Annapolis, Severn make foes eat words

SIDELINES

High Schools

September 08, 2002|By Pat O'Malley

Players relish their opponents' making bold comments before they play.

Such was the case before the Annapolis-Meade and Severn-McDonogh football games last week. Certain comments gave Annapolis and Severn added incentive, and each went out and posted an impressive season-opening victory, 42-0 by Annapolis and 22-0 by Severn.

Before No. 10 Annapolis visited No. 6 Meade on Thursday night, the latter's highly touted senior transfer, Hassan Muhammad II, provided the Panthers ample motivation with a few quotes in a feature story that appeared in the Capital/Gazette newspapers.

Muhammad, who set rushing records at Cardinal Gibbons playing in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference, was quoted as saying: "Defenses will get all geared up and ready for me to shake and juke them, but they will get off balance and that's when I run right over them. They won't know what hit them."

He then provided the clincher: "I think Annapolis is in for an awakening."

The 5-foot-8, 160-pound Muhammad didn't know what hit him on his first carry in the Anne Arundel County public school league. It was Darius Johnson, the Panthers' 6-2, 215-pound junior linebacker.

"Hey, he ran his mouth and you don't run your mouth to Annapolis, so I told him he was going to feel it all night," said Johnson, who anchored a Panthers defense that held Muhammad to 16 yards rushing in the first quarter and just 48 for the night on 14 carries.

"Coach [Roy] Brown says always give your best effort. You can't be hit; you gotta hit. We're going to hit every game."

Demario Harris, a senior returning All-Metro defensive back, said there was no doubt that Muhammad was their target.

"We wanted him from Day One," said Harris, who also ran for 124 of the Panthers' 345 yards on the ground.

"All that stuff he was talking about and they [the coaches] were talking about the best running back in the state, we were ready for that. That just got us hyped up. Our defense is tough, and Darius Johnson had a heck of a game."

On Friday afternoon, McDonogh of the MIAA A Conference pranced into Severn looking confident that it would post its seventh straight win over the B Conference Admirals. Apparently one of the Eagles' coaches made a comment, which was likely in jest, but one he would regret.

Severn coach John Beckman used it to his advantage.

"We had so much enthusiasm coming out of the locker room after our coach told us they figured this was a JV scrimmage," said Severn senior running back Darnell Jones, who scored two touchdowns Friday.

"One of the coaches told our coach Severn was their second scrimmage. Everybody got the hair up on their backs and we came together as a team."

Beckman credited his team's intensity in taking a 16-0 lead at the half and his coaching staff for "a great defensive game plan" that bewildered McDonogh's spread passing offense.

Surprising Cavaliers

You can call it a moral victory for Archbishop Spalding, which dropped a 21-14 decision on the road to defending Class 1A state champion Allegany on Friday. Mike Laidley and Mike Rutland scored the touchdowns on short runs as the Cavaliers (0-2) gave the football-crazy school in Cumberland quite a scare.

"I don't think anybody thought we would be in the game," said Spalding coach Mike Whittles.

"... We gained a lot of respect from the Allegany people, who said nobody comes into our house and does this to us. I'm expecting some great things out of our team this year."

Old Mill's senior running back, Brashaad Mayweather, gained a school-record 320 yards on 34 carries and scored five touchdowns in the No. 4 Patriots' 41-26 romp over Arundel. ... The Broadneck defense, led by linebacker Preston Pehrson, held Severna Park to 84 total yards in a 36-0 rout. ... Chesapeake's single-wing duo of Nick Bowen and Lenny Hall combined for 324 yards rushing in the Cougars' 27-0 victory over North County. ... Garrett Stanwick's 25-yard field goal in overtime lifted St. Mary's over Northeast, 9-6.

Severn struts stuff

When Severn and Severna Park, which are less than a mile apart, meet in field hockey, the visiting team walks to the other's field. It was a long walk home for No. 2 Severna Park on Friday afternoon after the host and unranked Admirals won, 2-0, on second-half goals by Emily Mason and Lindsay Brown.

Severn coach Carolyn Abruzzo said the upset solidified her belief that the Admirals can be a factor in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland this season.

"We have 13 returnees, and I'm not sure any other team has that much experience," Abruzzo said. "... I think we are a team to be reckoned with this season."

Sideliners

Bernie Walter's longtime Arundel assistant baseball coach, Nick Jauschnegg, who is also the Wildcats' boys soccer coach, has been honored as the Coach And Athletic Director magazine's National Assistant Baseball Coach of the Year for distinguished service. ... Jason Lively, an All-Metro pitcher/shortstop as a junior when he led Arundel to a Maryland-record ninth state title and All-County selection last spring as a senior, received a scholarship to Jackson State Community College in Tennessee. Lively hit a homer in his first at-bat last week in fall ball. ... The Bay Area Volleyball Academy (BAVA) will hold clinics for middle school girls interested in learning the game and for high school players who seek improvement. Check BAVA's Web site, www.bayvolley- ball.com, for information.

Have an idea for Sidelines? E-mail patomalley- sports@aol.com or call O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499.

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