Meade routs No. 1 N. County, 40-21 Sharps' 5 TDs help hand Knights first loss of season

November 02, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Tornardo Sharps scored five touchdowns and rushed for 243 yards on 16 carries as Meade stunned top ranked and previously unbeaten (8-1, 6-1) North County, 40-21, on homecoming at Fort Meade last night.

"I would rather have had a ticket to watch" Sharps, said Knights coach Chuck Markiewicz. "He's something else, and we got beat by a better team."

The Mustangs (7-2, 6-0) rolled up 423 yards of total offense, 357 on the ground, and had a 40-0 lead with 5: 56 left in the third period when the mercy rule (as long as advantage is 35 points or more, the clock keeps running) was invoked.

"Our game plan was to throw early and open up the running game," said Meade coach Jerry Hartman, whose quarterback, Malwan Johnson, completed five of seven passes for 66 yards in the first half while turning Sharps loose on counters and power plays here and there.

Meade took over sole possession of first place in the Class 4A Anne Arundel County league with the victory.

Hartman's defensive game plan worked as the Mustangs blitzed their linebackers frequently to put pressure on North County quarterback Mike Evans. The Knights' prolific offense, which was averaging more than 400 yards a game, was limited to 94 yards (41 running, 53 passing) in the first half. Evans' three touchdown passes -- giving him 28 on the season to tie the state record shared by four others -- came after the verdict was in.

Sharps ran wild, scoring three first-half touchdowns and running for 129 yards on only eight attempts. The junior speedster picked up where he left off in the second half.

After senior Jesse Barnes (11 carries for 92 yards rushing) ran 38 yards for a touchdown to open the second half, Sharps broke loose for two more and the 40-0 lead.

The Mustangs are making a habit of spoiling things for county foes. They ended North County's 13-game win streak dating back to last year and nixed the Knights' attempt to become the 11th county team in the last 35 years to go undefeated in regular season.

Arundel turned the trick last season before Meade spoiled the Wildcats' season with a 14-7 upset in the Class 4A quarterfinals.

Sharps' first touchdown of the night capped a seven-play drive of88 yards after North County punted on its first two possessions.

A 47-yard scamper down the sideline by Sharps on the first play of the drive was a near touchdown, but the referee ruled that Sharps had stepped out at the 41 after he went the distance.

A North County unsportsmanlike penalty gained the Mustangs 15 more yards to the Knights' 26. Three plays later, Sharps

scored, and Eddie Borys' point-after kick made it 7-0 Meade with 6: 11 left in the first period.

Before the half, Sharps added 23 and 63-yard scoring runs to give Meade a 21-0 lead at intermission.

Bright spots for North County: Evans was 23-for-47 for 246 yards and setting a new state season record for yards at 2,522, breaking the record of 2,356 by North County's Eric Howard in 1992.

Pub Date: 11/02/96

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