Lake Clifton passes Meade, 26-14 Able's 3 TD tosses eclipse predicted running show

September 06, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

No. 3 Lake Clifton defeated No. 7 Meade, 26-14, in the season opener for both in Fort Meade last night, but the game wasn't the track meet everyone expected.

The game pitted Anne Arundel County's premier running back, Meade's Tanardo Sharps, against two of Baltimore's best, the Lakers' Robert Carrothers and Darnell Pearsall.

While each of the trio had their moments, the passing of Lake Clifton's senior quarterback, Joseph Able, was the difference.

Able completed five of 10 passes for 108 yards and three touchdowns, including two six-point passes in the final period.

Sharps ran 12 times for 99 yards, but 65 of them came on a touchdown scamper in the third period, and Lake Clifton held him to just seven yards in the first half. Sharps, a returning All-Metro back, also took the second half kickoff 79 yards to the end zone and scored again on his first attempt from scrimmage.

"Give credit to all 11 people on defense," said Lakers coach James Monroe. "We had no special plan; just avoid arm tackling and straight-up hit him in the chest."

Carrothers led all runners with 149 yards on 18 attempts and scored from 2 yards out in the third period following Sharps' kickoff return.

Pearsall got the call 18 times, as well, and rushed for 97 yards as the Lakers as a team put together 272 yards on the ground.

Lake Clifton's victory spoiled the head coaching debut of Meade's Mark Frye. Frye, who succeeded Jerry Hartman following the latter's resignation after four seasons, was an assistant at Meade and Severna Park before taking the Meade post.

Blown coverages in Meade's defensive secondary, which was supposed to be a Mustangs strength, led to wide-open Lakers that Able easily found.

Eric Thompson caught Able's first scoring pass on a fourth and goal from the 9 in the first period, and Taavon grabbed the last two -- from 10 and 49 yards out.

"We just made too many mental mistakes, and we're going to have to make some changes [in the secondary]," said Frye, Anne Arundel's first public high school football coach who is not also a teacher.

Playing in Anne Arundel County obviously agrees with the Lakers. In their last trip, mid-November of last season, they embarrassed North County in Ferndale. Lake Clifton set a record for points scored in a half of a playoff game with 52 and coasted to a 58-30 romp over the Knights, scoring on their first seven possessions. Pearsall and Carrothers combined for five touchdowns and more than 300 yards rushing. After showing up late (the game started 7: 30 p.m. instead of 7) because a flat bus tire yesterday, the Lakers' Carrothers and Pearsall started slowly.

But in the second half, Carrothers gained 88 of his yards in the second half and Pearsall added 61 of his as the Lakers kept the ball away from Sharps and Meade. A swarming defense led by Carrothers, Damian Mason (fumble recovery), Pearsall and Djorrel Dunn led the way.

Lake Clifton held Meade to just 100 yards rushing and quarterback Malwan Johnson to just 5-for-12 for 25 yards.

Pub Date: 9/06/97

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