Gilman, Wooden warm to Blair task

QB's 4 TDs in 2nd quarter lead rout of N.J. foe, 42-14


September 22, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Ambrose Wooden didn't start well.

The Gilman quarterback's first offensive series ended with an interception by Blair Academy's Ray Rochester, and the second with Rochester sacking him.

But Wooden engineered a 28-point second quarter, rushing for scores of 74 and 23 yards, respectively, and throwing for two touchdowns, yesterday in a 42-14 rout of the Blairstown, N.J., team.

Ranked No. 1 by The Sun and 20th nationally by USA Today, Gilman improved to 4-0. Blair Academy is 1-1.

"My head wasn't in the game, but our defense kept me in it," said Wooden, who made scoring passes of 19 yards to Chris Merwin and Anthony Triplin in the big second quarter, and one of 27 yards to Josh Potler in the third. "I wanted to step up, get rolling, be a leader out there."

Grant Zimmerman opened the game with a 96-yard kickoff return that gave Gilman a 7-0 lead. But Rochester's efforts against Wooden set up two field goals by Andy Floyd - both from 37 yards - cutting the deficit to 7-6.

But then Wooden warmed up.

His first scoring run put the Greyhounds up 14-6 with 11:43 left in the first half. His 23-yard run made it 28-6 three minutes later. Wooden raced untouched up the middle both times.

"Those are designed plays where I fake a dive and read what's there," Wooden said. "I saw openings and just turned on the jets."

On his pass to Triplin, Wooden darted to his right and eluded two defenders before throwing the ball across his body to Triplin near Blair's sideline.

Defensively, the Greyhounds' 6-foot-5 bookends Luke Wilson (two sacks, one fumble caused) and Victor Abiamiri (one sack, two tackles for lost yardage) helped limit Blair Academy to 34 total yards of offense in the first half and 135 for the game.

Rochester, one of Blair Academy's five postgraduates, finished with 145 yards and scored a 6-yard touchdown against Gilman's reserves with 1:03 to play. Rochester was coming off a three-touchdown effort in a season-opening win.

"All we talked about was stopping Rochester," said Nate Hummel, a junior who had a sack and a fumble recovery. "That was our main focus."

Wilson, referring to the visitors' 35 total passing yards, was more general in his assessment: "We knew if we stopped the run, they'd have to pass and the game would be over."

Rochester's 25-yard interception return to Gilman's 26-yard line set up Floyd's first field goal at 3:20 of the first quarter. His sack of Wooden set up the other field goal with no time left.

"We tried to play with them, but they were able to break it open and wear us down," said Rochester, part of a 26-player roster. "They're a good team, and they're for real."

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