McSpadden 'night' sinks Aberdeen, 35-0 C.M. Wright back's 3 TDs, 2 interceptions lead romp

October 23, 1998|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

At 5-feet-8, 155 pounds, C. Milton Wright senior Hardy McSpadden looks anything but imposing on the football field until he takes his first step.

McSpadden scored on a run, a pass and a 90-yard punt return, and also had two interceptions, as the host Mustangs routed Aberdeen, 35-0, in a Harford County League game.

The victory was important for Wright (7-1 overall, 5-1 in the league), which began the day ranked 10th in the Class 3A state playoff race, with only the top eight teams advancing to postseason play.

"We knew that we had to win the rest of our games, so we came in here ready to play," said McFadden. "I guess we're better than they thought we were. We're better than a lot of people think we are."

The Mustangs scored three touchdowns as a direct result of big plays by the punt-return unit.

After stopping the Eagles (5-2, 3-2) on three plays on the game's opening drive, the Mustangs' Michael Rye came from the left side of the line to block the punt, and Sean Bantner scooped up the loose ball and went 34 yards for a touchdown, giving the hosts a 7-0 lead just 1: 33 into the game.

Leading 14-0 in the third quarter, Wright got in scoring position PTC again when Aberdeen punter Brian Mortus couldn't control a high snap, and Jay Edwards recovered at the Eagles' 7. Two plays later, Jerrance Carter scored from 3 yards to extend the lead to 21-0 with 7: 02 left in the third quarter.

Two minutes later, McSpadden finished off the fireworks with a 90-yard punt return, making the score 28-0.

"We've spent a lot of time on that [punt returns]," said Mustangs coach Steve Harwood. "We tell the kids that they are like our 5th down. It's nice to get those points."

Though Aberdeen, led by running back Garrett Irby (10 carries, 105 yards in the first half) consistently moved the ball early, the Eagles had three of their first four drives stall after advancing the ball inside the 20, including one on McSpadden's interception at the 5 -- one of four Aberdeen turnovers on the night.

No. 9 Patterson 28, Northern 15: Brian Hopson (131 yards, three touchdowns) and Tremayne Lyle (133, one) led Patterson (8-0 overall, 5-0 league) over City East Division rival Northern (2-3, 5-3). The win was coach Roger Wrenn's 170th.

Pub Date: 10/23/98

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