No. 11 City scores early, often against C.M. Wright Knights' 5 straight scores clobber No. 3 team, 44-7

September 07, 1996|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

City's season-opening loss to C. Milton Wright last season set the tone for the Knights' worst campaign in the past 10 years.

If yesterday's rematch is any indication, however, this will be a very different season for City.

The 11th-ranked Knights throttled the third-ranked Mustangs, 44-7, at City.

Although City (1-0) returned 12 starters and C.M. Wright (0-1) had 17 starters back, it was apparent from the outset that these were not the same teams that met last season when the Mustangs prevailed, 30-14.

City dominated on both sides of the ball, scoring touchdowns on its first five possessions and holding the Mustangs scoreless until the final play of the game.

"What a difference a year makes," City coach George Petrides said. "The team is hungry. They've come out with a very serious intent this year to turn around last season. Last season's record has been motivating us."

C.M. Wright coach Steve Harward was puzzled by his team's performance.

"We were coming off a great practice," he said. "I don't know if they thought they weren't going to play today [because of the inclement weather] and then weren't mentally prepared to play or what. City's just a very physical football team and they beat us in every facet of the game."

The Knights' offensive line (Chris Perkins, Carl Hebron, Logan Davidson, Chris Ekeueme and Ricky Holloway) opened huge holes as a balanced running attack sheared the Mustangs' defense.

Five different players ran for touchdowns, led by Bryant Johnson (77 yards on four carries), Andrew Lashley (71 yards on 13 carries) and Taber Small (62 yards on 11 carries).

Quarterback Michael Johnson ran for a touchdown and completed two of three pass attempts for 94 yards and a touchdown.

"We've got a lot of weapons on offense and we used most of them today," Petrides said. "We thought we could get outside on them, and we did. Then when they took that away, we thought we could go right off tackle on them and we did. We executed and everything we planned worked."

City's defense also rose to the occasion, limiting C.M. Wright to 159 yards of total offense, 67 of which came on Jason Stiles' touchdown run on the last play of the game.

The Knights had taken an 8-0 lead on a 8-yard touchdown run by Lashley that capped an eight-play, 54-yard drive with 3: 00 remaining in the first quarter.

After forcing C.M. Wright to punt on the ensuing possession, it took City just one play -- a 65-yard touchdown run by Bryant Johnson -- to increase its lead to 14-0.

City later scored on a 74-yard pass from Michael Johnson to Warren Smith and an 8-yard run by Small to take a 30-0 lead into halftime.

Pub Date: 9/07/96

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