Meade's farewell to coach is 42-12 loss Hartman sees Mustangs routed by Seneca Valley

November 16, 1996|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

GERMANTOWN -- It wasn't the kind of going-away present Meade had in mind for its departing coach, but then again, the Mustangs didn't have a lot of say in it.

Seneca Valley showed why the Associated Press had it ranked No. 1 in the state by rolling over Meade, 42-12, in last night's Class 4A state quarterfinals.

The Screaming Eagles of Montgomery County advance to next week's state semifinals round where they will face the winner of today's 1 p.m. matchup between Sherwood and Patterson.

"We expected a good, tough, well-coached, hard-nosed, disciplined football team and that's what we got," said Meade coach Jerry Hartman, who is stepping down after four years at the helm of the Mustangs (8-3). "I felt coming in that we had to play hard and not give up big plays and we certainly didn't do that, and that's kind of what set the tone of the game."

An end-over-end opening kickoff allowed the Eagles' high-flying offense to start their opening drive near midfield. It took Seneca Valley just six plays to capitalize on the field position and Ted Hamilton's 28-yard run put the hosts ahead, 6-0.

Malwan Johnson's first passing attempt on third-and-long was tipped by Brenden Kennedy and ended up in the hands of Seneca Valley safety Jason Johnson.

The Eagles took over at the Mustangs' 19-yard line and, this time, the hosts needed only five plays to produce a touchdown.

Seneca Valley quarterback Travis Vaughan rolled to his left before deciding to run it in from 4 yards out. Vaughan then hit Durique Taylor in the corner of the end zone to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead with 5: 41 still left in the first quarter.

Meade star running back Tornardo Sharps broke loose for 29 yards on Meade's ensuing possession but the drive was stalled by a sack.

Seneca Valley (11-0), which owns a record eight state championships, showed it didn't need good field position to score as it went 90 yards on 10 plays to take a 21-0 lead.

Sharps got Meade thinking comeback after he raced 74 yards to the Seneca Valley 12, setting up his own 5-yard touchdown run, but the Mustangs' coaching staff was kicking itself at halftime for a Hail Mary pass that got away.

With four seconds left in the half and Meade faced with a third-and-27, Johnson let go a long pass that Jason Neal picked off and returned 55 yards for a touchdown and a 28-6 halftime lead.

"We didn't have any doubt that we could win tonight, we just didn't execute like we should have," said Sharps, a junior who set school season records for rushing (1,765) and touchdowns (19) after carrying the ball 22 times for 212 yards and two touchdowns. "At halftime, we still thought we had some hope because Sherwood came back on them [last week before losing 27-20] and we thought we could do the same thing."

The Mustangs, who saw last season end in a 41-0 state semifinal loss to Gaithersburg, drove to the Eagles' 1 on their opening drive of the second half but came away empty.

Seneca Valley added to Meade's misery by driving down the field and scoring and then recovering a long onside kick that set up their final score.

"Meade has a real explosive offense and they have some really talented running backs. They had me on the edge of my seat the whole game," said Seneca Valley coach Terry Changuris.

"That touchdown before the half was the biggest play of the game. If it was 21-6 at halftime, that's still a ballgame."

Pub Date: 11/16/96

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