Sherwood takes a break, stops Annapolis, 17-7 TD opening second half halts Panthers' momentum

Class 4A football

November 14, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

So much for momentum in a high school football game when you have to take a 20-minute break.

Annapolis scored on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Kyron Belt to Dewayne Hunt on the next-to-last play of the first half to cut Sherwood's lead to 10-7. Momentum was on the host Panthers' side.

When they returned, however, the Warriors (10-1) scored on the second half's opening drive and went on to beat No. 14-ranked Annapolis, 17-7, in the teams' Class 4A quarterfinal.

The loss overshadowed a sensational performance by Annapolis linebacker Aaron Copeland, who was in on at least a dozen tackles and made a couple outstanding kick returns.

Unbothered by the late Panthers' strike, Sherwood drove 84 yards in eight plays to open the second half with senior fullback Lamon Daniels covering the last 34. Kurt Cheeseman's point-after kick gave Sherwood the 17-7 lead that would stand up.

"It was a great high school football game, and we beat a very good team," said Sherwood coach Bob Milloy, who has eight state titles (six at Springbrook, two at Sherwood). "Nobody held anything back -- nothing left on the field."

Milloy's Warriors accomplished two crucial factors in stopping the Panthers.

They contained Anne Arundel County's all-time single-season rushing leader, Rayvon Johnson, and took away the Belt-to-Marvin Charles touchdown connection.

Johnson, the Panthers' junior back who gained a county record 1,947 yards in the regular season, had a hard-earned 113 yards on 27 attempts last night to finish his season with 2,060 overall and a school record 20 touchdowns.

However, Johnson, who had five 200-yard games, did not score last night, and his longest gain was 18 yards in the second period. The 113 yards was his lowest total of the season.

"We tried to know where he was on every single play," said Milloy. "But you can't shut a guy like that down, and you hope to contain him, and we were worried about 84 too."

Marvin Charles is No. 84 for Annapolis, and he came into the game with 11 receptions, seven for touchdowns. But Sherwood held him to three catches for 50 yards and, most importantly, no six-pointers.

Sherwood's defense, led by tackle Robbie Milloy, the coach's son, and three interceptions -- two by Ronald Smalls and one by Wes Sconce -- was outstanding in stopping the Panthers, who had outscored their last five opponents, 187-14.

Annapolis won its only state title in 1978. Since then, the Panthers have been frustrated in their county-record 10 playoff appearances, going 4-9 overall and 2-5 against Montgomery County schools.

"Our kids have nothing to be ashamed of," said Panthers coach Roy Brown. "We only had four returning players on this team."

Both teams pretty much kept the ball on the ground in a scoreless first period, with Annapolis advancing to the Sherwood 34 on the game's first possession and the visitors moving to the Panther 45.

Annapolis reeled off seven straight running plays before giving up the ball on downs on a fourth-and-3 situation. Dan Harich got only 2 yards off tackle, and the Warriors took over.

Sherwood picked up a first down before punting the ball away four plays later. But Annapolis went three-and-out, punting right back. The Warriors then drove 71 yards in 10 plays for the game's first score but lost Montgomery County's leading pass receiver, Brian Hill (47 catches, 585 yards) to an arm or shoulder injury.

Pub Date: 11/14/98

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