Lake Clifton proves no pushover in loss Powerful Sherwood takes 20-14 win, but Lakers show plenty of heart

Class 4A football

November 16, 1997|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In two previous visits to Baltimore, Sherwood of Montgomery County posted convincing first-round victories which paved the route to consecutive Class 4A state championships.

The Warriors returned again to Baltimore yesterday to begin their quest for a third straight title against Lake Clifton.

Unlike its last two visits, Sherwood was happy to leave.

Lake Clifton battled the Warriors, ranked No. 3 in this week's Associated Press state Top 20 poll, leading at halftime, before falling, 20-14.

Sherwood (10-1) advances to the semifinal round, where it will visit Suitland of Prince George's County next weekend. Suitland, the top-seed, defeated Walbrook yesterday, 52-14.

After losing quarterback Joe Able to a rib injury and teetering on the verge of becoming Sherwood's third straight first-round blowout victim, Lake Clifton (7-4) made the score 20-14 on a 6-yard run by Timothy Pearson with 6: 02 left in the game.

The Lakers got the ball back at their own 20 with 1: 57 remaining, but Sherwood's Jonah Burrelli blew through Lake Clifton's line and sacked sophomore quarterback Ronald Jefferson for a 11-yard loss. Lake Clifton wasn't able to convert a first down.

"We stepped it up and put ourselves up another level," said Lake Clifton coach James Monroe. "We tried our best, but our line play wasn't very good, which has been a weakness and Sherwood has a great line."

Outside of its opening scoring drive, Sherwood, which totaled 94 points against Patterson in playoff victories in 1995 and last year, couldn't muster much against the Lakers' defense.

A bad punt by Lake Clifton gave Sherwood good field position at the Lakers' 34. On a fourth-and-two from the 16, Lamon Daniels (81 yards) broke through a hole and ran in for a touchdown, giving the Warriors a 13-8 lead with 4: 43 left in the third quarter.

The lead grew to 20-8 with 2: 09 remaining after an 1-yard dive by quarterback Scoots Crowell which was set up by a 47-yard run down the right sideline by George Fatula (56 yards).

It looked bleak for Lake Clifton when Able (1-for-8, 5 yards) was hit on a pass attempt and had difficulty breathing. He laid on the ground until paramedics arrived. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital.

After the 45-minute delay, Lake Clifton was rejuvenated, going 70 yards in nine plays, highlighted by a 25-yard run by Darnell Pearsall and a pass from Jefferson to Taavone Ervin covering 30.

"I think they thought they would run through us like they did Patterson, but we're not Patterson," said Pearsall, who rushed for 84 yards. "We have a lot of heart, but we made too many little mistakes today."

Lake Clifton's other TD came when Djourrell Dunn hit Sherwood's Brian Hill as he looked to throw, causing a fumble and Robert Carrothers picked it up and ran 55 yards for a touchdown. Able threw a conversion pass to Eric Thompson, giving the Lakers a 8-7 lead.

"They have a quality team and quality program," said Sherwood coach Bob Milloy, whose team has won a record seven state championships. "We are very fortunate to get out of here with a victory."

Pub Date: 11/17/97

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