Poly rips Wright, 26-14, for spot in state title game

November 21, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

With yesterday's 26-14 victory over No. 7 C. Milton Wright, the top-ranked Poly Engineers are going where no Baltimore City football team has gone before -- next week's 3A state title game.

Top-seeded Poly (11-0) next faces defending state champ Seneca Valley (10-2), which defeated Frederick Douglass, 24-0, in yesterday's other semifinal. The title game is Saturday at 7 p.m. at the University of Maryland's Byrd Stadium.

In Douglass, the Screaming Eagles crushed a team that has beaten No. 3 Southern-AA, 22-16, and No. 4 City, 30-18.

"Our kids are excited about going to College Park, knowing that our other teams [City, No. 5 Dunbar and No. 10 Patterson] are eliminated," said Poly coach Augie Waibel. "We felt like we could get it done today."

The Engineers got their usual performance from speedster Greg Kyler, who had 118 yards and two touchdowns on a personal-high 20 carries.

He also caught four passes for 91 yards, including a 31-yard scoring reception that -- coupled with Brian Scott's second extra-point kick -- put the Engineers up 26-7 with 32 seconds left in the third quarter.

Kyler now has an area-leading 28 touchdowns -- 23 on 1,231 rushing yards, four on 351 receiving yards and one on an 80-yard kick return.

Poly led only 13-7 at the half before its defense stiffened, limiting the fourth-seeded Mustangs (10-2) to 32 yards in the second half (120 overall).

The Mustangs' 5-foot-11, 197-pound Jason Tharpe (1,561 rushing yards, 25 touchdowns), the area's top rusher, scored twice yesterday, but had just 20 second-half yards and 71 for the game.

The Engineers twice sacked Mike Schmidt (6 of 12, 43 yards) for minus-23 yards. Rashaad Kitchen recorded his 14th sack, with another from Sebastian Smothers, Poly's second-leading tackler behind Zack Jeffers.

"We knew everything about each one of their players and just stuck it to them," said Kitchen.

The Mustangs trailed 7-0 at 8:13 of the first quarter after Louie Randall (18 carries, 67 yards) capped the Engineers' game-opening, nine-play, 74-yard drive with an 18-yard touchdown run.

But C. Milton Wright's Steve Downey recovered a fumble by Kyler midway through the second quarter, setting up the Mustangs' first score with 6:00 left in the half. Tharpe's 1-yard run, in addition to Chris Street's first of two extra-point kicks, ended a 10-play, 46-yard march that tied the game.

Tharpe's recovery of another Poly fumble led to his other 1-yard touchdown, which completed an 11-play, 41-yard drive with 2:30 left in the game.

"They pounded the ball right at us on those two drives," said Smothers. "We had a lot of trouble with No. 31 [Tharpe], mostly gang-tackling him. He's a big running back and he's got some speed."

Kyler was contained until 1:39 before halftime, when his misdirection scoring run to the right covered 48 yards for the halftime margin.

"We played good defense and moved the ball when we had to on that first drive," said C. Milton Wright coach Steve Harward. "But they've got nice power and speed and we couldn't stop them in the second half."

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