Defensive-minded Gilman crosses line

October 14, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

No. 5 Gilman traditionally is known for its defense. Rarely has the Greyhounds' football program had a comparable offense.

Yet since losing a 21-6 season-opener to Washington's Gonzaga (6-0), ranked No. 4 by the Washington Post, the Greyhounds have won three straight, outscoring their opponents, 98-20, heading into tomorrow's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association game against visiting Calvert Hall.

"What we've done well is diversified the offense and distributed the ball well," said coach Sherm Bristow, a 1967 Gilman graduate and former Greyhounds quarterback.

Gilman's first two wins, a 21-9 decision over Boys' Latin and a 42-3 hammering of Good Counsel of Montgomery County, came against struggling teams.

But the eye-opener was last week's 35-8 shellacking of then No. 8 St. Mary's in the MIAA opener for each team. David Biddison (200 pounds) rushed for 128 yards, R.C. Kauffman (180) had 139 and each scored two touchdowns.

The defense, which graduated four key starters, including two All-Metros, yielded 116 yards to Saints running back Jason Lilly, the area's second-leading rusher with 849 yards and eight touchdowns. But Lilly didn't score.

"That's the game where our offense really came through and played well," said Bristow. "We punted once in those two games."

Kauffman has rushed for 424 yards and two touchdowns, and Biddison has six touchdowns on 251 yards behind a line that includes Alex Mueller (6-5, 260) and David Payne (6-2, 280).

Quarterback Lorne Smith (6-4, 175) has completed 20 of 36 passes for 328 yards and five touchdowns, three of which have gone to James McIntyre (11 receptions, 215 yards).

And place-kicker Corey Popham, who doubles as a soccer player, is 14-for-14 on extra-point kicks and has nine goals and six assists in soccer.

Smith (with a 40.6-yard average) ranks first among area punters, with tight end Chase Martin as his long-snapper.

Many players were also members of the Greyhounds' top-ranked, MIAA-champion lacrosse team last spring.

Smith, an All-Metro in lacrosse, will return as the area's top attackman. Martin also plays attack, Popham is the starting goalkeeper and Kauffman is the backup keeper. McIntyre is a starting midfielder, and Biddison, Payne and Mueller are defensive starters for lacrosse coach John Tucker.

"For team unity, being teammates in lacrosse definitely helps," said Smith. "We had a tough time scoring last year, but this year, I have an easy job just getting the ball in the right guys' hands."

That wasn't always the case.

For example, last year's 7-0 loss to Poly -- Gilman's first after six games -- was another exercise in the Greyhounds' defensive ability and offensive futility.

After being stopped four times inside the Gilman 30, twice inside the 10, Poly won on a touchdown that capped a 12-play, 52-yard drive with 1:34 left.

The Greyhounds, meanwhile, got beyond midfield just twice -- each time to the Poly 45 -- late in the first period and early in the second.

"Last year, we weren't sure what we were capable of offensively," said Kauffman. "But there's a lot of experience returning, especially on the offensive line."

Joining Mueller, Payne and Martin are center Louis Applefeld, guards Travis Brown and George Bealefeld, and tight end Anand Dutta.

"If you look at the offensive stats, they're not that high," said Martin. "It really helps that the defense always gives us great field position."

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