Wilde Lake pounds Howard, 55-27, for title 9-0 league mark doesn't assure state playoff berth


November 07, 1998|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Wilde Lake is the defending Class 3A state champion and finished off its 9-1 season with a 55-27 victory over Howard last night.

But because of having three low-point-producing, Class 1A teams on its schedule, the Wildecats are not guaranteed another trip to the state playoffs.

"We need Urbana to beat Linganore and Bel Air to beat C. Milton Wright," said Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVall, whose team lost its opener to Bel Air.

He got half his wish. Urbana romped past Linganore, 40-13, but C. Milton Wright upset the No. 4 Bobcats, 33-21, last night.

Wilde Lake completed a 9-0 Howard County league season by winning its 16th county championship. The win also was Wilde Lake's 30th straight in the county.

Wilde Lake ran up a 35-6 lead at halftime on the running of Jimmie Levins and Danny Bayron.

Levins finished with 166 yards on 19 carries and scored three touchdowns. Bayron rushed 20 times for 125 yards and three touchdowns.

"The kids played a flawless first half and then sputtered a little in the third quarter," DuVall said. "It's not normal for us to give up that many points, but 21 of them were on turnovers. We've come a long way since the beginning of the season, and we're hoping to get another shot at Bel Air in the playoffs."

Howard (6-4 overall, 5-4 league) rallied in the third quarter on a 44-yard touchdown drive capped by Gerald Smith's 1-yard run.

dTC Smith rushed for 205 yards on 23 carries and scored three TDs.

The Lions took advantage of a botched punt to move 19 yards on four plays and score on Jon LaRoche's 1-yard run. Anthony Aceves' kick made it a 35-21 game.

"We had a chance to quit, and we didn't," Howard coach Vince Parnell said. "Wilde Lake has a great team -- great running backs and a great line. We didn't quite have enough depth."

Wilde Lake retaliated by driving 60 yards on 11 plays to score on a 4-yard run by Bayron to go up 42-21 with 6: 13 left to play.

Smith ignited the crowd with a spectacular 80-yard touchdown run through a crowd of Wildecats that made it 42-27.

Howard's defense could not stop the Wildecats again, though. Bayron's 6-yard run after a 55-yard drive and Rainey Holmes' 35-yard interception return wrapped up the 'Cats' scoring.

"This was a great high school football game," DuVall said. "The kids put on a show."

Pub Date: 11/07/98

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