Chesapeake holds off Towson

November 01, 1992|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

Four feet separated the Chesapeake Bayhawks from probable playoff elimination yesterday in their game against Towson.

Two feet belonged to running back James Kelly, who gained 106 yards and scored a pair of long touchdowns to pace Chesapeake's offense. The other two feet was the margin kicker Greg Gramiccioni's last-second field-goal attempt sailed wide right, helping visiting Chesapeake escape with a 15-12 Baltimore County 2A-1A league win.

For Bayhawks coach Ken Johnson, whose team entered the day clinging to the seventh of eight Class 2A state playoff spots, the shave with postseason elimination was a bit too close for comfort.

"That was a little too exciting," said Johnson, whose team improvedto 7-1 in the league, 8-1 overall. "I had a feeling it would be a game like this. I wish we could've scored a few more points in the second half."

Trailing 15-6 , Towson's Scott Carpenter scored from 2 yards out with 2 minutes, 8 seconds to play, putting the Generals (5-3, 5-4) within three. Then, on the first play of Chesapeake's next drive, the Generals' Dan Ross recovered a Kelly fumble at the Chesapeake 29, setting up Gramiccioni's 36-yard field-goal attempt with one second left.

"You hate to say this to your kids with two games left," Johnson said, "but as far as we were concerned, the playoffs started today. We had to win this one."

Kelly said the absence of backfield mate Lamar King, out with abruised right shoulder, provided extra motivation. Playing an expanded role on offense, Kelly gained 92 yards on seven first-half carries, scoring on runs of 25 and 63 yards.

"We knew we had to win today," Kelly said. "With Lamar out, I felt like every time I got the ball I had to get as many yards as I could. Somebody had to step up."

Kelly had most of his success on the outside, outrunning his defender to the corner. With 7:36 to play in the first quarter, he scored on a 25-yard sweep around the right side to give the Bayhawks a 6-0 lead.

Then, with 1:50 left in the half, Kelly beat Towson's Tex Deleon to the left corner, and outran the defense for a 63-yard touchdown that extended the lead to 12-0.

"I saw the outside open," Kelly said. "Tex was coming, so I knew I had to step it up to beat him to the corner. I got there just ahead of him."

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