had been creating a surge and Lamar can do the rest."

Loch Raven coach Bob Helms said, "He's a strong runner and a Division I ballplayer. He isn't fast, but he sure runs hard. And the worst part is he's going to be around one more year."

A second-team All-Metro selection last season as a sophomore, King can do it all. And he does -- he kicks off, kicks field goals and extra points, catches passes and terrorizes on defense as a middle linebacker.

In college, he wants to focus on defense.

"Definitely linebacker," King said. "I like hitting people, rather than being hit. I really like the contact."

Despite his disclaimer, King also enjoys offense, and no wonder. He gained 177 yards against Loch Raven and has had three touchdowns erased by penalties in the Bayhawks' first three games.

"We've got to rest him somewhat, and when we do, it's on offense," Johnson said. "But weight training has decreased his body fat and Lamar is now all solid."

He always has been big for his age. At 12, King was 6 feet and weighed more than 200 pounds, too big for recreational football programs. He played basketball instead, following in the footsteps of his brother Wally, who was an outstanding forward for Chesapeake.

A native of Boston, King moved to Essex at age 5. He is called "Tankhead Hank" by his teammates in deference to his girth.

"He's one of those kids who could do anything," Johnson said. "We've tried to talk him into wrestling. But I definitely think his future's in football. He's extremely strong."

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