Wilde Lake wrings Howard Wildecats turn on power I, cruise to 40-0 victory

November 09, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVall and his Wildecats won't be upset if it rains again next Saturday for the opening round of the state playoffs.

For the second straight muddy week, the No. 6-ranked Wildecats (10-0) flourished by running a power I offense instead of their normal wishbone.

Yesterday's 40-0 victory over visiting Howard clinched a Class 3A playoff spot for Wildecats. It was also their third straight shutout and ended their second straight unbeaten regular season. And it solidified their reputation as a good mud team.

Danny Bayron, who rushed seven times for 67 yards and one touchdown, said: "I was very surprised today's game wasn't closer. But we used the mud to our advantage on offense, and the defense likes playing in the mud. It gets us pumped."

The Wildecats spent several minutes celebrating by sliding through the slop on their bellies after the game.

Bayron's effort gave him 1,005 rushing yards for the season.

Yesterday, however, Wilde Lake's Chris Carlson led all rushers with 83 yards on four carries, including a 36-yard touchdown romp.

Wilde Lake's defense held Howard (5-5) to 28 yards of total offense. It sacked Howard quarterback Jon LaRoche eight times for 61 yards in losses.

LaRoche completed only two of 14 passes for 14 yards, and had one intercepted by Quentin Collins, who returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. Collins also had a fumble recovery, as did teammates Mike Jackson and Asmar Hagler.

Finney started the scoring with a 61-yard punt return for a touchdown on the sixth play of the game.

On Wilde Lake's third play from scrimmage, Bayron ran 29 yards for a touchdown. The Wildecats led 14-0 when Howard's leading rusher Gerald Smith injured his ankle on defense. Smith had 18 yards on six carries at that time, and he never returned to action.

"Speed kills and strength punishes and we showed that today," Wildecats quarterback Derek Bell said. "We dominated the whole game. If my line could block like that every Saturday, then we'd definitely win states. The next three weeks will separate the good teams from the great teams."

After Derrick Jordan caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Bell, Collins made his touchdown off an interception and Carlson ran 36 yards for a touchdown -- all in the second quarter -- DuVall sent in his second-team backfield for the remainder of the game.

That's when turnovers really began to mount. Wilde Lake ended up losing five fumbles. Howard threw one interception and lost three fumbles.

"We were overmatched," Howard coach Vince Parnell said. "Wilde Lake is the standard by which we measure ourself. They are where we want to be -- disciplined and well-coached. There was no way we could win today unless they made mistakes. The field favored their straightforward style of play, but even a dry field wouldn't have made much difference. They are just a better team."

Pub Date: 11/09/97

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