Curtain draws Hammond to 21-7 win Fullback's 131 yards, TD spark upset of Long Reach

October 26, 1997|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

If some members of No. 15 Long Reach did indeed look past unranked Hammond yesterday, as some may argue, they missed a pretty impressive performance by Golden Bears fullback Randy Curtain.

Curtain slashed, bulled and lunged his way to 131 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries as visiting Hammond shocked the Lightning, 21-7, on "Senior Day."

"We've had some hard losses this year but we still think we're a pretty good football team," said Bears coach Joe Russo, whose team must now get set to face Wilde Lake (7-0). "We stood and played exactly like we have all year but we got a couple breaks and we took advantage of them."

Hammond, which was all but eliminated from postseason contention last week by Oakland Mills, looked like a playoff-caliber team, especially in the first half when it opened up a 21-0 lead.

Long Reach cut it to 14 on a 68-yard touchdown pass from Greg Matusewitch to Chris Smith with 3: 56 left in the half.

Neither team would score again.

"We have a large group of seniors this year and we wanted to go out with a lot of pride," said Curtain, who was in on 12 tackles and had one catch for 15 yards. "We wanted to win one defensively for [defensive coordinator Bill] Smith, who really gave us the right mind-set for this game.

"Everything that we wanted to happen did. The line won the game."

The Lightning (6-2) went deep on the opening play of the game and Matusewitch's 44-yard pass to Willy Bhatia put Long Reach at the Bears' 21.

Hammond (4-4) got the ball back on the next play as Adam Clark jumped on a Devin Conwell fumble at the line of scrimmage.

A face-mask penalty and a holding call on a punt helped Hammond string together an eight-play, 79-yard scoring drive on its first possession. Calvin Wilmer capped the Bears' drive with a 13-yard touchdown run. Wilmer looked like he was going down around the 5-yard line but kept his feet by planting his hand in the soggy turf.

A roughing-the-passer penalty on a 37-yard pass from Jeff Carlin to Danny Embrey set up a first-and-goal at the 12 for the Bears.

Three plays later, Carlin found Jason Boyd in the right corner of the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown pass.

Long Reach looked like it was going to get on the scoreboard early in the second quarter but Matusewitch's apparent 66-yard touchdown pass to Clarence Reid was wiped out because of illegal motion.

A 12-yard punt by Long Reach in the waning minutes of the first half gave Hammond the ball at the Lightning's 30. Curtain put the Bears in even better position when he broke three tackles and ran 23 yards to the one-inch line.

After two failed quarterback sneaks, Curtain got the call and plowed in for the score with 4: 12 left.

"Senior Day was somewhat distracting but it's no excuse, we just came out flat," said Long Reach coach Pete Hughes, whose team can still clinch the Class 2A South region if it defeats Glenelg and Atholton in its final two regular- season games. "We've played well all year and we just picked the wrong day to come out flat."

No. 4 Gilman 28, No. 3 Calvert Hall 21: The host Greyhounds clamped down for two fourth-down stops in the final 6 1/2 minutes, scored four touchdowns on quick strikes and forced two fumbles to upend the Cardinals in an MIAA A Conference game.

No. 8 Wilde Lake 40, Atholton 0: Brandon Ferry rushed for 150 yards on 18 carries to lead the undefeated Wildecats (8-0) over the visiting Raiders (3-5). Gene Colson returned one of his two fumble recoveries for a touchdown for Wilde Lake.

Howard 47, Mount Hebron 13: Gerald Smith ran for 262 yards on 10 carries and scored three touchdowns as the host Lions (5-3) rolled to a Howard County League win. Smith scored on runs of 40, 76 and 44 yards.

JaBre Morrison had two touchdowns and 66 rushing yards for Howard. Mount Hebron's Jerry Hicks ran for 143 yards.

Centennial 28, River Hill 13: Keith Will had 175 yards on 31 carries to lead the Eagles (4-4) over the host Hawks (1-7).

Pub Date: 10/26/97

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