Hereford foe tonight, Forestville, can compete with state's 'names' Visitors' speed, size concern Bulls' coach

Class 1A football

November 20, 1998|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Although he has learned a lot in seven seasons of coaching Forestville, Michael Mayo's 35-37 overall record shows his Knights have taken it on the chin a few times.

One of those times was in Cumberland "about four or five years ago," Mayo said, "when we lost, 42-19, to Fort Hill."

That loss was a motivator for Prince George's County's only Class 1A school in last Friday night's quarterfinal 39-36 upset victory at six-time state champ Allegany's Greenway Avenue stadium.

Forestville, ninth-ranked Hereford's opponent in a Class 1A semifinal tonight, stunned a partisan crowd of about 1,500.

"Before the game, people were like, 'You're going up to Allegany?' " said Mayo of an Allegany squad that lost, 14-8, to runner-up Beall in last year's semifinal.

"They were supposed to have returned everyone from last year, and they were supposed to be the team," Mayo said. "People around the state didn't give us a chance, but you can't always measure the desire of a young team."

Steve Turnbaugh, coach of the top-seeded, defending champion Bulls (10-1), already was concerned with the Knights' wealth of size (their linemen averaged 6-feet, 240) and speed.

Now he's impressed with their poise and confidence.

"Mike's done an incredible job down there," said Turnbaugh, whose Bulls have won 33 of their past 35 games, including four come-from-behind wins this year.

"Forestville's well-coached, and they have tremendous athletes," Turnbaugh said. "I would compare them to Randallstown [which beat the Bulls, 28-21], and maybe a little better with their overall team speed.

"I saw Allegany squib a kickoff, end-over-end, right-to-left, and Forestville's kid picked it up like a routine grounder to a shortstop. They have a decent-sized line, and their defense flies to the football."

The Knights (9-2) shocked Allegany in overcoming a 15-point deficit in the game's final 19 minutes, seven seconds.

Down 28-13 with 7: 57 left in the third period, Forestville scored three unanswered touchdowns for a 33-28 lead. Allegany regained a 36-33 advantage with 1: 05 to play on a 79-yard scoring drive.

But after a 61-yard kick return to the Allegany 17 by Gary Morgan, who has scored 10 touchdowns, Forestville's top scorer, Ed Walker, stunned the heavily-favored Campers with his 14th touchdown of the year with 50 seconds to play.

"We have the speed, and our offensive line averages 240, but I don't think Allegany thought we could block," Mayo said. "Our kids accepted that challenge and stepped up."

Hereford overcame deficits to win four times this year, led by Reg Cavender (16 rushing scores), cornerback Brendan Klekner and linemen Jeremy Hundertmark and Adam Hendrix.

But with only four starters back from last year, the Bulls may well be tonight's fatted calves.

Mayo's pre-game ritual for Allegany included "getting to the stadium early and letting the kids walk around so they weren't in awe of it."

Don't be surprised if the Knights are at Hereford's field well before the scheduled start.

Pub Date: 11/20/98

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