Wilde Lake's big strike knocks out Millford Mill 78-yard TD pass lifts Wildecats into semifinals

Class 3A football

November 16, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Visiting Milford Mill spent most of yesterday's Class 3A state quarterfinal passing for big gains. In the end, however, It was one huge gain for Wilde Lake that made all the difference.

Derek Bell's 78-yard touchdown strike to Derrick Jordan put the host Wildecats on top early, and they never looked back in a 9-6 victory.

Fourth-seeded Wilde Lake (11-0) advances to the state semifinals, where the Howard County and East Region champion will travel to top-seeded Friendly of Prince George's County Friday at 7: 30 p.m. The Wildecats are in pursuit of their first state title since 1992 and fifth in 12 years.

"We played well enough to win," said Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVall. "Usually we can control the football, but Milford Mill's a real good team."

Despite playing without 1,000-yard rusher David Bazemore, who suffered torn ligaments in his knee three weeks ago, the Millers (9-2) still moved the ball with relative ease, generating 280 yards of offense, the majority coming on passes from Todd Turner to David Boyd (eight catches for 156 yards, one touchdown).

Once the Millers reached Wilde Lake territory, however, they began to fall apart. They had five drives stall deep in the Wildecats' end of the field, including three inside the 30-yard line and two within the 15.

"This was just a tough day," said Boyd. "We couldn't run the ball like we wanted to, but we could really pass it. We played a real good game -- I think it's the best game we've had this year."

The Wildecats scored their lone touchdown on their opening drive. On a third-and-eight at their own 22, quarterback Bell hit receiver Jordan on a bomb over the middle. The senior beat two defenders for a 78-yard touchdown with 5: 09 left in the first quarter.

"We just needed a big play, and that play happened to be it," said Jordan. "It seemed like the ball just hung up there for awhile. I knew [the defenders] were closing on me, but I caught the ball and just ran."

After knocking on the door countless times, Milford Mill finally scored with 6: 38 to play on Turner's 31-yard pass to Boyd. On the ensuing two-point conversion attempt, however, Turner's pass to Brandon Thompson fell incomplete, keeping the Millers a point behind.

Luke Vanderwagon's sack of Turner in the end zone for a safety with under a minute left accounted for the final margin.

Pub Date: 11/17/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.