Arundel '87-guts' its way to victory Late 4th-and-1 gamble keys win over Broadneck

September 20, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Anthony Dennis turned what was supposed to be a short yardage run into a long gainer and the game's biggest play to propel host Arundel to its first win of the season by 27-17 over Broadneck in Gambrills last night.

The win was the third in a row for Arundel over Broadneck (2-1) under coach Bill Zucco and gave the Wildcats a 6-5 edge in what over the past 11 years has been one of the county's top rivalries.

The game was much closer than the score indicated, as the Wildcats' power-running game outlasted precision passing by Bruins quarterback Jonas Weatherbie.

Weatherbie, son of Navy football coach Charlie Weatherbie, came into the game having completed 15 of his first 21 passes this season and was 16-for-29 and 226 yards on the night.

Faced with a fourth-and-one at their own 29, down 17-13 with five minutes left, Zucco told his Cats to give Dennis the ball on an "87-gut."

Dennis, who ran seven times for 81 yards in the second half, slammed off tackle -- and rambled 42 yards to the Bruins' 29. Five plays later, quarterback Jason Carter, who dove to the 18 for a first down in a third-and-11 situation, plunged into the end zone from the 1 for a 19-17 lead.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Dennis then ran for a crucial two-point conversion to make it 21-17. A 54-yard touchdown scamper by David Everett with about a minute left iced the win. But it was all made possible by the Dennis scamper on fourth down.

"That was a big play. It gave us momentum to pull this game out," said Zucco. "It was a great run on his part."

Dennis appeared to be stopped, although with enough for the first down, before he bolted out of the crowd.

"My line opened the hole, and I broke the tackles with a spin move," said Dennis.

After Carter scored to make it 19-17, Zucco made another gutty decision. This time he chose to go for two points rather than the one-point kick. Arundel was concerned that the Bruins might get close enough for their superb kicker Brooks Barnard to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Barnard already had kicked a 33-yard field goal and two extra points.

Broadneck led 10-7 at the half on Barnard's 14th career field goal, two shy of the county record, and boosted that lead to 17-7 on a 1-yard dive by Weatherbie with 7: 21 left in the third period.

Arundel consumed the rest of the third period clock in marching 76 yards in 13 plays -- all on the ground -- to cut the margin to 17-13. Dennis had a 15-yard gain on the drive and Domenic Greco crashed in from the 1 for his second touchdown of the game.

Greg Wojtech's point-after kick was short and left, keeping the score at 17-13.

The Arundel defense managed to contain the Bruins' attack, which also featured Martel Threadgill, who ran for 107 yards on 13 attempts, and the receiving of Lehrman Dotson, Fred Davis, Earl Downs and Laron Colbert.

Pub Date: 9/20/97

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