Hereford smashes Beall, brings home its first state title Bulls' 27-0 victory completes unbeaten season, ends doubts

Class 1A football

November 30, 1997|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Asked a few weeks back what it would take for Hereford's football program to take its place alongside past state champs Randallstown and Milford Mill, Rob Collins said: "Playing Hereford football will get us mentioned someday."

Yesterday's 27-0 rout of 1A state-title opponent Beall (11-2) at the University of Maryland's Byrd Stadium -- the Bulls' ninth shutout this season -- is an indication that day has arrived as Hereford (13-0) ripped off its 24th victory in the past 25 games and became Baltimore County's fourth-ever state champ.

Fullback Jason Murphy (5-foot-10, 235 pounds), who missed much of the week's practice with a bruised shoulder, plowed for 113 yards and scores of 22 and 3 yards, raising his season totals to 1,771 yards, 29 touchdowns.

Running mate Jason Wingeart (6-0, 200) rushed for 93 yards and one touchdown, finishing with 1,082 yards and 19 scores. Collins (6-1, 177) had 60 yards rushing and his 15th touchdown, ending up with 750 yards on the season.

"We were hungry today," said Murphy. "You're talking about something that may never happen again in my entire life."

Kicker-linebacker Roger Evans was 3-for-4 on extra-point kicks, punted three times for a 42-yard average with his longest, a 50-yarder, landing on Beall's 1-yard line. Evans has a single-season state-record for extra points with 75-for-84 (109-for-124 career).

"I guess I showed I can do more than just kick," said Evans, who, defensively, deflected a pass and had a tackle for a loss. "As always, our defense played great."

Beall's top rushers, Ryan Brodbeck (982 yards, 20 touchdowns this year) and quarterback Justin Patterson (584, 10), were contained to 81 combined yards. The Bulls' Jason Shupert and Justin Phillips collected their 13th and 14th sacks of the year, respectively. Brandon Klekner had his sixth interception, and Pat Curtis deflected a pass.

After stopping Beall's game-opening series, Hereford took 1: 41 to complete its initial drive. It covered 90-yards in seven plays, ending with Murphy's 3-yard scoring run and including a 38-yard pass to Collins. Evans' first extra point of the game made it 7-0 with 8: 16 left in the period.

It was 14-0 with 20 seconds left in the first period after Wingeart's 3-yard run finished a six-play, 43-yard drive.

During a fourth-quarter goal-line stand, Wingeart dropped Brodbeck for a loss, and Collins deflected a pass before his interception on fourth down killed Beall's best scoring chance.

"That's Hereford football, baby, straight from the heart," Collins said, "That's all I gotta say."

Third-year coach Steve Turnbaugh echoed Collins' sentiments.

"A lot of people said we couldn't do it, that we'd be intimidated by the atmosphere. But we told our kids this field was 100 yards long, 53 yards wide like everywhere else," said Turnbaugh, a 1978 Hereford graduate. "We wanted to introduce the western part of Maryland to Hereford's smash-mouth football."

The Bulls' offensive line of Shupert, Adam Hendricks, Justin Wilhelm, Jeremy Hundertmark, Brian Bandurchin and Dave Hale paved the way for 269 rushing yards.

It was the first shutout loss of the year for Beall, coming off a stunning 14-8 semifinal victory over six-time champion Allegany (10-2) last week.

"We heard they got out of school [on Wednesday] and had a parade, and their newspapers up there had them favored by four touchdowns," said defensive coordinator Mike Blizzard. "We wanted to show, without a doubt, that we're not only a better team, but the superior team."

Wingeart had just completed his state semifinal soccer season as a freshman when Turnbaugh asked him to join a losing tradition. Three years later, he returned three of his 10 interceptions for scores and has 25 career pickoffs.

"It was a gamble, but it's paid off," said Wingeart. "I knew where he wanted to take this program, and he's gotten us here and it feels awesome."

Pub Date: 11/30/97

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