Wooden and Gilman rush to win over Calvert Hall

QB runs for 167 yards and passes for 107 to pace No. 1 Greyhounds, 21-14


October 20, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

The moment of truth came during a third-quarter clash of helmets between Gilman quarterback Ambrose Wooden and a Calvert Hall player. Wooden rose and smiled at the crowd of about 4,500. His still-shaken adversary had to recover on the sideline.

"People said I can't take a hit, but I showed them today," Wooden said. "I put a quote up in our locker room before the game. It says, `Big players make big plays in big games.' You saw the result - we were totally jacked up."

Neither No. 3 Calvert Hall's defense nor the muddy field of Paul Angelo Russo Stadium could stop Wooden from leading his top-ranked Greyhounds to a 21-14 victory.

Wooden rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns and was 8-for-13 passing for 107 yards, mostly to Anthony Triplin (seven receptions, 84 yards). Triplin also ran for a score.

"It was a classic for both teams," said 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive end Victor Abiamiri, whose sack helped hold Calvert Hall far below its 40 points-per-game average. "We felt a sense of urgency to prove ourselves and secure another title."

Gilman (8-0 overall, 3-0 league), ranked No. 16 nationally by USA Today, clinched at least a tie for its fifth straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title. It also vindicated its sometimes suspect defensive secondary and its undersized offensive line.

"Our motto is silent confidence: We respond to what people say on the field," said Triplin, who had an interception and blocked an extra point in the first quarter. "We've seen big crowds and muddy fields against Mount St. Joe, DeMatha and Loyola. It might have been new to them, but it wasn't to us."

And Gilman didn't take long to show it.

After being sacked during Gilman's initial scoring drive, Wooden later ran 45 yards before Nick Williams tackled him at Calvert Hall's 1-yard line. Four plays later, Wooden pitched left for Triplin's 3-yard run and a 7-0 lead with 6:48 left in the first quarter. Two minutes later, it was 14-0. Triplin's 24-yard interception return set up Wooden's 11-yard run.

It was 21-6 at halftime after Wooden's spectacular 9-yard touchdown run, set up by Grant Zimmerman's second-quarter recovery of a muffed punt, featured him running to his left, finding neither a receiver or a seam, and completely reversing his field to the goal line.

Calvert Hall (6-1, 2-1) was within 14-6 three minutes before halftime as Andrew Golbeck (14-for-22, 205 yards) found Dan Spriggs for a 44-yard scoring pass. But Calvert Hall was stopped twice inside Gilman's 25, and didn't score again until Golbeck's 26-yard pass to Lamar Williams, followed by a conversion pass to Spriggs, with 47.5 seconds to play.

Chris Merwin recovered the ensuing onside kick and Gilman ran out the clock.

"They broke our backs early because they've played in these games before," Calvert Hall's Matt Eckerl said. "If we had that first quarter back, it might be different."

Defensively, Gilman's Nate Hummel and David Caperna jammed the middle. Hummel, Wilson and Yeardley Green had tackles for lost yardage. Calvert Hall running backs Nick Williams and Marques Thompson combined for just 102 yards, though they entered the game with a combined 1,554 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Triplin and Jerry Jones had interceptions. Hummel, Caperna, Merwin and Gentry Fitzpatrick broke up passes. Caperna recovered a fumble. On special teams, Z. Ross Fragapane kicked all three extra points. Fitzpatrick's 40-yard punt pinned Calvert Hall at its own 5-yard line.

Wooden credited 6-5 Luke Wilson, Tap Kolkin, Drum Rice, Luke Poggi and David Cohn for their blocking despite being out-weighed, 240 pounds-200 pounds, by Calvert Hall. Eckerl, Matt Beitman, Melvin Alaeze and Devon Douglass all sacked Wooden.

"We made mistakes, and they cashed in on them," Nick Williams said. "That's why they're No. 1."

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