Love, Treese brighten Atholton's future Football notes

October 30, 1992|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Atholton is not accustomed to stumbling through the home stretch, but the 1-7 Raiders will have to win one of their last two games to avoid their worst finish since 1980.

"We're doing our best to remain upbeat," said Atholton coach Don Van Deusen. "It's tough on the players, especially the ones who played last year when we were more successful."

Inexperience has been Atholton's chief problem. With only a handful of seniors showing the way, the Raiders are winless against county opponents, have been shut out three times and have been outscored by county teams, 106-13. They have two touchdowns in their past six games.

It's tempting to blame Atholton's struggles on the failure of the run-and-shoot offense. Yet, the attack has not been entirely ineffective, averaging a respectable 3.3 yards per rush and 10 yards per pass completion. However, 25 turnovers have halted many promising drives.

The primary trouble has been a defense that has allowed an average of nearly four touchdowns a game by surrendering 5.7 yards per rush and 15.4 yards per pass completion.

"Basic, fundamental football -- blocking and tackling -- is where we're coming up short, but even the breaks have gone against us," Van Deusen said.

Some signs point to an encouraging future. Junior running back Carlando Love is averaging 5.5 yards a carry and junior wide receiver Matt Treese has turned into a big-play threat. He has caught 14 passes for 242 yards (17.3 average) and two touchdowns.

Speaking of youngsters, the county has had several underclassmen emerge with outstanding seasons.

At Hammond (5-3, 3-2), junior linebacker Jimmy Jackson and sophomore nose guard Jimmy Weston have lead a Golden Bears defense that has recorded four shutouts.

Weston has 78 tackles, five sacks and 13 tackles for losses. Jackson (124 tackles) appears headed for All-County honors. He has eight sacks and 24 tackles for losses, both team highs.

Sophomore linebackers Robbie Hauff and Kevin O'Connor are two keys to Centennial's rebuilding process. They are the team's top two tacklers. Hauff has 49. O'Connor, 6 feet 3, 195 pounds, leads the team with 75, including a three-tackle, 18-assist game against Oakland Mills.

Although their record hides the fact, the Eagles (3-5, 1-4) are making progress. They've lost three league games by a combined 20 points. One was a 13-7 overtime defeat against Oakland Mills. And last week, they erased a nine-point deficit with twofourth-period touchdowns, only to fall to Guy Smith and Howard, 24-20.

The Lions (5-3, 3-2) have lost three games by a combined 12

points, and they've been led by the league's most exciting junior in Smith (830 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns, 94 tackles).

But Howard's most underrated player might be senior Reggie Walters. As a tight end and H-back, Walters has opened running lanes for Smith all season. He has also recorded 55 tackles, five sacks and two fumble recoveries.

One other sophomore who has announced his arrival is Glenelg quarterback Sean Lookingbill, who has completed 48 of 92 passes for 606 yards and five touchdowns for the Gladiators (5-0, 7-1).

Glenelg plays at Wilde Lake tomorrow in the game that should decide the county title.

Speed makes the critical difference in this one, and the Wildecats have quickness to burn. Their defense should contain Paul Brosenne enough to force the Gladiators to the air, where Wilde Lake has surrendered only 30 yards a game and has been nearly impossible to burn with the big play.

Offensively, the Wildecats' Mike Green and Nate Cassella, not to mention wide receivers Craig Butler and Reggie Alston, present too much speed for Glenelg's defense to handle.

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