Gaithersburg handles Meade, 41-0, in semis Massive Trojans linemen stop Mustangs, Harrison

November 25, 1995|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

GAITHERSBURG -- Coach Jerry Hartman pushed all the right buttons all season long for the surprising Meade team.

But last night he simply ran out of buttons and magic as a massive Gaithersburg team handled the Mustangs, 41-0, in the semifinals of the state Class 4A football tournament at Gaithersburg.

The Trojans not only had offensive and defensive lines that averaged 285 pounds, but they had a 6-foot-4, 320-pound kicking specialist (David Garnett) and a coach (John Harvill) who has won 265 games.

To have Garnett booming the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs and kicking a 34-yard field goal just added to the overall mystique of the Gaithersburg team.

The Trojans also had a healthy Dereck Lancaster at running back after he had missed the first seven games of the season with a broken collarbone.

Lancaster, a senior, rambled for 145 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries to lead the attack behind five huge offensive linemen. The biggest of the linemen was 6-3, 340-pound tackle Jimmy Wingo. He was joined by tackle Hank Fraley, center Scott Taylor and guards Matt Lowe and Mike Carter.

Not even Hartman with all his football knowledge gathered from 21 years as an assistant coach at eight colleges could overcome those odds.

The Trojans will meet the winner of today's Seneca Valley-Sherwood semifinal game in next weekend's 4A championship game at Byrd Stadium in College Park.

Meade's talented, but small, running back Roman Harrison (5-8, 175 pounds) had difficulty trying to run against Gaithersburg (11-1).

Harrison, who entered the game with 1,631 yards and 19 touchdowns, bulled his way through the Trojans a couple of times for 10-yard runs, but he wound up with just 45 yards on 11 carries. He finished the season with 1,676, placing him third on the all-time single-season rushing list in Anne Arundel County.

"I thought we would run the ball better," said Harrison. "But our linemen couldn't move them. But I never quit. We had a better season than anybody thought we would."

Said Hartman: "We got a good whopping. They had a big, ball-control team and we were a bit overwhelmed."

After Gaithersburg bolted to a 21-0 lead at halftime, Hartman sent his team out in the second half to run some counters and reverses in an attempt to slow down the Gaithersburg pursuit.

It worked once, except for one major mistake -- a clipping penalty that nullified an 80-yard touchdown run by Damion Moss, who took a handoff from Harrison on a reverse in the third quarter.

"We took a bad penalty there and that hurt us," said Hartman. "Well, I don't know if it was a bad penalty but it came at a bad time."

After that play was called back, the Mustangs (8-4) never threatened much the rest of the night and were down 35-0 at the end of the third quarter.

Gaithersburg added its final touchdown on the final play of the game, a 1-yard touchdown run by Van Free.

It was the second touchdown of the game for Free, who was just called up from the junior varsity at the end of the season.

Free and all the rest of the Gaithersburg reserves played some of the third quarter and all of the fourth.

When Harvill was asked about his coaching feats over the years, he said: "It all depends on the players. We wanted to run the ball and we did it. Lancaster is a good runner and he carried us tonight."

Meade .. ... 0 0 0 0 -- . 0

Gaithersburg 12 9 14 6 -- 41

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