Purple reigns: Long Reach football debut a smash hit Lightning players, fans had day to remember in win over River Hill

September 11, 1996|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Long Reach sparkled on and off the football field at Saturday's inaugural football game between the Lightning and River Hill.

It looked like the school had been up and running for years.

The Long Reach school colors of purple and silver were everywhere. A big crowd was on hand, and the concession stand did a booming business. Lightning backers were selling shirts and programs.

The purple-clad band looked and sounded great. It was led by director Matthew Dubbs, whose brother, Mark, is the JV football coach at River Hill. And the cheerleaders had plenty to cheer about in the 22-6 victory.

"I'm just glad we scored the first touchdown on our home field," principal Dave Bruzga said.

The only near snafu, other than the heavy rain the day before, involved the team benches for the sidelines. The screws didn't fit, so Howard High lent its benches for the game.

Long Reach coach Pete Hughes was elated with his team's effort. His staff had a perfect game plan to combat River Hill's run-and-shoot offense.

Hughes did misjudge one thing -- the number of programs that would be sold. At $4 per program, however, the price was probably a little too steep.

Eagles upset Lions

Centennial's 20-17 upset victory over Liberty, a team that was ranked No. 7 in the Metro area, charges up the Eagles for Friday's encounter with Oakland Mills.

The Eagles have athleticism and speed at the skill positions, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound quarterback, Ryan Gielen, who throws well, an offensive line that gives him time and a strong secondary.

The Eagles have a terrific receiver in Jason Zolak, who made a critical catch for a first down that kept alive Centennial's 14-play, 80-yard game-winning touchdown drive. That score came with 50 seconds left.

Coach Ed Holshue especially praised the efforts of offensive tackle Tim Lee, linebacker and fullback Patrick Johnson, linebacker Alonzo Lewis and tailback Keith Williams against Liberty.

Centennial catches a break because Oakland Mills will be playing on three days' rest. But no matter how well the Eagles have played against Oakland Mills in recent years, they always seem to come up short.

Will that change Friday? Oakland Mills coach Ken Hovet doesn't think so.

After his team was battered by Aberdeen on Monday, 33-6, he said: "We have the potential to be a decent team. We just didn't do it [Monday]. It will be a different story Friday. I promise you."

Conwell on hold

Irving Conwell, who signed with Mount St. Mary's for a full basketball scholarship, is sidelined.

He said that the 970 he earned on the Scholastic Achievement Test was 10 points short of what he needed.

He'll take the test again in October.

Conwell was on hand at Saturday's Long Reach football game where his freshman brother, Devon, was the game's leading rusher with 107 yards.

Golf numbers

These are the phone numbers for anyone wishing to participate in the Howard County Golf Club, a non-school sanctioned league for high school players that will play this fall at Hobbit's Glen: Atholton, Daryl Steen, (301) 490-2495; Centennial, Roger Sexton, 997-0693; Hammond, Robin Barwick, (301) 776-5502; Mount Hebron, Jim Long, 465-4056; River Hill, Ben Williams, 442-2810; Wilde Lake, Rod Turner, 465-0880; Glenelg, Bo Mundy, (301) 854-6781.

Pub Date: 9/11/96

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