Annapolis plays safe, escapes with 12-9 win Two late Paint Branch drives fall just short

September 13, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

A defense that would not budge, coupled with a safety the home team had to take in the final 1: 11, enabled No. 10-ranked Annapolis to hold off Paint Branch, 12-9, at Al Laramore Field in Annapolis last night.

Annapolis (2-0) stopped the visitors from Montgomery County inches shy of a first-down at their 3-yard line with 3: 39 left. The home team then played it safe, keeping the ball on the ground with a light rain falling.

After taking a delay of game penalty on fourth down at the nine, Annapolis coach Roy Brown ordered Donnell Foote to take the intentional safety by running out of the end zone. That cut the margin to 12-9 -- but gave Annapolis a free kick.

The game ended with Paint Branch (now 1-1) on the Annapolis 20 and unable to get off one last play as the buzzer sounded.

Foote, who led the victors with 82 yards on 10 carries, ran for 45 of his yards in the second half and made a possible game-saving tackle on a pass from Andy Roberts to Abdul Kamara with about 40 seconds left.

The pass play covered 12 yards to the Annapolis 24 and was set up by two penalties against Annapolis and a 23-yard return on Foote's free kick by Gerald Dixon.

A short scramble by Roberts put the ball on the 20, where the game ended before the visitors could get off one more snap.

Foote's second effort gave Annapolis the lead for good on the initial drive of the second half. After a short kick and subsequent face-mask penalty gave Annapolis field position at the Paint Branch 48, Annapolis marched the distance in eight plays.

Another face-mask flag on Paint Branch gave Annapolis a first and goal at the five. Foote cut off left tackle, spun off two defenders and into pay dirt for a 12-7 Annapolis lead.

The home team failed on the conversion attempt as quarterback Peter Ludlam was tackled short of the goal line on a sprint-out.

Meanwhile, the Annapolis defense, led by linemen Joe Plattner, Derek Johnson and John Paul Williams and linebacker Cleveland Graves, limited their opponent to minus-two yards rushing in the third period. Paint Branch ran only eight plays to 15 by Annapolis in the third.

Paint Branch got on the board first, driving 71 yards in seven plays with Luke Kim, who led all ball carriers with 107 yards in 20 carries, getting the call six times for 59 yards on the drive. He cut left, off tackle, and dashed 30 yards to six points.

The point-after-kick by Jeremy Myers was good to make it 7-0 Paint Branch with 37 seconds left in the first period.

Annapolis answered with Albert Creek taking the ensuing kickoff right up the gut some 41 yards to the Paint Branch 41. Eight plays later, Ludlam crashed over from the one to make it 7-6.

Foote's attempted extra point kick was blocked by Steve Richardson to keep the visitors in front.

The game started 15 minutes late because of an overtime girls' soccer game. The second half was held up another 20 or so minutes so an ambulance could take away a bass drummer who tumbled over a bench at halftime.

Pub Date: 9/13/97

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