Johnson sets Arundel rushing record as Annapolis romps, 47-7 1st-year back's 249 yards, 4 TDs lead to playoffs


November 07, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Annapolis running back Rayvon Johnson, playing his first season of high school football, set a new Anne Arundel County single-season rushing record of 1,947 yards last night.

His record was icing on the cake as No. 13-ranked Annapolis clinched the Class 4A East region title with a 47-7 victory at archrival Severna Park.

By defeating the Falcons for the first time since 1992 the county Class 4A-champion Panthers (8-2 overall, 7-0 league) earned their second straight playoff berth and county-record 10th.

Despite the win last night, the Panthers still trail Severna Park, 19-18-3, in the county's longest-running rivalry, which began in 1960 and totals 40 games over 39 years.

Annapolis' 47 points last night had been topped only twice before in the series, both times by Annapolis, 60-13 in 1976 and 52-12 in 1984, the last time the Panthers made it to a state final.

As one of the top four seeds this season, Annapolis will host Montgomery County's Sherwood, a 42-8 loser to defending Class 4A state champion Seneca Valley last night, in a quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Friday.

Johnson spun and drove for 249 yards and four touchdowns last night to eclipse the county single-season rushing mark of 1,862 set by Meade's Tanardo Sharps last year. Sharps broke a 33-year-old record.

"Our offensive line has played great all year," said Panthers coach Roy Brown, who fell trying to avoid the customary water-bucket dousing in the final seconds.

"But I don't care how great the line is, for a kid to get nearly 2,000 yards in a season the first time he ever walks on the field is amazing. He's got talent."

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Johnson, who runs the 40 in 4.4 seconds and had played rec-level football, also plays defensive back and returns kicks. He also set school records in rushing, touchdowns rushing (19) and total touchdowns (20). The game was his fifth 200-yard performance this fall, one shy of Sharps' record six last year.

Johnson electrified the crowd at Roberts Stadium by taking the second-half kickoff 89 yards to six points, igniting a 20-point third period that gave Annapolis control of the game.

Severna Park had driven 69 yards in 12 plays on the game's initial possession with Ryan McGarry driving in from the 2. Paul Gillette's kick made it 7-0 Falcons.

Johnson capped a 77-yard drive in eight plays on the ensuing possession with a 28-yard run to make it 7-6.

Kyron Belt's 13th touchdown pass of the season from 4 yards to Jack Brooks and Andrew Halton's first of five straight extra-point kicks made it 13-7 at half.

Pub Date: 11/07/98

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