Rams use D to stymie Millers Sacked eight times, No. 7 Milford Mill held to 104 yards in 13-8 loss


September 06, 1998|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Milford Mill's speedy backfield of Richard Johnson and Tyrone Gholston can cause most opponents fits. But now, the same could be said of the Randallstown defense.

The Rams defense staggered the Millers, holding them to 104 yards of total offense and no third- or fourth-down conversions to lead visiting No. 8 Randallstown past No. 7 Milford Mill, 13-8, yesterday.

"Going into this game, I wasn't sure if we could contain them," third-year Randallstown coach Bruce Strunk said. "My defense proved me wrong."

The Rams (1-0) sacked Johnson eight times, including Milford Mill's last play that sealed the victory. Then there was Gholston, a Franklin transfer, who ran for 71 yards but got tackled behind the line of scrimmage five times.

The Millers (0-1) never solved the Randallstown defense on third and fourth downs, failing to convert on all 13 tries. In those situations, the Rams used their speed and size up front to continually make big plays, racking up five sacks.

Milford Mill drove past Randallstown's 34-yard line once, and never scored against the Rams defense. The Millers' only points came off of Gholston's 82-yard kickoff return with four minutes left in the game.

The win allowed Randallstown to avenge last season's 14-0 loss to neighborhood rival Milford Mill.

"They just beat us off the ball on both sides of the ball," Milford Mill coach Reggie Brooks said. "Since we beat them last year, we knew they'd be ready. Our offense had troubles picking up their defenses all day."

At times, the defense became Randallstown's best offense. After shutting down Milford Mill deep in its own territory, the Rams set up their offense at the Millers' 23-yard line.

Marcus Perry's 20-yard run got Randallstown to the goal line just before Marshell Contee scored up the middle to put the Rams up, 7-0, with two minutes left in the first half.

Randallstown went ahead 13-0, when its defense again put the offense in excellent field position.

Mike Goode-Carr's sacked Johnson on fourth down midway through the fourth quarter as the Rams took over at Milford Mill's 28-yard line. One play later, Contee spun out of one tackle and went the rest of the way untouched for a 28-yard touchdown.

After the Millers ended the shutout by returning the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 13-8, the Rams had to rely on their defense for one final time.

With three minutes left in the game, the Millers had one last possession to win the game. Starting at its own 33-yard line, Milford Mill actually got pushed back nine yards before Mike Jones ended the Millers' chances with a fourth-down sack.

Said Strunk: "We knew with six starters back that our defense needed to carry us at the beginning of the year. And it did."

Pub Date: 9/06/98

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