Cavalier's first FG try is a winner Arterburn, S. Carroll edge Centennial, 3-0

September 12, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

Until yesterday, South Carroll's Mike Arterburn had never attempted a field goal in a game situation.

But with his team embroiled in a scoreless tie against host Centennial and facing fourth-and-goal at the Eagles' 11 in overtime, the 5-foot-11, 215-pound tackle booted a 28-yard field goal through the uprights to give South Carroll a 3-0 win.

For Arterburn, whose only other previous kick in high school had been for an extra point last season, the intensity of the moment helped him shake off the nerves and focus on the fundamentals.

"It was a lot of pressure -- it was pretty intense," he said. "I knew if I kept my head down and followed through, I could hit it."

With each team getting four chances to score from the 10-yard line in overtime, the Eagles (1-1) still had a chance to win on their possession.

But that chance ended when Brian Dowell's pass glanced off the outstretched fingertips of Dominic Dinisio on fourth down at the 6.

Centennial coach Ed Holshue originally had sent out the field-goal unit, but when South Carroll called for a timeout, he changed his mind.

"Initially we were thinking of trying to tie it up," said Holshue. "I was thinking about how hard we'd played to get to that point, and I thought we could kick it and get another opportunity.

"But when they called the timeout, I rethought it. We had a chance to win, and we had to go for it. I've never played one of these to tie -- only to win."

The victory was the second-straight heart-stopper for the Cavaliers (2-0), who last week shocked defending Class 1A state champion Wilde Lake, 15-14, in the last 10 seconds.

For South Carroll coach Gene Brown, however, it's much too early to get excited.

"We were lucky," said Brown. "We had a lot of penalties in the first half [three for 40 yards] that really hurt us. It's nice to be 2-0, but you can't get too excited.

"We've got a lot of things to work on and some mean people down the road."

Much of the game was a chess match, with teams vying for field position but never punching the ball into the end zone.

The Eagles took the offensive in the first half, driving the ball to the South Carroll 26, and later the 15, before stalling.

Running backs Don Culbreth and Robbie Hauff were Centennial's main weapons, combining to rush 28 times for 93 yards.

But the second half belonged to South Carroll, as the Cavaliers drove inside the Eagles' 25 three times, but came away empty.

Their best chance came late in the third quarter after recovering a fumble by Culbreth on the Centennial 15.

They got as close as the 10, but were stopped on fourth down when Kevin O'Connor made an open-field tackle on running back Tom Lapato, who had taken the ball on a reverse.

Chris Lyerly led South Carroll's ground attack, rushing 14 times for 52 yards, and teammate Greg Mihalko gained 42 yards on eight carries.

Despite the tough loss, Holshue felt it was a victory of sorts for the Eagles, who beat Catonsville, 19-8, in their opener last week.

"We're trying to arrive here," said Holshue. "Centennial football hasn't gotten much respect over the years. Today we sent a message.

"Who would've thought we'd be in this football game until the end?"

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