Arterburn steps up, kicks South Carroll to victories Lineman doubles as FG kicker

September 21, 1993|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

Thank goodness for Velcro.

It has saved South Carroll some precious football timeouts and made life a lot easier for senior Mike Arterburn.

Arterburn is too busy playing defensive tackle, offensive guard, kicking off and kicking field goals to be tying shoes during a game.

Especially if there's a knotted shoe lace, a problem that forced the Cavaliers to burn a timeout in order for the standout lineman to get back on the field after he had kicked off.

Arterburn, 5 feet 11, 215 pounds, changes shoes after he kicks off and never wants to miss more than one play before returning to action.

After all, no team wants to be without an Arterburn any longer than necessary. In a 3-0 overtime victory over Centennial eight days ago, he had 11 tackles and caused a fumble.

In two games -- both wins -- for South Carroll -- Arterburn had 20 tackles and kicked the winning field goal against Centennial.

Absent shoelaces, Arterburn can get back on the field easily after one defensive play.

"I know what I have to do and get it done without any hang-ups. I felt bad about the timeout last season but at least we still won the game [against Glenelg]."

After being part of one of the most celebrated offensive lines in the state and handling the team's kicking chores (kickoffs and extra points) last season, Arterburn has taken on some more major responsibilities this season.

He is starting at defensive tackle and kicking field goals, two jobs that have allowed him to give up his extra-point duties. The burly senior hit 13 extra points last season.

Junior soccer-style kicker Mike Robitaille now is kicking extra points and figures to be the team's field-goal kicker next season.

But right now the versatile Arterburn is the man for the field goals, even though he doesn't practice kicking every day and only had one chance to kick a field goal for the Cavaliers before he hit a dramatic 28-yarder in overtime to beat Centennial.

That one previous field-goal attempt never got off the ground because of a penalty.

South Carroll coach Gene Brown said he is using Arterburn instead of Robitaille because "Mike has more distance on his kicks. He made the 28-yarder with 10 yards to spare."

Arterburn said that Brown didn't want to put a lot of pressure on Robitaille in a game-deciding situation since he was only a junior.

Whatever the reason for choosing the senior, the field goal has brought Arterburn new-found recognition and glory. Linemen just don't get a lot of attention.

"All the teachers in school came up and talked to me," he said. "It felt good. But I can't take all the credit for the win. We had a lot of guys playing well. Overall, I don't think we played as well as we did against Wilde Lake in the opener [15-14 upset victory over then No. 3 Wildecats]."

Arterburn will treasure the Wilde Lake win for a long time.

"I was so tried and sore that night that I had to go home and take muscle relaxers and go to sleep," he said. "We wanted that game badly. We had never beaten them before."

The question now is: Can South Carroll parlay this quick start into further success in the rugged Central Maryland Conference?

"If our offensive line blocks for us to run up the middle, we can beat the good teams," said Arterburn. "Teams like Thomas Johnson are so fast and so talented we're going to need to control the football to beat them."

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