No. 13 Aberdeen rallies to edge Bel Air, 18-16

October 01, 1994|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

No. 13 Aberdeen (4-0) grabbed pole position in the race for the Harford County league championship as it came from behind to defeat Bel Air, 18-16, in last night's battle of the unbeatens.

In a game filled with turnovers, holding calls and safeties -- not the kind who play in the secondary -- Aberdeen showed Bel Air a way to win, but found a way to triumph.

"I don't care if it's pretty or if it's ugly, they're winning, and that's all that matters," said Aberdeen coach Kevin Reilly. "They do what they got to do. We know there are still a lot of things we have to do and a lot of things we have to improve on, but that's part of the game."

A 17-yard sack by Lance Oldenburg ended Aberdeen's opening drive and gave a spark to Bel Air's offense.

A 40-yard pass from Bel Air quarterback Tony Belcastro to Mike Deal gave the Bobcats a first-and-goal at the Eagles' 3. A play later, Chris Siplin scored to give Bel Air a 6-0 lead.

After getting nowhere against Bel Air's eight-man front defense, Aberdeen gave the Bobcats more good field position with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Two passes from Belcastro to Andy Neal and Mike Deal got the Bobcats down to Aberdeen's 26-yard line, but that was as far as they would get. A bone-jarring hit by Aberdeen's Eugene Norton on the ensuing play forced a fumble, which junior Curvine Ridgley scooped up and carried 68 yards for a touchdown.

Bel Air (3-1) backed itself against a wall in the waning seconds of the first half and was forced with a fourth-and-42 after three consecutive losses.

Aberdeen got the ball back with 1:17 remaining and was in the end zone with 58 seconds to spare after a 32-yard touchdown pass from Terrance Washington to sophomore Andy Gasdia.

The Eagles' long-snapping woes began early in the third quarter. A sack by Bel Air's Ron Cardwell forced punter Paul Gasdia near his goal line. The snap sailed over Gasdia's head and came to rest just outside the end zone for the safety.

A fumble recovery by Steve Selvege on Aberdeen's next drive gave Bel Air great field position at Aberdeen's 11. The Bobcats got down to the 1-inch line before senior Eric Morgan recovered for the hosts.

After a three-and-out series, Aberdeen once again set up in punt formation deep in its territory and once again the snap sailed out of the back of the end zone, pulling the Bobcats to within 12-10.

The Bobcats took advantage of more good field position on the kickoff after the safety. They manufactured a five-play, 51-yard scoring drive, and Siplin gave his team a 16-12 lead with 11:07 remaining when he scored from 26 yards out on a counter play left.

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