Shouldering a heavy workload Football: As Perry Hall's only real offensive weapon, Marquis Dwarte has had to pound his way through swarms of tacklers to knock down a slew of records.

November 03, 1998|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Marquis Dwarte's hardly a one man team for Perry Hall.

But as the focal point of the Gators' run-oriented offense, the powerfully constructed running back has persevered to break several school records against specialized defenses designed to stop him cold.

"Our guys were hitting him pretty good, but he kept getting up, going back to the huddle, and kept coming back. He didn't tank it," said Eastern Tech coach Nick Arminio. "I went over to him afterwards, told him nice game, because I realize how tough it is when you have bull's eye painted on your chest game-in, game-out."

Dwarte's well-sculpted 5-foot-7, 175-pound stature makes for an impressive physique.

In short, he's a spark-plug, with the emphasis on spark for the 4.41-second speed he displayed at the University of Maryland's combine last May. Dwarte is capable of running hard up the gut or breaking long scores as he has on touchdowns runs of 77, 73, 65, 63, 59, 56 and 50 yards.

And over nine games for Gators (6-3 overall, 5-3 in Baltimore County's 3A-4A), he's averaging nearly 200 yards and three touchdowns and more than than 10 yards per carry.

"For my size, I think there's a pretty good balance between speed and power. Plus I can make people miss in the open field," said Dwarte, who bench presses 315 pounds, carries a 3.0 grade average and has drawn interest from Towson, Maryland, Fordham and the University of Buffalo.

"Schools are questioning my size, which I understand," Dwarte said. "You can measure my height and weight, but you can't measure my heart and my desire to be good."

Dwarte's been good for a single-season school rushing record of 1,670 yards on 162 carries this season, eclipsing the previous single-season record of 1,464.

His 23 TDs already have erased the single-season school-record of 18, and Dwarte also has surpassed the previous school-records for career yardage (3,020) with 3,517, and all-time carries (328) with 433. Dwarte's 42 career touchdowns eclipsed the old mark of 38 by Roy Marsh (1988-1990).

The records are falling, said Perry Hall coach Joe Stoy, but Dwarte's not running up the score against anyone. Basically if Dwarte doesn't score, Perry Hall doesn't win.

"Marquis is our whole offense. Everything he's done, he's had to do it all by himself," Stoy said.

"Marquis is one of the hardest working players I've ever coached, and he's got so much heart," Stoy added. "Is he the best ever? Hard to tell. Roy Marsh probably played against RTC better overall competition, but Marquis never had the talent around him that Marsh did. Tougher schedule for Roy Marsh, tougher situations for Marquis Dwarte."

In a 30-14 loss to Milford Mill -- a game tied a 14-all at halftime -- Dwarte had 13 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Even when slowed by an ankle injury vs. Catonsville (35-32 loss) and Franklin (20-14 win), Dwarte had 13 carries for 156 yards and two scores in the loss to the Comets, and he rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries to beat Franklin.

In the six games where Dwarte played in the defensive secondary, "he's stuck his nose in there," as a defensive back, Stoy said. Dwarte has 36 tackles (25 solo), four sacks and a fumble recovery.

Though he did not score in last weekend's 35-12 loss to No. 2 Eastern Tech (8-0, 7-0), Dwarte made an impact, defensively with three his seven tackles being in the Mavericks' backfield as the Gators were within 15-12 with 6: 05 to play.

"I try to do my best to do my part and make the people around better," Dwarte said. "The team looks up to me for leadership, and if I'm playing well, chances are they're playing well. If I'm down, that could be a problem. Whatever the situation, I try to maintain my composure."

Pub Date: 11/03/98

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