No. 12 Curley keeps Gibbons at bay, 21-18

Spence, Friars' defense stifle No. 15 Crusaders


October 07, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Eric Spence is the big name in Curley's offense, but when he was injured yesterday against No. 15 Cardinals Gibbons, the visiting Friars showed their depth and balance to pull out a 21-18 victory.

In building a 14-0 lead with 2:12 left in the first half, No. 12 Curley (4-0, 1-0 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference) kept possession for 14 minutes, 56 seconds.

Spence had 84 of his 91 yards in the first half, and his interceptions - in the end zone and at Curley's 26-yard line - set up his two 4-yard touchdown runs.

Curley led, 7-0, after Kevin Salamone's first of three extra point kicks with 31 seconds left in the first period capped an 80-yard, 15-play drive that consumed 7:18. The second drive covered 74 yards in 14 plays and took 7:38.

But Spence hurt his knee and left the game in the third period. He is expected to play next week.

"When he went down, it was a shock, but I hoped some of our kids would step up, and they did," said Curley coach Sean Murphy.

Justin Wright, Jason Goode, Mark Koenig, Josh Tracy and Allen Fidiora helped Curley rack up 188 yards in the first half (315 total).

The Friars' defense held Hassan Muhammad of Gibbons (3-2, 0-2 in the conference) to nine rushing yards in the first half (68 overall). But with 1:02 left in the first half, the Crusaders' Chris Weyant (5-for-8, 102 yards, two touchdowns) completed a short screen pass that Muhammad took down the Gibbons sideline 44 yards to make it, 14-6.

Then, Muhammad's 24-yard run made it 14-12 with 5:19 left in the third period. But Gibbons' next drive ended at Curley's 42, with Mike Hammer dropping Muhammad for a seven-yard loss on fourth-and-two.

The Friars then drove 58 yards in 14 plays for Wright's 6-yard run and a 21-12 lead with 2:48 to play. Weyant's 24-yard scoring pass to Mark Crawford made it 21-18 with 1:42 left, but Gibbons had no timeouts as the Friars ran out the clock.

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