Terps attack clicks into gear in 51-10 rout of W. Carolina

Contributors abound in 582-yard validation of growth with Vanderlinden

September 12, 1999|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- When freshman quarterback Latrez Harrison came off the bench early in the fourth quarter and threw a 13-yard bullet pass to Guilian Gary, the Maryland football show was complete last night.

Everybody from cool starting quarterback Calvin McCall to rumbling defensive end Peter Timmins played major roles in a 51-10 romp past Division I-AA Western Carolina at Byrd Stadium.

And there was the sight of freshman Scooter Monroe from John Carroll racing down the field to pull in a 72-yard touchdown pass from Trey Evans early in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.

Monroe ran past everybody to pull in the pass and then romped into the end zone.

The crowd of 36,376 had been given a rare treat and a post-game fireworks show began immediately.

The Terrapins had finally broken through for their first convincing all-around victory in the three-year tenure of coach Ron Vanderlinden, and there was hope for more of the same next week against West Virginia and during an eight-game stretch against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents.

Maryland is off to a 2-0 start and that is progress, even though the victims have been Temple and Western Carolina.

The previous largest margin of victory under Vanderlinden had come by 17 points in a 42-25 win over Duke last season. Also, the Terps had struggled to beat Temple three times and Division I-AA James Madison once.

There was also the shocking 21-14 loss to Ohio University in the season opener two years ago.

But Vanderlinden and the Terps blew away some of those bad memories with a performance that was special at times.

"It does feel good," said Vanderlinden, who acted as if a weight had been lifted off him. "That's a good performance no matter who you're playing. This is just what the doctor ordered. We needed to go out and play well today. A year ago we weren't able to make the plays in the air like we did."

Western Carolina coach Bill Bleil, who scheduled Maryland for the $150,000 guarantee, said, "Maryland is more talented than a lot of people are giving them credit for. We saw that in the summer. We have a few guys with the speed that they have, but they have got more of those kind of guys."

McCall not only proved once again he was a tough runner on the option (eight carries for 58 yards and one touchdown) but he showed he could be an efficient passer (10 for 17 for 152 yards and one touchdown).

McCall and Jason Hatala hooked up for a 76-yard touchdown pass late in the first half that pushed Maryland ahead, 23-3, and signaled that the rout was on.

Hatala was racing down the right side of the field and was covered tightly by Western Carolina cornerback Lamont Ransby. Then the pass arrived from McCall at the Catamounts' 45-yard line and what happened next was a highlight film clip.

Ransby suddenly got turned around, and Hatala cut inside to catch the pass in full stride and sped untouched into the end zone.

McCall said, "We felt we had something to prove as an offense. I think the whole offense took a big step forward. We had a lot less mistakes. That was the big difference from Temple."

Junior running back LaMont Jordan shrugged off the effects of a bruised thigh to ramble for a career-high 158 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries. Jordan burst outside for several long gainers with the help of some vicious blocking and a hint of the speed he showed last season.

The three touchdowns were the most by a Maryland player since Rick Badanjek scored three in 1984.

Jordan scored his first two times on runs of 4 and 2 yards and then darted around the right side 27 yards for a touchdown with four minutes left in the third quarter for a 44-10 lead.

"I saw some fire in LaMont's eyes on the sidelines today," said Vanderlinden. "He played like he had something to prove. Those two runs on the goal line were sensational. He looked real good."

Maryland wound up rolling up 582 yards total offense on a day that also had freshman running back Bruce Perry compiling 93 yards on eight carries.

The outburst included a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Lewis Sanders in the third quarter.

And Timmins?

He recovered a fumble at the Western Carolina 23-yard line to set up a McCall's 1-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter.

NOTES: Monroe made his collegiate debut late in the second quarter yesterday, appearing on two kickoff returns and on one play at wide receiver in the first half. He did not touch the ball in any of the three plays but made up for it on his 72-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.

The expected return of sophomore cornerback Tony Okanlawon (pulled right hamstring) didn't happen yesterday. Okanlawon spent most of the game standing on a bench watching the proceedings.

Former St. Mary's standout Monte Graves saw his first action of the season at linebacker, replacing Kevin Bishop for a series in the second quarter. Graves was No. 1 on the depth chart through most of the preseason before being replaced by junior college transfer Bishop before the opener against Temple.

Terps schedule

Date, Opponent, Result

9/2, at Temple, W, 6-0

9/11, W. Carolina, W, 51-10

Date, Opponent , Time

9/18, West Virginia, Noon

9/30, at Georgia Tech, 8

10/9, at Wake Forest, tba

10/16, Clemson, 1

10/23, North Carolina, 1

10/30 , Duke, 1 ,

11/6, at N. Carolina State, tba

11/13, at Florida State, tba

11/20, Virginia, 1

Next for Maryland

Opponent: West Virginia

Site: Byrd Stadium, College Park

When: Saturday, noon

Record: 1-1

Yesterday: Beat Miami, Ohio, 43-27.

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