Anytime a team beats four-time state champion Wilde Lake, 35-7, one would expect the winning coach to be glowing.
And South Carroll coach Gene Brown, whose Cavaliers produced that result in the opener against the Wildecats at Howard High yesterday, was smiling after the game. But he had reservations.
"It feels good to beat a class program like Wilde Lake, but I'm not quite happy," he said.
The reason? His offense managed only 103 yards -- 80 passing and 23 rushing -- and that left him a little worried.
"We play Centennial next week and they have a big defense," Brown said.
If not for South Carroll's defense and special teams, yesterday's contest might have been closer.
But the fired-up Cavaliers created five turnovers and partially blocked a Wilde Lake punt in the end zone to set up numerous scoring opportunities.
South Carroll's Jeremy Teppig recovered a fumble on Wilde Lake's first possession at its 29-yard line.
The Cavaliers overcame a holding penalty on first down and went 44 yards on three consecutive passes. Tom Lapato caught a 31-yard pass from quarterback Tom Luster on a fade pattern down the left sideline for the touchdown. Brian Herche ran for the conversion.
South Carroll drove 46 yards on its second possession to score. Herche's 37-yard pass reception, which he stole from the arms of a Wilde Lake defender, was the big play. Greg Mihalko scored on a 1-yard run and Mike Robitaille kicked the first of his three extra points.
The Cavaliers scored again with 1:27 left in the first quarter, when Bryce Baker recovered a fumble in mid-air and ran 42 yards into the end zone for a 22-0 lead.
South Carroll scored again five minutes into the second quarter on Lapato's interception and 50-yard touchdown return.
But the Cavaliers failed to score on their next three chances.
Mihalko returned a punt 33 yards to the Wilde Lake 27. Robitaille eventually missed a 41-yard field-goal attempt.
Kile Maxcy picked up a Wilde Lake fumble at Wilde Lake's 18 and returned it to the 11. But a holding penalty forced another field-goal attempt that Robitaille missed from 25 yards out.
Baker's interception at Wilde Lake's 35-yard line in the fourth quarter also failed to produce an immediate score.
But Wilde Lake was backed up to its 3-yard line on the ensuing punt, and when the Wildecats attempted to punt on fourth down from their end zone, the kick was partially blocked and landed at the 2-yard line. Yule Denniker scored on a first-down run for South Carroll.
Wilde Lake averted the shutout when Allan Anderson ran 67 yards around right end for a touchdown with 2:10 left.
"Wilde Lake tries to intimidate you," Luster said. "In the second half they put a defensive end up there and we never picked him up so I had a lot of pressure on me. Our defense and special teams played well, and that's what we've been emphasizing in practice."
Wilde Lake could point to its inexperience as cause for its five turnovers. The Wildecats started five sophomores and a freshman.