No. 6 Wilde Lake blanks Hammond Wildecats cruise, 35-0, to win ninth in a row

November 02, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Wilde Lake's resume, as the Wildecats head toward the Class 3A playoffs, grew more impressive yesterday.

With their 35-0 victory over Hammond, the No. 6-ranked Wildecats clinched their second straight Howard County championship, won their 18th straight league game and recorded their fifth shutout.

Wilde Lake's dominant effort came at the expense of a Hammond squad that upset second-place Long Reach last week, a victory that caused some concern among the Wildecats. Wilde Lake was the only other team to have defeated Long Reach.

Danny Bayron, whose 188 yards rushing on 19 carries and two touchdowns made him the offensive leader against host Hammond, feared the Bears.

"We practiced really hard all week because we thought it would be close," Bayron said.

He considered his own effort some redemption for playing poorly the past two weeks.

"I haven't been playing well and today was the time to rise," said Bayron. "Every game and every play is important now. We considered this a playoff game. We didn't want to slack off for our last two games, thinking we're 8-0."

Wilde Lake (9-0 overall, 8-0 league), despite its unbeaten record, still does not have a lock on a playoff berth. The Wildecats must defeat Howard next week.

Despite its record, Hammond (4-5, 4-4) would have won a Class 1A playoff spot had the Bears defeated Wilde Lake and then River Hill next week.

"We thought if we could play well today, and get lucky and catch a few breaks, then we might have a chance," Hammond coach Joe Russo said. "But they [Wilde Lake] dominated the line of scrimmage. No excuses. If we play them 10 times, we lose 10 times."

Three turnovers, many missed tackles and a blocked punt all contributed to Hammond's downfall. Wilde Lake's defense also held Hammond to 137 yards of total offense.

Wilde Lake drove 51 yards in six plays on its first possession. Duane Kerr caught a 3-yard fourth-down pass from Derek Bell for the touchdown.

A fumble recovery at Hammond's 19-yard line set up Wilde Lake's second touchdown, a 4-yard run by Bayron with 3: 02 left in the first quarter. A 48-yard first-down pass from Bell to Derrick Jordan made it 21-0 before the quarter ended.

A 10-play, 53-yard drive in the second quarter boosted the lead to 28-0 with Bayron going the final yard.

Garth Herdrick blocked a punt with 1: 53 left in the third quarter and fell on it in the end zone for the final touchdown.

"We think we have arrived now," Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVall said. "The kids are starting to click and look good. We're starting to get a playoff tempo."

Centennial 34, Mount Hebron 7: Keith Will rushed for 136 yards on 27 carries and scored two touchdowns to lead the visiting Eagles (5-4) over the Vikings (1-8).

P.J. Paolisso completed 5-of-9 passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns for Centennial.

Pub Date: 11/02/97

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