Panthers win dulls Sharps' performance Annapolis hangs on, 25-21, offsets back's 237 yards

October 18, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Annapolis quarterback Peter Ludlam used to be a running back, and he showed last night he still knows what to do with the ball.

Ludlam's third touchdown run, following others from 11 and 5 yards, from the 1-yard line with 2: 17 left lifted No. 2-ranked Annapolis (7-0 overall, 4-0 league) over Meade, 25-21. The Panthers quarterback had set up the game-winning touchdown -- his second in the final quarter -- with a 38-yard pass to S. J. Womack.

The ending did not, however, overshadow a spectacular performance by Meade running back Tanardo Sharps, who was stopped only by the clock.

Sharps carried 32 times for 237 yards and three touchdowns on runs of 6, 79 and 11 yards. He even completed a pass. It was the eighth time in his sensational, two-year varsity career that he had run for at least 200 yards.

At game's end, Anne Arundel County's leading rusher (1,219 yards, 12 touchdowns) had rain-drenched fans on the edges of their seats.

After Ludlam's go-ahead touchdown, Meade's slashing back started from his own 15 and carried seven straight times. He also completed a 24-yard option pass to John Banks.

Sharps took one ball from the Annapolis 30 down to the 2-yard line with just seconds left -- only to have the play nullified by a motion penalty.

The game ended with Sharps going 14 yards to the sideline and the 21-yard line. Sharps piled up 216 of his yards in the second half, but Meade's inability to convert after all three of its touchdowns cost the Mustangs dearly.

"It was a great high school football game, one of the best I've ever been associated with," said Annapolis coach Roy Brown. "Sharps has to be one of the best I've seen in a long, long time.

"Meade showed a lot of character, and so did our kids."

In knocking off the defending county champion, the Panthers (4-0) are now the only unbeaten team in the Anne Arundel County Class 4A League and the East region.

Meade had only 36 yards rushing in the first half, with Sharps gaining 21 yards on 11 attempts. But the Mustangs held a 9-6 lead with five seconds left before the break.

Ludlam fought his way through several would-be tacklers to score from the 11 after the Panthers called their last timeout for a 12-9 lead.

An attempted two-point conversion pass by Ludlam failed.

Sharps' 6-yard burst gave the visitors a 9-6 lead with 6: 15 left in the half before Ludlam drove the Panthers 64 yards in 16 plays.

Albert Creek carried eight times for 34 yards on the march and Ludlam's 8-yard run on a broken play on a third-and-8 situation kept the drive alive.

The Annapolis defense, led by Derek Johnson, Donnell Foote and Joe Plattner, held Meade to 103 total yards in the first half.

Pub Date: 10/18/97

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