Wilde Lake tops Glenelg for 6th straight shutout, 28-0

November 01, 1992|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Wilde Lake has thrived on pressure for years. Yesterday, upstart Glenelg, owner of the county's most dramatic one-year turnaround, presented the Wildecats with their latest challenge.

The Wildecats responded in customary fashion. They forced five turnovers, pounded the visiting Gladiators with a relentless ground game and recorded their sixth consecutive shutout, 28-0.

Although Wilde Lake (8-1, 6-0) merely clinched a tie for its fourth straight county title, the Wildecats made quite a statement by routing what had been the county's only other unbeaten team. It was Wilde Lake's 27th straight victory against the county, and the Wildecats looked primed to go after their third straight state championship.

Glenelg has rebounded from a 2-8 season under second-year coach Ed Ashwell, who joined the Gladiators after 10 years as the defensive coach at Wilde Lake. Glenelg (5-1, 7-2) suffered its first defeat in six weeks.

"When Wilde Lake puts that chip on its shoulders and spits on its hands, they're tough to beat," said Wildecats coach Doug DuVall. "When there's pressure, they play their best. The kids played like the champions they are."

The final score was somewhat deceptive. The Gladiators were able to move the ball behind the bruising running of halfback Paul Brosenne (18 carries, 118 yards), the county's leading rusher. They battled with Wilde Lake for field position throughout the first half, which ended with the Wildecats in front, 6-0. Glenelg gained nearly 200 yards of offense.

But the Wildecats had too many weapons for Glenelg.

The Gladiators could not solve the backfield tandem of Nate Cassella and Mike Green. Cassella (18 carries, 88 yards) scored two touchdowns and did most of his damage inside. Green (17, 166) scored two more touchdowns and hurt the Gladiators primarily outside. They accounted for the bulk of Wilde Lake's 264 rushing yards.

Then there was the Wilde Lake defense, led by linebackers Donald Gibson (12 tackles) and Chance Kelly (12 tackles, one forced fumble, one interception). The Wildecats forced three fumbles -- two by Brosenne after he had broken long runs -- and picked off two passes by Glenelg quarterback Sean Lookingbill. In the second half, they forced three miscues, each of which Wilde Lake turned into scores. Wilde Lake did not commit a turnover.

"We figured turnovers would decide the game," said Ashwell, whose Gladiators still can make the 2A playoffs for the first time in seven years with a victory this week against Centennial. "I thought we were a little bigger and stronger than them up front, and we moved the ball. We just couldn't capitalize on what we had."

After each team came up empty on its first three possessions, Green got the Wildecats rolling late in the first half. Wilde Lake drove 66 yards on 10 running plays, seven by Green. His 3-yard run with 45 seconds left gave Wilde Lake a 6-0 halftime lead.

Glenelg got a 35-yard kickoff return from Jason Beall to start the second half, then quickly drove inside the Wilde Lake 25 behind Brosenne. But on fourth-and-9, Lookingbill fumbled, and John Sudduth recovered for Wilde Lake.

On the next play, Green took a pitchout, started left, then made a beautiful cut across the middle and down the right sideline for 47 yards to the Glenelg 25. Three plays later on fourth-and-3, quarterback Seth Willingham (4-for-6, 62 yards) faked an option run and pitched out to Cassella, who scored from 18 yards out. Willingham then passed for a two-point conversion to Craig Butler to give Wilde Lake a 14-0 lead with 6:22 left in the third quarter.

The Wildecats increased their lead to 21-0 on the period's last play. After Butler intercepted Lookingbill and returned it 20 yards to the Gladiators' 20, Green scored two plays later. Cassella added a 7-yard run with 3:55 left to finish the scoring.

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