Gilman's path to victory is short road

3 TD drives inside 30 yards drop Mt. St. Joseph, 35-14


September 30, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Field position and superior defense enabled the No. 2-ranked Gilman football team to break out of its offensive doldrums yesterday and rout No. 9 Mount St. Joseph, 35-14.

In what was the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference opener for both teams, the host Greyhounds (3-2 overall) took advantage of offensive starts at the Gaels' 5, 29 and 24 and their own 46 to build a commanding 28-7 lead after three quarters.

The Gaels' lack of a punting game consistently put the pressure on their defense, and Gilman quarterback Ambrose Wooden took advantage. He threw for two touchdowns and a 21-7 halftime lead, and ran for one in the third quarter.

Wooden also used tailback Malcolm Ruff, who led all ball carriers with 144 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns.

"We had our long snapper decide not to play on Tuesday, and that didn't help," said Mount St. Joseph coach Mike Working. Several of the substitutes' snaps were delayed and low, causing problems for the St. Joe punters.

Early in the third quarter, Devin Smith, the second punter, downed his own 2-yard punt at the 24. Six plays later, Wooden ran it in from the 1 to give the Greyhounds a three-touchdown lead.

"We've struggled this year, but our kids had a great week of practice and you play like you practice," said Gilman coach Biff Poggi.

"It's the best week of practice we've had this year, and our kids came out really ready to play. St. Joe has a complicated offense, but our defense as a unit was incredible today."

The Gaels (4-2) invaded Gilman averaging 38.8 points. While they had only 10 yards less of total offense than Gilman (319), the Gaels had only seven points to show for it against the Greyhounds' first defense.

A 63-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Nick Tanis (14-for-25, 198 yards) to Paschal Abiamiri (seven receptions, 130 yards) came with 1:13 left in the game and Gilman's second defense on the field.

Before that, Gilman defensive linemen Victor Abiamiri -- the 6-5, 240-pound younger brother of Paschal -- Luke Wilson (6-6, 225) and Glenn Rivers (6-2, 280) controlled the line of scrimmage and recorded four sacks.

Napoleon Sykes' 67-yard interception return to the St. Joe 5 led to the game's initial score, a 3-yard run by Ruff with 3:56 left in the first period.

Keon Lattimore, who was held to 37 yards rushing on eight attempts, scored from the 4 as the Gaels tied the score at 7-7.

Gilman took the lead for good on Wooden's 32-yard pass to Mark McTamney with 46 seconds left in the first period. After an 11-yard punt by St. Joe early in the second period, Wooden hit Anthony Triplin down in the middle of the end zone from 18 yards out to make it 21-7.

Gilman's final touchdown came on a 27-yard burst by Ruff that capped a nine-play, 88-yard drive with 6:12 left. That was the only time the home team started deep in their own territory.

Centennial 25, Long Reach 15: Pat Davis' three rushing touchdowns and tenacious team defense helped celebrate a homecoming victory over the Lightning (2-2).

The win, which moved the Eagles to 4-0, was the 100th career victory for coach Ed Holshue, who is in his 12th year at Centennial.

"It does feel kind of nice, I admit," said Holshue, who earned 40 of his wins at Mount Hebron. "People say if you stay around long enough, those kinds of milestones will happen. But it says something about all the kids that have played for me. They're all part of it."

After Long Reach took advantage of a Centennial turnover for an early 7-0 lead, the Eagles gained control behind the bruising running of Davis, who rushed 14 times for 83 yards.

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