No. 12 Oakland Mills holds off Mount Hebron Vikings pay hefty price for blunders in 28-20 loss


November 08, 1998|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Mount Hebron cranked out enough big plays to win yesterday, but also made enough to lose.

The visiting Vikings offset a dominating offensive performance with three fumbles, two interceptions and a safety, allowing No. 12 Oakland Mills to escape with a 28-20 victory.

The Scorpions (9-1, 8-1 in Howard County), winners of eight straight, clinched the Class 1A South regional title and playoff home-field advantage.

Mount Hebron (4-6, 4-5) let its chance to record its first non-losing season this decade slip away despite the heroics of running back Jerry Hicks, who accumulated more yards rushing (225) than Oakland Mills had in total offense (214).

"We shot ourselves in the foot out there," said first-year Mount Hebron coach Larry Luthe, whose Vikings had won a combined seven games in the previous four years. "Against tough teams like Oakland Mills, you can't make mistakes. Unfortunately, we did."

Mount Hebron went ahead 20-15 late in the third quarter after a 61-yard run by Hicks and a 61-yard pass play from Jason Morrissey to Saad Chaudry. But that's when Oakland Mills rediscovered its running game behind sophomore J. T. Rembert, who was playing in his fourth varsity game after being called up from junior varsity.

Rembert ran for 59 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning 2-yard score with 6: 48 left in the game.

"He runs the ball hard," Oakland Mills quarterback T. J. Welsh said. "A lot of times, he'll just put his head down and get us three or four yards. He really picked us up in the fourth quarter."

Mount Hebron scored on its first play of the game, as Hicks outraced the Oakland Mills defense down the left sideline for a 65-yard touchdown. But the Scorpions, who only had three first downs in the first half, took an 8-7 halftime lead by turning the Vikings' miscues into points.

Oakland Mills got on the scoreboard with 3 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter when a Mount Hebron snap sailed over punter Adam Cummins' head and into the end zone. Just 2 1/2 minutes later, a bad exchange between Morrissey and Hicks landed in the hands of Oakland Mills defensive back Thaddeus Dymczenski, who returned the fumble 25 yards for a touchdown.

In their first drive of the second half, the Scorpions nearly doubled their total offense in the first half, moving the ball 55 yards on seven plays. It was capped by 26-yard, fourth-down reception by Thomas Browne, who curled back to the center of the field to make the catch after Welsh had eluded two defensive linemen.

Mount Hebron then went back ahead on two 61-yard scores in the third quarter before making its most costly turnover in the game's final minute. Trailing 28-20, the Vikings took possession at their 34-yard line, but Morrissey inadvertently threw into heavy coverage and was intercepted by Brian Holly.

"I don't think we were overlooking them; Mount Hebron just played good," said Oakland Mills coach Ken Hovet, whose Scorpions routed the Vikings last season, 42-0. "I think it came down to a lot of turnovers caused by us on defense and we didn't turn the ball over."

Pub Date: 11/08/98

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