Watson kicks Wilde Lake to win over Atholton, 3-0

October 23, 1994|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVall hasn't had a lot to smile about this season. But he did yesterday.

"We won with some luck," DuVall said with a grin. "We hadn't had it all year. So we deserved a little of it sometimes."

Surviving two dropped touchdown passes by Atholton receivers and a penalty calling back another Raiders' touchdown, visiting Wilde Lake (3-4, 2-2 in league) edged past the Raiders, 3-0, in a Howard County League game.

Senior kicker Luke Watson hit a 21-yard field goal, his first this season, in the second quarter that proved to be the difference.

The two decisive drops occurred in the fourth quarter. With 10:26 remaining, Atholton quarterback Jamie Burford lofted a 19-yard pass to a wide-open Eddie Chang in the end zone. However, the pass slipped through the hands of the normally sure-handed Chang.

Chang then caught a 21-yard pass in the end zone with 3:15 left. But Chang was called for pushing off defensive back Brian Sterling with his left arm and the touchdown was negated.

On the next play -- fourth-and-20 at the Wildecats' 36-yard line, Burford timed a pass for Jason Saunder down the sidelines. Diving for the pass around the end zone, Saunder couldn't pull the ball in and it deflected off his hands.

"You need to make plays to win games," Atholton coach Don Van Deusen said. "We had our chances, but didn't make the plays."

The Wildecats then took over and never gave the ball back. Starting at its 36, Wilde Lake ran out the final 2:45, moving down the field to Atholton's 5-yard line.

Sophomore Dain Lewis ran the ball seven times for 58 yards in that drive, finishing with 99 yards.

Wilde Lake ditched the unproductive wishbone offense this week, exclusively working out of the I-formation. Lewis, Allan Anderson and Jefferson took turns at the tailback slot, combining for 185 yards.

"I'm not concerned about not getting the ball all the time," Lewis said. "I'm a sophomore. The ball will be there next year."

The dropped passes would have ruined a strong effort by the Wilde Lake defense. The Wildecats held Atholton to eight net yards of total offense in the first half.

In the second half, the Raiders' average starting field position was their 41-yard line, but the Wildecats held Atholton scoreless.

The Raiders amassed only 118 yards of offense in the game, 60 of which came off Jon Sanford's first carry in three games. Sanford returned from a sprained ankle, and was the Raiders' leading rusher with 61 yards on two carries.

But the Raiders (4-3, 1-3) also played hard-hitting defense, especially with their backs against their goal line. Atholton held Wilde Lake without a touchdown in three possessions inside the 10-yard line.

"Our offense stalled down there," DuVall said. "That happens when you have a young team and a sophomore quarterback [Tony Jackson]. They don't always run the exact plays or hit the right holes."

In the only scoring drive, Jefferson seemed to always hit the right holes. He ran for 41 of the Wildecats' 56 yards in the drive that moved them to Atholton's 4-yard line.

On a third-and-goal, Jackson's pass hit off the shoulder pads of Brian Bassett at the goal line. Watson then calmly kicked the ball through the center of the uprights with 9:26 left in the second quarter.

"I wasn't worried at all," DuVall said. "He's 37 of 38 in extra points for us here and that was like an extra point. He's automatic down there."

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