Before yesterday's game at No. 6 Gilman, retiring Poly coach Augie Waibel received an honor he didn't expect: a plaque from his "Friends at Gilman," thanking him for his "many years of dedicated service to Baltimore high school football."
Then his fifth-ranked Engineers got something Waibel always expects from the Greyhounds: A tough game, and, eventually, a 17-13 loss.
"It was a typical Poly-Gilman game," said Waibel, 58, who is 259-63 in his 36th and final season. "It was a test of nerves, and I'll miss it."
Waibel probably won't miss Gilman's Damien Davis, who rushed for 108 yards on 16 carries.
Davis scored the Greyhounds' first touchdown -- from 24 yards at 7: 30 of the first quarter -- and the game-winner from 10 yards late in the third period.
Davis' first TD climaxed Gilman's game-opening, nine-play, 95-yard drive during which four different Greyhounds' players ran the ball with none of them gaining fewer than 5 yards. Davis credited the efforts of linemen Sam Wilson, Evan Shay, Jamie Hodges, Nick Funk, Joe Logan and Apaar Singh, who as a unit average about 230 pounds.
Davis' second score ended a seven-play, 72-yard march during which he rushed five times for 51 yards -- 41 yards coming on nifty delayed-option pitches by Ryan Boyle.
"Damien was always in the right place at the right time, and I had a lot of faith in our line to do the job," said Boyle, a sophomore. "We only put it [option] together this week, so we executed pretty well."
Gilman (3-0) lost four of its five fumbles to Poly, which had out-scored two previous opponents by a combined 79-0.
But the Greyhounds' defense, led by Brian Lewis (one sack), Chisom Opara (fumble recovery) and Felix Isuk and Sina Ekundayo -- each of whom came up with key interceptions -- kept Poly scoreless in the second half.
"We got our act together in the second half," said Davis, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior. "I'd give us an 'A' for coming back from those early mistakes."
Fumble recoveries by George Hopkins and Jonathan Rogers, respectively, set up Poly's two second-quarter touchdowns, which came less than a minute apart.
For their first score, 3: 06 before halftime, the Engineers (2-1) drove 36 yards in seven plays before quarterback Timmy Frazier for-11, 90 yards) went in from Gilman's 2. Marcus Smith's extra-point kick tied the game.
After Rogers' recovery, Frazier then completed a 37-yard pass to Ed Henry that got the Engineers to the Gilman 6. From there, Charles Haywood (15 carries, 75 yards) made it 13-7 with touchdown run on the next play.
Kevin Culbertson helped Gilman end the first half on a high note by booting a 33-yard field goal with 48 seconds to go to cut Poly's lead to 13-10.
The drive to the field goal included a disputed reception of a pass by Culbertson that he and Poly's Olen Oliver had battled for. Oliver had the ball as they tumbled to the ground, but officials awarded possession to Gilman at Poly's 15.
"I'm not sure which of us had it," Culbertson said. "We were both bobbling it."
In other games:
Oakland Mills 21, Centennial 8: Vinnie Rubbo rushed for touchdowns of 1, 7 and 4 yards to power the host Scorpions past the Eagles.
Glenelg 34, River Hill 6: Kendell Stewart had 17 carries for 78 yards and Zack McQuigg threw for 141 yards to push the Gladiators (3-1) past the Hawks (0-3) in a Howard County League game.
Hammond 20, Mount Hebron 6: Jeff Carlin completed 28 of 31 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns to push the Bears (1-2) past the Vikings (1-2). Calvin Wilmer controlled the ground game for Hammond with 122 yards on 22 carries.
Pub Date: 9/21/97