Scorpions regroup, kick Atholton Oakland Mills' T. J. Smith sets state field goal record

September 29, 1996|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

The reports of Oakland Mills' death were greatly exaggerated.

The two-time defending county champion Scorpions had made 22 turnovers and were 0-3 coming into yesterday's game against a formidable Atholton squad. They were given up for dead after losing last week to Long Reach, a senior-less first-year team.

At Atholton, however, the Scorpions did an about-face and made just one turnover. Plus, senior T. J. Smith set a state record and broke a 17-year-old county record by kicking four field goals in an 18-0 Oakland Mills victory.

"The Long Reach loss was like a knife in our hearts, and most people thought we'd quit. But Coach [Ken] Hovet kept believing in us," said senior running back Quan Davis (10 carries, 61 yards). Davis also caught three passes for 82 yards and scored the game's only touchdown on a 37-yard pass play early in the second quarter.

"It wasn't until Thursday in practice that things finally clicked," Davis said. "We decided we didn't want to be chumps and roll over. We got tired of hearing about Long Reach."

Oakland Mills played without All-American running back Fardan Carter, who is injured, but sophomore Vinnie Rubbo gained 83 yards on 17 carries and caught four passes for 57 yards.

Rubbo credited the offensive line of Kevin Wilkinson, Mark Turnbough, Paul Duffy, Justin Herron, Bryan Cole and especially Bryan Frizzelle for his success.

"We finally figured the right buttons to press to get our younger guys fired up," said Frizzelle, a senior captain along with Cole. "They grew up two seasons, between this week and last week."

Oakland Mills started three sophomores in its backfield, including Rubbo, quarterback T. J. Welsh and fullback Jay Frizzelle, Bryan's brother.

Although he was sacked four times, Welsh completed eight of 17 passes for 153 yards and one touchdown. The Scorpions rushed for 168 yards.

"We knew he could throw, and today he finally got the time he needed," Rubbo said.

Oakland Mills added two new defensive starters, cornerback Justin Green and defensive end Greg Kellett, both of whom played well. The defense held Atholton to 107 total yards.

The Scorpions had great field position most of the game, thanks to Smith, an ex-soccer player who booted three kickoffs into the end zone.

"We were never in a position to kick a field goal this season before today," Smith said. "Things just clicked for me."

His first field goal, with 4: 55 left in the second period, was a 40-yarder, but would have been good from 50 yards or more. It gave Oakland Mills a 9-0 lead.

He added a 24-yarder just before halftime, another from 39 yards with 1: 15 left in the third period, and the fourth, from 30 yards, late in the fourth quarter.

Numerous players statewide had kicked three field goals in a game, including county record-holder Craig Carlson, of Atholton, who did it in 1979.

"Give the Oakland Mills coaching staff credit. Their team out-executed us," Atholton coach Kevin Kelly said. "Smith is a great weapon, and he set the tone for the game. Coming into this game we had returned two kicks for touchdowns, and he took that aspect away from us. Their kicking game was outstanding."

Wilde Lake 55, Mount Hebron 7: Sean Jefferson rushed eight times for 121 yards and two touchdowns, and Dain Lewis produced his fourth 100-yard day of the season with 103 yards on 19 carries and two scores as the No. 11 Wildecats rolled. Wilde Lake rushed for 323 yards, improved to 4-0.

Centennial 54, River Hill 6: Senior Ryan Gielen threw for 200 yards on nine-for-11 passing and three touchdowns as No. 13 Centennial (3-1) defeated River Hill (0-4). Keith Williams rushed 15 times for 124 yards for the Eagles, who totaled 440 yards of offense.

Mount St. Joseph 48, Edmondson 8: Crushed last week by DeMatha, Mount St. Joseph rebounded emphatically. Gaels running back Aaron Thompson rushed for 237 yards, scoring five touchdowns.

Pub Date: 9/29/96

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