Love helps Atholton run past undermanned Northeast, 13-6 Senior RB rushes for 167 yards and TD

September 05, 1993|By Chuck Acquisto | Chuck Acquisto,Contributing Writer

Atholton coach Don Van Deusen did not need 20 years of head coaching experience to figure out a high school offense takes what the opposing defense gives.

With visiting Northeast looking to stop the Raiders' run-and-shoot attack, Van Deusen turned senior running back Carlando Love loose. Atholton's leading returning rusher last year responded with 167 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries yesterday as Atholton (1-0) held off Northeast, 13-6.

"They were playing a rush with a five-man front instead of a six-man front, so our option there is to run the football," Van Deusen said. "Their defense kind of determined what we were going to do."

Love's 7-yard touchdown with 4:10 left in the first half gave Atholton the lead for good after senior Chris Buscher converted the extra-point attempt.

Northeast (0-1), with just 20 dressed players, surprised Atholton on its opening drive. Alternating the ground game between senior Lawrence Morris (12 carries, 41 yards) and junior Ronnie Katzenberger (23 carries, 147 yards), Northeast reached the Atholton 5-yard line with relative ease. However, Atholton's defense, led by 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior defensive end Shane Beaver, began winning the line-of-scrimmage battle when it counted.

On fourth down at the 6-yard line, Raiders senior linebacker Danny Garrison stopped Morris a yard shy of the first-down marker and Atholton's offense took the field.

Northeast's defense, however, provided the Eagles' offense another chance at a score moments later when Katzenberger intercepted Atholton quarterback Jason Albert's pass and returned it 22 yards to the Atholton 20-yard line.

Six plays later, junior quarterback Jeff Dolch (4-for-10, 59 yards) hit Katzenberger (four receptions, 59 yards) for an 11-yard touchdown strike to give the Eagles a 6-0 lead with 3:50 left in the first quarter.

Northeast, on the way to amassing 176 offensive yards in the first half only to have six points to show for the effort, squandered another first-half scoring opportunity in the second quarter. An eight-play drive ended with Katzenberger's fumble at the Atholton 12 that was recovered by Raiders senior linebacker Jeff Rhodes at the 10-yard line.

"It's a lot of frustrations," Northeast coach Bart Rader said. "We just didn't cash in when we should have. We made mistakes when we shouldn't make mistakes."

Rader, however, praised his team's desire, noting many played both ways on a warm, muggy day.

"We have some fine players, we just don't have quantity," said Rader, whose team finished 3-7 last year.

After Love's second-quarter score gave the Raiders the lead, Northeast threatened again, marching to Atholton's 28-yard line. However, Garrison intercepted Dolch's errant pass at the 16.

"Our philosophy for 20 years here has been to play good field position," Van Deusen said. "Obviously we didn't do a real good job of that because Northeast had good field position, which shows our defense played well to keep them out of the end zone."

Atholton's offense handed Northeast a great touchdown opportunity early in the second half. On the first play from scrimmage, Albert (4 of 9 for 47 yards) and Garrison missed an exchange in the backfield and Eagles senior lineman Tim Scanlon pounced on the loose ball at the Raiders' 12-yard line.

Northeast again could not punch the ball into the end zone as the Atholton defense tripped up Katzenberger for losses on successive plays. Two incomplete passes by Dolch gave the ball back to the Raiders.

On first down, Love broke free from two Northeast defenders to ramble down the sidelines for a 51-yard gain, his fourth run of 20 or more yards. Four plays later, Albert hooked up with senior split end Matt Treese for an 18-yard touchdown and a 13-6 lead.

Northeast would manage only one more sustained drive, which stretched into the early moments of the fourth quarter and, after reaching the Atholton 10-yard line, ended with Dolch's incomplete pass on fourth-and-11 at the 16.

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