Oakland Mills survives Hammond, 22-12 Battered Scorpions rely on Rubbo, Kellett to carry the load

October 19, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Tailback Vinnie Rubbo rushed 35 times for 174 yards and his 12th touchdown. Fullback Gregg Kellett rushed nine times for 71 yards and two touchdowns.

Just another typical day for the Oakland Mills Scorpions as they defeated guest Hammond, 22-12? Not quite. Injuries and illnesses are becoming a critical factor for Oakland Mills.

The Scorpions (4-3 overall, 4-2 league) suited up just 18 players after losing a starting tight end and starting cornerback to knee injuries two weeks ago.

Kellett, who leads Rubbo's blocks, missed practice all week and was an uncertain starter until game time. And his only replacement, Rashad Watson, quit the team yesterday morning.

Oakland Mills quarterback T.J. Welsh played despite the flu. Cornerback Terrance Barnes broke his finger during the game, and cornerback Herbert Clinton already had a broken finger.

"It's like a hospital ward around here," Oakland Mills assistant coach Sam Singleton said.

The Scorpions were down to 16 able bodies but managed to overcome a 30-man Hammond team.

Oakland Mills got a break in the first quarter when Hammond appeared to have recovered a fumble on a punt when the ball bounced off Welsh and a Hammond player fell on it. Officials ruled Welsh had been blocked into the ball and gave it back to Oakland Mills.

Four plays later, the Scorpions got another break when Hammond fumbled a punt and Oakland Mills recovered at Hammond's 8-yard line.

Three plays later, Kellett scored from the 1-yard line and Oakland Mills led 7-0.

Hammond's second bad snap on a punt in the first quarter went into the end zone and resulted in a safety and a 9-0 score.

After that safety Oakland Mills drove to Hammond's 9 before running out of downs and the halftime score remained 9-0.

Hammond (3-4, 3-3) had only 22 net yards rushing and 22 yards passing in the first half, and didn't get a first down until there were just 23 seconds left in the half.

Oakland Mills drove 74 yards in eight plays to score on a 19-yard run by Kellett to open the second half. The extra-point kick by Welsh made it 16-0.

They made it 22-0 with a nine-play 66-yard drive ending in a 3-yard touchdown run by Rubbo.

"We're pretty predictable," Oakland Mills coach Ken Hovet said. "We can run but can't throw. We can play run defense but not pass defense. Kellett and Rubbo played nice games."

Hammond scored on its last two possessions thanks to its passing game, but by then it was too late.

Danny Embrey caught four passes for 68 yards during those drives, and Austin Smith caught a 10-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds left to play.

"Oakland Mills dominated the lines and that was the story," Hammond coach Joe Russo said. "Their front five defensive guys were able to stop the run by themselves so they could drop

everyone else back for the pass. They played a sound defensive game."

Russo said he thought the turning point came in the third quarter with the Bears trailing 16-0. Hammond recovered a fumble at the Oakland Mills 13-yard line. But they could not score, barely mis-firing on a fourth-down halfback option pass when Embrey got open but slipped and fell in the end zone.

River Hill 19, Mt. Hebron 14: Mike Schoonmaker completed 12 of 19 passes for 163 yards and had two interceptions on defense to lift the visiting Hawks (1-6) over the Vikings (1-6).

Pub Date: 10/19/97

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