Losing records won't matter as City, Poly play 111th game

For 4-5 teams, memories, bragging rights on line

November 05, 1999|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

City and Poly meet at noon tomorrow at PSINet Stadium for the 111th game in their annual football rivalry with a rarity -- one of the few times both teams enter with losing records.

Both teams are 4-5, and neither has a chance of reaching the postseason, Class 2A playoffs.

But records never have mattered in this series, said John Hammond, Poly's second-year coach.

"Regardless of your record, you always remember the Poly-City game," said Hammond, whose 13-12 Engineers' victory over the Knights last season came in front of some 6,000 fans. "In many ways, for the kids, it's like the Army-Navy game, where you throw out the records and play for pride and bragging rights."

Last year's win was large in many ways for Hammond, who had replaced long-time coach Augie Waibel and led Poly to the Class 2A playoffs.

At last season's outset, Poly won two straight games, then lost twice before going on a six-game winning streak through its victory over City. The Engineers finished 8-3 after a first-round loss to eventual state runner-up Fort Hill, of Allegany County.

City, coached by George Petrides, began this season with a No. 13 ranking in The Sun. Petrides, a City alumnus, has a 146-92-1 record since his first year as coach in 1975.

The series, this decade, has featured many an exciting ending.

A year ago at the Ravens' stadium, Poly improved its series lead to 54-50-6, clinching victory on All-Metro receiver Eddie Henry's 54-yard scoring catch from Timmy Frazier with 35 seconds remaining.

At Memorial Stadium in 1996, however, a 28-yard catch by City's Warren Smith, a two-time All-Metro player, with three seconds left gave the Knights a comeback victory, 26-20.

But the Engineers won back-to-back games on horn-beating catches -- both times at Morgan State University -- in 1993 and 1994.

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