Field goal wins for Wilde Lake Tyson's first 3-pointer ousts Friendly in mud, 3-0

Class 3A semifinal

November 22, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

FRIENDLY -- All season, Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVall told his players that he hoped they would find a team that would really pin them down so they could find what they're made of.

The underdog Wildecats (12-0) found out they are made of strong stuff last night by defeating the Friendly Patriots in the rain and mud in a state Class 3A semifinal, 3-0.

The Columbia team returns to the state finals for the first time since 1992, when the Wildecats won the Class 1A title. Their opponent will be Frederick's Thomas Johnson, which ran over Woodlawn last night, 32-6.

Lamar Tyson's 20-yard field goal with 8: 10 left to play in the first half provided the winning margin. It was his first field goal this season.

"I just wanted to put us on the board and get us some momentum," Tyson said. "I never thought three points would win it."

Tyson had kicked a 25-yard field goal on the previous play, but encroachment by Friendly made Tyson have to repeat the kick.

Wilde Lake had passed up two earlier field goal opportunities in the first quarter.

An interception by Duane Kerr on Friendly's first play from scrimmage gave the Wildecats field position at Friendly's 34-yard line. A 22-yard pass to Kerr moved them to the 8-yard line, but Wilde Lake lost a fumble on fourth down.

A 30-yard pass play from quarterback Derek Bell to wide receiver Derrick Jordan set up the Wildecats at Friendly's 15-yard line on Wilde Lake's second possession. But on fourth down, the Wildecats faked a field goal and Bell's pass into the end zone was intercepted.

"We didn't kick it the first two times because Lamar hadn't kicked one all season, and because we thought the pass play would be open in the end zone. I think our receiver lost it in the lights," said DuVall. "The third time, we just needed some points.

"We beat a great football team tonight," he continued. "Our kids really played."

Tyson said that DuVall hyped Friendly as a great team all week to get the 'Cats to prepare harder and that the tactic worked.

"We knew they were a tough team, and we had to do the little things and not be overconfident," he said. "But this doesn't feel like an upset. It feels like a hard-earned win."

The Wilde Lake players prayed all week for rain, because that's the kind of weather in which they have played their best.

"All year long, we did well under these conditions, because we run our power-I and take over the game," Tyson said. "I just want to thank my kicking coach, Chuck Lewis, who told me all season it would come down to a field goal, and he showed patience in me when I wasn't doing well and never gave up on me."

DuVall said: "We haven't played a team as good as Friendly since Damascus in 1990. They're well-coached, play hard and have great talent. Their quarterback, Anthony Walker, has speed, is deceptive in the open field, and has a good throwing touch."

Four turnovers and some critical penalties hurt Friendly. A fumbled punt recovered by Ryan Mowry at the 11-yard line set up Wilde Lake's field goal.

A double unsportsmanlike conduct penalty early in the third quarter penalized the Patriots 30 yards, squashing a 45-yard drive.

Luke Vanderwagen recovered a Friendly fumble at Wilde Lake's 38-yard line early in the fourth quarter. And Quentin Collins' interception at Wilde Lake's 38-yard line with 1: 15 to play ended Patriots hopes.

Each team came in with a great winning streak. Friendly had won 15 of 16 and Wilde Lake 24 of 25. Each led its league in points scored and points allowed, Friendly with 339 for and 72 against, Wilde Lake with 394 and 48.

Friendly has won three state titles, none since 1983; Wilde Lake has won four state titles, the last in 1992.

Pub Date: 11/22/97

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