For Edmondson, season just keeps getting better

Semifinal-bound team has two of its players honored

November 19, 1999|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

A season of firsts continued for Edmondson's No. 5 football team as two players for the Redskins, who are making their initial Class 2A state playoff appearance, received their first national rankings.

Raytron Leak was rated 30th among America's top 100 Division I running back prospects by Rivals100, and Eddie Colbert, No. 33 among quarterbacks. Leak's rating is the highest of any Maryland running back by this recruiting service.

The two will lead Edmondson (11-0) against sixth-ranked Howard (10-1), the Howard County champion, in tomorrow's 2 p.m. Class 2A state semifinal at Poly.

The game is the second of a playoff doubleheader. The first is an 11 a.m. Class 4A semifinal between No. 8 Patterson (10-1), the two-time Baltimore City East Division champ, and Prince George's County's Eleanor Roosevelt (10-1).

In other state semifinals, No. 2 Randallstown (9-2) of Class 3A will make its Baltimore County-leading 13th playoff appearance at Charles County's Thomas Stone (11-0) of Waldorf. No. 4 Hereford (11-0) will hit the road for the 12th time this year at defending Class 2A state champ Urbana (10-0).

Edmondson's high-powered offense has averaged 40.5 points, and its defense has allowed only 4.6 points per game.

"I didn't think our defense would play this well," said Edmondson's 25th-year coach, Pete Pompey, who is after career win No. 182. "But I knew we had four or five good players to build around."

One of those players is the 6-foot-1, 230-pound Leak, who has elicited full scholarship offers from Michigan, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, and attracted interest from Nebraska.

Leak has used his 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash to rush for 15 touchdowns, catch 15 more TDs, and return three of nine interceptions for scores. He also has nine kickoff or punt returns for scores. As a punter-place kicker, Leak averages 40.9 yards, and has sent 27 of 37 kickoffs out of the end zone.

Colbert (6-3, 200) runs a 4.4, but prefers to pass, which he has, for 2,330 yards 30 touchdowns. Wide receiver-defensive back Justus McLeod has 12 scoring receptions and seven interceptions, and running back Darryl McCray has 19 rushing scores.

Defensive ends Jason Murphy and linebacker Tavon Williams have 30 and 25 sacks, respectively, and defensive end Jemiah Green has returned four of six picks for scores.

But Pompey cautioned, "Howard had a tougher league schedule than we did. Our league was down this year, so some kids didn't play after halftime."

The visiting Lions, ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press state poll, boast All-American running back-defensive back Gerald Smith, who has combined with Travis Irving for 1,610 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Defensively, Howard linebacker Lewis Matthews has 15 sacks. Linebacker Joey Tortella, the team's No. 1 tackler, has three interceptions, as does Jose Monzon. In last week's 6-0 quarterfinal victory over Middletown (10-1), which entered the game averaging 32 points, the Lions returned a fumble for the winning score.

"Our defense has created turnovers and set up our offense," Howard coach Vince Parnell said. "We have to stop their athletes and their pass. A key is whether our speed hangs with theirs."

Randallstown has to stop the run with some pass mixed in at Southern Maryland Athletic Conference champ Thomas Stone, ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press state poll.

Running backs Marcus Whalen (1,688 yards, 16 touchdowns) and Mike Finamore (1,035, 14) lead a Cougars' offense that averages 32 points. Thomas Stone's defense has allowed an average of eight points.

"[Randallstown] runs mostly trips, try to run a little Wing-T. A little power. It's nothing we haven't seen all year," Cougars' coach Richard Callahan said. "We're not taking them lightly. [But] if we don't do anything stupid, we should be all right."

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