Annapolis gives fans a 28-0 anniverary present Panthers' 1st-half power enlivens large turnout


October 31, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

It seemed as if the whole town was at Al Laramore Field in Annapolis last night to celebrate the school's 100th anniversary, seniors night, and homecoming. And the 13th-ranked Panthers gave them their money's worth.

A powerful offensive display in the first half propelled the Panthers to a 28-0 lead and eventual 35-7 victory over Old Mill in front of a huge crowd including alumni, Annapolis Mayor Dean Johnson, and local radio and television.

Annapolis had 184 rushing yards in the first period alone. By halftime, the Panthers had 330 yards in total offense, 298 running. The Panthers ended the evening with 430 rushing yards and 46 more passing for a total offense of 476 yards.

"The kids were pumped up, not just because it was Old Mill, but the fact it is the 100th anniversary and the significance of all this," said coach Roy Brown.

"Most of these kids have been sitting in the shadows for three years. We only have three or four kids who had any kind of time last year."

The victory clinched the Panthers' second straight Class 4A Anne Arundel County League title and virtually assured them of a Class 4A East region playoff berth. Depending on bonus points, they will have to win at archrival Severna Park next week to guarantee the berth.

Annapolis (7-2 overall, 6-0 league) has a two-game lead over county opponents with only the one regular season game left.

Nobody told the four Annapolis underclassmen who scored four first half touchdowns that it was "seniors night."

Junior running back Rayvon Johnson, the county's leading rusher, rambled for 169 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries to run his season totals to 1,698 rushing yards (164 shy of the county season record of 1,862 by Meade's Tanardo Sharps last year) and 16 touchdowns, 15 of them running.

"But we showed tonight with an exclamation point that Rayvon is not the only running back we have," said Brown.

Sophomore Reynardo Young had 100 yards and a touchdown, and junior back Aaron Copeland had a 26-yard touchdown run. (( Sophomore Kevan Simms had a 43-yard jaunt late in the game. Senior quarterback Kyron Belt had a touchdown and 77 yards rushing.

Running back Toney Twitty was a bright spot for the Patriots (4-5, 3-3) with 159 yards rushing on 19 carries. Twitty gave his team a glimmer of hope by going 73 yards for a score on the second-half's first play from scrimmage.

On the game's initial possession, Annapolis drove 65 yards in seven straight running plays to serve notice early. Johnson culminated the drive, scoring standing up from the 5-yard line to make it 6-0. Andrew Halton's first of five straight points-after made it 7-0.

Young's 28-yard scamper was the big play on the first possession with the Panthers on the way to 184 yards rushing in the first period. Johnson would gain 110 yards on 16 carries and Young 97 on seven totes in the first half.

Belt's 12th touchdown pass on only his 25th completion of the season came in the second period. Seven TDs have gone to Marvin Charles, who has just 10 catches.

Pub Date: 10/31/98

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