A numbered question for North County

SIDELINES

October 28, 1992|By PAT O'MALLEY

How many is too much?

That's a question a lot of football people around the county are beginning to ask about The Sun's sixth-ranked North County Knights and their high-octane offense.

The Knights (7-1) continue to climb in the rankings and continue to light up the scoreboard.

With 320 points in eight games, an average of 40 points, the Knights easily top the Baltimore, Washington and northern Virginia metro areas.

Crossland (8-0) of Prince George's County with 267 total points, Seneca Valley (7-1) of Montgomery County with 264, Carroll (7-0) and DeMatha (8-0) of the Washington metro area with 263 and 262, respectively, are the closest.

One could say that's awesome, while another could say it's awful to run up scores and show no mercy on their foes who have scored only 94 against them.

Saturday, the Knights of coach Chuck Markiewicz routed (2-6) Meade, 60-8, and the week before Severna Park (5-3) was humbled, 48-19. Old Mill (1-7) and Chesapeake (2-6) were destroyed, 53-7 and 52-20, respectively, the two previous weeks, giving the Knights an average of just over 53 points a game in the last four outings.

In each of those games, the Knights had the game won after the first half, but weren't content. They still were throwing the ball in the waning moments. First-string quarterback Eric Howard had a pass intercepted at the goal line with 1:27 to go against Severna Park.

Howard's six touchdown passes in the Meade game is a county record and gives him 23, another county record to which he keeps adding. The metro area record is believed to be 25, set by Rich Crosby of Franklin High in 1985. Pallotti's Jason Boseck has 25 through eight games this season.

Should Markiewicz be calling off the dogs or leaving his quarterback in to rewrite the record book?

"When the other teams leave their first-string defense in there despite the score, I'm not about to put in my second-stringers and have them at a disadvantage," said Markiewicz. "Severna Park left theirs in and so did Meade, and we scored our last TD against Meade running the ball."

Severna Park coach Andy Borland did not go to the bench and seemed to be concerned about keeping the score respectable after the Knights went up, 42-7, with 2:43 to go in the third period.

"And we were throwing against them at the end because they speared Damon Martin," Markiewicz said.

Martin took a cheap shot on an attempted onside kick by the Falcons with just over two minutes to go and the score 48-19.

"We call that team our All-State Good Hands Team because we put our people with the best hands up front to make sure the other team doesn't get the ball on the onside kick," Markiewicz said.

"And yes, after they speared Damon while he was on the ground, we wanted to retaliate by scoring another touchdown on them. I don't blame Coach Borland for the spear because kids will do those things and I know he doesn't condone that."

What about exposing a valuable commodity such as Martin, the county's all-time leading pass receiver and leaving him in as a tempting target for some culprit?

"Well, you just can't worry about that," Markiewicz said. "As I said, he's on our All State Good Hands Team, and look at this past week."

Martin left the Meade game early in the second period with a severe knee injury that might have ended his season, although Markiewicz was optimistic yesterday.

"Damon is going to see his doctor this afternoon [yesterday] and he told me this morning that he feels better, so we don't know if he's finished or not," Markiewicz said.

Losing a player with 36 receptions would have an impact on any team, including prolific North County, but Markiewicz said he would feel no different if it had happened in the last 30 seconds of the game.

"Injuries happen," he said. "If I knew when they were going to happen, I would be a genius."

You also have to ask the question, is the Knights' offense so explosive because of the run-and-shoot or are the players that good?

Certainly, the players are very good, but I believe the system makes them better and you have to credit Markiewicz for that.

You look at a Tim Bowerman at Severna Park and you can imagine what kind of numbers he could be ringing up if he were guiding a run-and-shoot. The Falcons senior only threw 14 times last week, which is not even half of a normal game for Howard.

The run-and-shoot puts up points by the truckload, and as soon as some of the other coaches who are used to keeping the ball on the ground wise up, some of those North County games might be 60-35.

Then, nobody will complain.

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