Four players ejected in brawl

September 26, 1993|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Punches and a helmet flew in a bench-clearing fight that ended with two players from both Maryland and Virginia Tech ejected just before halftime.

Terps starting linebacker Jaime Flores and reserve wide receiver Jermaine Stewart were banished for fighting, along with Hokies rushing leader Dwayne Thomas and substitute tight end Kevin Martin. Thomas had 18 carries for 93 yards.

The incident started after Virginia Tech linebacker George DelRicco blocked a 25-yard field-goal try by Ken Lytle with three seconds left in the half. There was a fight for the loose ball and the scuffle expanded when the Maryland defense and the Virginia Tech offense came on the field. The pushing and shoving lasted nearly three minutes, and seven minutes elapsed between plays.

NTC "I think it started because two players were on the ground fighting for possession," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "The ball could have been advanced and they both wanted possession. I am not blaming the officials, but that sort of thing should be stopped pronto."

Lytle, who missed three field-goal tries, had a rotten day made worse by Hokies center Jim Pyne, a preseason All-American.

"I turned around and was telling everyone to calm down," Lytle said. "The next thing, I knew, No. 73 [Pyne] hit me in the face. He was running around, looking for someone to hit."

Pyne said: "I might have grabbed his [Lytle's] face mask."

With his ejection, Flores became the latest Maryland upperclassman unavailable to play defense. Flores took the place of captain and inside linebacker Chad Wiestling for the coin toss, alongside injured lineman Mark Sturdivant. Wiestling underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Friday afternoon to repair torn knee cartilage, and could miss as many as four games.

The Terps' defense had four starters who began the previous game on the bench. The secondary started freshmen Andreal Johnson and Lamont Gore at cornerback and free safety, and redshirt freshman Orlando Strozier on the other corner.

Wiestling, nose guard Johnnie Hicks and reserve wide receiver Wade Inge stayed home with injuries, and reserve superback Larry Washington also didn't make the trip. He was serving a one-game suspension for missing practice last week.

Freeman's big day

Poly grad Antonio Freeman, a junior split end for Virginia Tech, looked forward to playing Maryland. He had five catches for 122 yards.

Freeman turned a screen into a 20-yard gain on Virginia Tech's first offensive play. In the second quarter, he broke free for a 20-yard touchdown pass. His best moment came in the fourth quarter, moments after the Terps had drawn within 41-28. He took another screen, hurdled a blocker at the Terps' 38-yard line and rolled in for a 57-yard touchdown.

Maryland's Jermaine Lewis had nine catches for 128 yards, but for the first time this season he did not have a touchdown, as Hokies cornerback Tyronne Drakeford made sure he didn't get beat long. Redshirt freshman Walt Williams' first career catch went for a 4-yard touchdown, and he later scored on a 67-yarder.

Jason Kremus had a career-high six catches for 133 yards.

For the record

The four scoring passes by Maurice DeShazo tied the Virginia Tech record set by Don Strock in 1972.

The rundown for Maryland's Scott Milanovich included 498 yards passing, bettering the school-record 451 he threw for against West Virginia a week earlier. He also maintained his average of four touchdown passes a week, and with seven games left, his 16 scoring passes are already the third-best total in Maryland history.

"Scott Milanovich is one heck of a quarterback," DelRicco said. "He's going to put a lot of numbers up there before he's done. That offense of theirs is relentless. They feel they're in the game no matter what the score is."

Miscellaneous

Maryland had no answer for Virginia Tech's two-tight-end alignment, which helped the Hokies net 385 yards on the ground. . . . Terps superback Mark Mason had his first 100-yard game of the season, but 50 of his 103 yards came on the game's first snap. . . . Virginia Tech travels to West Virginia for a Big East Conference game Saturday. Following an idle week, the Hokies play Temple, Rutgers and East Carolina, and they're looking for their first postseason bowl since 1986. . . . Virginia Tech's 1973 National Invitation Tournament basketball champs, including coach Don DeVoe, who's now at Navy, were honored at halftime.

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