With Simms, Chesapeake now has its winning way

SIDELINES

High Schools

November 02, 2003|By PAT O'MALLEY

It was back in early September, on a Monday night in Cape St. Claire, that Chesapeake's head football coach Jim Simms made a promise that he has kept.

After a 33-6 loss to Broadneck in Simms' debut for the Cougars, the new guy on the block said, "We're trying to change the Chesapeake way.

"Broadneck's tradition beat us in the second half [scored 20 unanswered points]. We've got to build a winning tradition at Chesapeake and I promise you we will. We're going to get better."

The Cougars then lost their home opener to Arundel, 41-37. But since the 0-2 start, the Cougars have gone 6-1 and have clinched only the second winning season in nearly 30 years of football at the Lake Shore school.

Friday in Annapolis, the Cougars beat the Panthers, 27-21, to match the win total of their only other winning team, the 6-4 team of coach Denis Schanberger in 1985.

Chesapeake had to hold off Annapolis, which scored two late touchdowns after the Cougars had taken a 27-7 lead with 7:43 left in the game.

Annapolis had a first-and-goal at the Chesapeake 4-yard line with 1:09 left in the game, but the Cougars rose up and drove them back to the 37 and took over on downs with 18 seconds remaining.

"We made some big plays at the end of the game, " senior defensive lineman Brandon Kirkwood said. "It was an ugly `W' but it's a `W' and it's what we need to get to the playoffs. Chesapeake football, we're doing it."

As a result, they find themselves in a position for the school's first-ever playoff berth. A win at home Friday over Northeast (1-7) would give the Cougars a 7-3 record. It might be good enough to take the fourth spot in the 4A East region playoffs.

Simms credited his coaching staff of Neil McKee, who is the offensive coordinator; defensive coordinator Chip Snyder and special teams coach Kenny King.

"The kids have done everything we have asked them to do and I have to credit my assistants, " said Simms, who was a longtime assistant at the school before being elevated after Tom Kraning was fired.

"Those guys do it. I'm just kind of hanging around on the sideline, a nervous wreck, especially tonight."

Record breakers

Second-ranked Broadneck ran its record to 9-0 with a 31-0 win over South River (4-5) to clinch the top seed in the 4A East region playoffs. The Bruins can complete their second unbeaten regular season since 1998 at Severna Park (5-4) on Friday. If they do finish 10-0, they might knock the Falcons out of the 3A South race. Severna Park is hanging on to fourth place.

The shutout was the fifth for the Bruins, breaking their school record. The county regular-season record is seven by Annapolis in 1962 (10-0) under coach Neville Leonard and in 1966 (9-0-1) under Al Laramore.

Also, Broadneck junior kicker Chris Desautels' 37-yard field goal against South River tied the county record of nine field goals in a season.

Sideliners

Archbishop Spalding (7-2) set a school record for wins by routing Lutheran, 50-0. The Cavs led 43-0 at halftime with star running back Mike Rutland carrying only five times for 143 yards, including an 89-yard touchdown run. All players got into the homecoming game. ... Brian Jones' 17-yard field goal with 2:11 left lifted No. 14 Arundel (7-2) to a 34-32 victory over Glen Burnie (4-5). The Wildcats are second in the 4A East. ... Two prolific running games on Friday: Deon Peters led Severn (6-3) to a 19-14 win over Boys' Latin with 253 yards and two touchdowns rushing; in a 35-14 loss to Curley, St. Mary's Donte Sylve ran for 263 yards and two touchdowns.

Have a note? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499 or send e-mail to patomalleysports@aol.com.

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