Wilde Lake streaks past Long Reach in second half Wildecats pull away, 28-7, to capture 23rd straight league game

Football

Local sports

September 20, 1998|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

No. 7 Wilde Lake won its 23rd straight league game yesterday, pounding defending Class 2A regional champion +V Long Reach, 28-7, in a battle of big, physical teams.

The defending Class 3A state champion Wildecats (2-1 overall, 2-0 league) broke a 7-7 halftime tie by recovering two Long Reach fumbles and converting the turnovers into two touchdowns.

"Long Reach is a good football team and they came to play," Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVall said. "We wore them down in the second half."

Long Reach's offense repeatedly squandered great field position and made four turnovers -- three on unforced fumbles. Four times the Lightning had receivers open deep, but overthrew them. It had a long run called back because of holding.

Long Reach's defense could not stop Wilde Lake's outside running game.

Three times Jimmie Levins broke runs outside and scored on runs of 17, 50 and 49 yards. He rushed 15 times for 163 yards.

His running mate, Danny Bayron, rushed 14 times for 87 yards and one touchdown. Bayron broke a 39-yard run outside before being knocked out at the 1-yard line, and then scored Wilde Lake's second touchdown with 3: 18 left in the third period.

That score was set up by Long Reach quarterback Mike Salzman's fumbled snap at the Long Reach 40-yard line. Wilde Lake's Asmar Hagler recovered.

Following Bayron's touchdown, Long Reach's Myron Jones fumbled a handoff on first down at the Long Reach 35, and Wilde Lake's Tony Powell recovered.

After a Wilde Lake holding penalty, Levins ran 50 yards for a touchdown that put the Wildecats ahead 21-7 with 1: 58 left in the third quarter.

Levins scored again on a 49-yard run with 5: 18 left in the game.

"Geno [Colston] and Emmanuel [Glover] threw some big blocks for me, and coach called some good plays in the second half," Levins said. "After we lost our first game this season, people had doubts about how good we are, so we wanted to prove something today. We executed better than Long Reach. We're in the driver's seat now."

Long Reach (1-2, 0-2), which was upset by River Hill last week, held Wilde Lake on the game's opening possession, and a 21-yard punt gave the Lightning the ball at Wilde Lake's 35-yard line. But the Lightning failed to capitalize on its favorable field position.

A 10-yard Wilde Lake punt in the second quarter again gave Long Reach excellent field position at Wilde Lake's 37. Again, Long Reach squandered the opportunity by fumbling on first down. John Quinn recovered for Wilde Lake.

Long Reach scored its only touchdown on a five-play, 72-yard drive in the second period that featured a 30-yard run by Devin Conwell and a 33-yard touchdown catch by Myron Jones.

Conwell was the only bright note for Long Reach's offense, rushing 12 times for 94 yards.

Wilde Lake lost All-Metro defensive end Luke Vanderwagen in the first quarter to an undetermined knee injury.

Pub Date: 9/20/98

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