Surprise: Kenwood going to playoffs for first time since '75

November 09, 1992|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

When practices began in August, Kenwood football coach Fred Myers told his team to forget about the state playoffs.

Kenwood, a 3A school, had dropped to the Baltimore County 2A-1A league last season to compete against schools with smaller enrollments after an 0-10 finish in 1990. The playoffs seemed unlikely because points needed to qualify are harder to accumulate playing against schools in a lower classification.

Moreover, Myers said that even if the Bluebirds did qualify, they wouldn't go if it meant another Baltimore County team not making it.

But after defeating Chesapeake-BC on Thursday, Myers rewarded his team with the news that it could go to the playoffs if it qualified. And now the Bluebirds (9-1) are playing in the postseason for the first time since 1975.

"The kids were really focused for Chesapeake, and they really wanted to make a statement that we can play competitive football," Myers said.

But what about his promise not to go at the expense of another county team?

As it turns out, Kenwood's presence in the playoffs is not preventing another county 3A team from going.

"When Kenwood dropped down two years ago, they probably never thought they'd be 9-1," said Ron Belinko, Baltimore County physical education coordinator. "The program grew at a fast pace. They'll probably move back up [to the 4A-3A league] next year."

Records, streaks, milestones

* City's 38-0 victory over Lake Clifton on Friday extended the area's longest winning streak to 18.

* Lansdowne's 34-0 loss to Randallstown on Thursday extended the area's longest losing streak to 21.

* C. Milton Wright won its 33rd straight regular-season game, 21-6, over Fallston on Thursday.

* Overlea's 52-28 victory over Patapsco on Thursday extended the Falcons' winning streak against Baltimore County opponents to 37.

* Overlea will be making its seventh consecutive trip to the state quarterfinals, the longest current streak in the state.

* Wilde Lake's 31-6 win over Hammond on Saturday extended the Wildecats' winning streak against

Howard County opponents to 28.

* St. Paul's clinched its fourth consecutive Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference title with a 13-0 win over Boys' Latin on Friday. The Crusaders went undefeated and untied for the first time in their history, and allowed a school-record low 21 points.

* Liberty ended a 17-game losing streak on Friday by defeating North Carroll, 12-6.

Air Baer

Cardinal Gibbons forced Loyola to throw the ball on Saturday, and Dons quarterback John Baer answered the challenge.

Baer -- playing in his fourth game since replacing starting quarterback Bill Evans, who is out with a fractured right wrist -- completed 15 of 23 for 223 yards and three touchdowns in Loyola's 28-14 win. Baer's 223 yards passing were a season high for the run-oriented Dons.

Evans, wearing a cast on his wrist, returned to action last week as a defensive back. Loyola coach Joe Brune said Evans will continue to play defense, but "it doesn't look like he will be quarterbacking."

Grace-ing the playoffs

While some predicted Havre de Grace would struggle to finish. 500, Warriors coach Tom Marron said he believed his team would qualify for the state playoffs.

And he was right. After going 6-24 the past three seasons, Havre de Grace has returned to the playoffs for the first time since 1988.

The Warriors, however, took a different route to the playoffs than Marron had planned.

For example, Havre de Grace preserved a one-point win over Perryville in its season opener when Perryville was penalized for celebrating after a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

During the sixth week of the season, the Warriors were beaten by winless Bel Air, yet they routed undefeated Joppatowne two weeks later. Following the big win over Joppatowne, Havre de Grace was blown out by Fallston.

Top performances

Numbers * Most TDs: John Sauer, Patterson, 4.

* Longest TD rushing: Brandon Steinheim, Chesapeake-AA, 62 yards.

* Longest TD passing: Rocky Keener, Cardinal Gibbons, 89 yards to Rodney Manigo.

* Longest kickoff return for a TD: Richard Stewart, Walbrook, 97 yards.

* Longest punt return for a TD: Sean Lipscombe, Dunbar, 55 yards.

* Longest interception return for a TD: Vinnie Elliott, North County, 70 yards.

* Longest field goal: Newman Thompson, Forest Park, 32 yards.

Leading rushers * Brandon Steinheim, Chesapeake-AA, 14 carries, 248 yards, 4 TDs.

* James Lewis, Catonsville, 40 carries, 240 yards, 2 TDs.

Leading passers * John Baer, Loyola, 15-for-23, 223 yards, 3 TDs.

* Pat Cliento, Arundel, 6-for-11, 125 yards, 1 TD.

Leading receivers * Charlie Smith, Loyola, 6 catches, 121 yards, 2 TDs.

* Josh Katz, Pikesville, 7 catches, 109 yards, 1 TD.

Note: Top performances are based on statistics reported to The Baltimore Sun.

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