Glenelg takes aim at Wilde Lake Title-deciding game reunites coaches

October 29, 1992|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Saturday's Wilde Lake-Glenelg football game shapes up as a high-stakes contest between two old coaching buddies, but the coaches would prefer the attention be focused on the field, rather than on the sidelines.

They have a point. After all, the players will decide whether Wilde Lake (7-1, 5-0) can defend its county championship and whether the Wildecats can pick up their 27th straight victory against the county. They also will decide whether Glenelg (7-1, 5-0), after years of disappointment, can continue its meteoric rise toward the top of the league.

Still, coaching remains an integral part of any program's success. And this matchup pits two teachers who made some terrific music together for a decade.

As Wilde Lake's defensive coach for 10 years, Ed Ashwell helped Doug DuVall win seven county titles and two state crowns before he left to take his first head coaching job, at Glenelg, last year. After enduring a 2-8 record as a rookie, Ashwell is contemplating a playoff berth and the chance to unseat DuVall, who is in his 19th year and is accustomed to being in this position.

DuVall, whose Wildecats crushed Ashwell's Gladiators, 58-0, last year, is trying to become the state's second coach to win three consecutive state championships. He also is trying to blunt Ashwell's progress for a day.

Both coaches downplayed their rivalry.

"I'm too busy with too many other things to worry about that," Ashwell said. "I did a lot over there [at Wilde Lake] and had a great time doing it. I thought about that a lot last year. It really hit me during the 58-0 game. But this year? Not at all."

DuVall said: "Maybe it's because I'm getting old, but to me it's just another game. It takes on a different aura because it has the excitement of a county championship around it."

For Glenelg, the season has been a joy ride largely on the shoulders of senior halfback Paul Brosenne. After missing more than half of last season with a broken ankle, Brosenne has stormed back to rush for 1,230 yards and 13 of Glenelg's 19 touchdowns. He has averaged 25 carries per game, 6.2 yards per attempt, and has accounted for about two-thirds of Glenelg's attack.

Here's the game in a nutshell:

If Glenelg's steadily improving offensive line -- center Marc Bolea, guards Joe Lupo and Bryan McMahon and tackles Jeremy Smith and Terry O'Brien -- consistently gives Brosenne room to run, the Gladiators could win a close game. If it doesn't, Glenelg probably will have a long day.

"We've got to get a piece of him [Brosenne] at the line of scrimmage," Wilde Lake defensive coach Mike Harrison said. "We can't let him get a head of steam going. We need to force them to throw and put pressure on No. 4 [Glenelg quarterback Sean Lookingbill]."

And Wilde Lake could make things uncomfortable for Glenelg. The Wildecats have yet to give up a point in 20 quarters against the county. They are allowing only 115 yards a game and have forced 23 turnovers. They have scored five defensive touchdowns while giving up only four.

It all starts in their defensive line -- nose guard Chris Beverly, tackles Eric Lach and Andy Vanderwagen and ends Mike Green and Nate Cassella. They aren't as big as Glenelg's front, but the Wildecats are quicker throughout their defense. They gang-tackle like typical Wildecats.

Cassella (62 tackles, eight sacks), who suffered a bruised leg bone last week but expects to play Saturday, is the spark at right end, but Green (54 tackles, six sacks) has come on strong in the last month. Behind them lurks linebacker Donald Gibson (117 tackles), the heart of the defense.

The secondary, led by cornerbacks Craig Butler and Kris Paul, is not likely to be burned for a big play, even though Lookingbill (48-for-92, 606 yards, five TDs) and Aaron Gross (26 catches, 398 yards, four TDs) have teamed up for their share.

Glenelg's defense will be asked to contain a Wilde Lake offense that is averaging 300 yards, including 225 yards rushing. Since moving Cassella (367 yards, six TDs) from tight end to the backfield last month, the Wildecats have outscored the county, 160-0. Green (675 yards, 10 TDs) leads the way. His speed and Cassella's toughness give the Wildecats an excellent backfield combination.

If the Wildecats are forced to go to the air, they would do so with the able arm of quarterback Seth Willingham (30-for-67, 574 yards, three TDs), who also gives them another dimension with his ability to run the option.

Wide-outs Craig Butler and Reggie Alston are big-play threats.

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