Eastern Tech turns it on in 4th, rolls, 35-12 Defense forces 5 turnovers, Jones finishes off Perry Hall


October 25, 1998|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The final quarter of yesterday's matchup between Perry Hall and Eastern Tech could be summed up by an old saying: "When it rains, it pours."

The host and No. 2 Mavericks exploded for 20 points off of five Gators turnovers, and rolled to a 35-12 triumph in a Baltimore County 4A-3A game.

The win keeps Eastern Tech (8-0) tied with Milford Mill atop the league. The Mavericks visit Milford Mill next weekend, in a game that will probably decide the league champion. Eastern Tech also maintained its lead in the state 3A North region.

Ray Jones scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns for the Mavericks while rushing for 143 yards. Anthony and Steve Lawston each had two interceptions, with Steve returning one 65 yards, completing Eastern Tech's final-quarter surge.

Any playoff aspirations for Perry Hall (5-3), a 4A school, were severely damaged by the collapse in the closing 12 minutes.

Playing against possibly the best team in Baltimore County, the Gators trailed only 15-12 when they took possession at the Eastern Tech 35 early in the fourth quarter.

Then the flood gates opened.

On third-and-one from the 26, Marquise Dwarte fumbled, and Anthony Lawston recovered for Eastern Tech. The Gators got the ball back, and advanced to Eastern Tech's 41, before Anthony Lawston stepped in front of a Jovann McClendon pass.

Three plays later, Jones got free for a 50-yard touchdown run. After Steve Lawston picked off another pass, Jones went 56 yards untouched down the right side for his third touchdown of the game, and a 28-12 lead with 3: 25 left.

"We were in the game until the fourth quarter, and had them where we wanted them," said Perry Hall coach Joe Stoy, whose team had seven turnovers. "We throw the interception at the 40-yard line, and turned the whole game. He [Jones] broke that long play, and it was over."

Steve Lawston put Tech up 7-0 in the second quarter, taking a screen pass from Scott Pearce and going 31 yards for the touchdown.

The Gators took advantage of a Mavericks turnover when Brian Vecchoni picked up a fumble by Jones, and raced 19 yards to the end zone. Eastern Tech turned the ball over on its next possession, but Dwarte (85 yards) fumbled deep in Mavericks territory.

The Mavericks came out strong to start the second half, taking up over eight minutes in a 11-play, 65-yard drive, completed by a 8-yard run by Jones.

Perry Hall responded with a 10-play, 57-yard drive to pull to within 15-12 with 1: 35 remaining in the third quarter when Bernard Wilson scored from 11 yards out.

"No matter who's favorite, both teams are going to go at it," said Eastern Tech coach Nick Arminio, whose team has won 17 of its last 18 regular-season games. "All the kids live nearby each other, so it's about bragging rights."

Pub Date: 10/25/98

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