Yet another city team, Poly, falls by wayside to Hereford in playoffs

Nemec's 3 rushing scores hold up in 20-13 semis win

Class 2A North football

High Schools

November 16, 2003|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

His face red and hair matted with sweat, Hereford's Joe Akers had just helped to shut down Poly's running game and clear the way for running back teammates Dan Nemec and Alex Butt.

The efforts of the two-way All-Metro lineman made quite an impression yesterday. In hard-fought fashion, the eighth-ranked Bulls pulled out a 20-13 victory over No. 14 Poly in a Class 2A North regional semifinal at City College.

In winning their sixth consecutive game, the Bulls of Baltimore County improved their playoff record to 4-0 against Baltimore City teams.

"These city-county rivalries are pretty intense," Akers said, "but it's great for local football."

The two-time defending state champion Bulls (9-2) ended the Engineers' nine-game winning streak and earned a chance to reverse an earlier loss to No. 1 Eastern Tech (10-0) next week in the regional final.

Nemec scored three touchdowns in the first half behind a line of the 6-foot-3, 311-pound Akers, Steve Steinbacher (6-3, 245), Jonathan Lonsdale (6-2, 240), Ben Adams (6-1, 264), Chris Chamberlain, Nathan Gede and David Myrowitz.

Nemec scored on separate 1-yard runs for a 13-0 first-quarter lead. His 4-yard touchdown run capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive with 1:56 left in the first half. He ran for 126 yards in the first half and finished with 175. Butt, his running mate, finished with 79 yards.

Poly (9-2) twice drove inside Hereford's 20-yard line in the first half only to come up empty. But the Engineers drew within 20-13 with 2:59 to play after Dan Wilkins (13-for-22 for 182 yards) found Jasmond Walker and Jasphur Montgomery, respectively, for fourth-quarter scoring passes of 18 and 59 yards. Robert Williams' fumble recovery set up the latter score by Montgomery.

But Poly's last chance was ruined by an offensive pass interference call against Alamayo Wilder, who tussled with Hereford's Ray Wittelsberger as both fell into the end zone. The call turned a potential first-and-goal inside Hereford's 10-yard line into a fourth-and-10 at the Bulls' 45.

"I thought they were going to call it on me as we were bumping each other," Wittelsberger said. "Luckily, their team got the penalty."

Hereford's Ryan Farrell intercepted Wilkins at the 9-yard line, and the Bulls ran out the last 1:16.

Wittelsberger teamed with defensive backs Farrell, Rick Mills and Brett Yoder in a three-deep zone designed to stop Montgomery (four receptions, 120 yards).

"He's [Montgomery] an incredible receiver," Wittelsberger said. "But our defensive backs were set."

Montgomery's first catch didn't come until the fourth quarter.

"It was smart coverage not to give up anything deep," Montgomery said. "We came back, but it was too little, too late."

Hereford defensive end Juan Pretorius broke up two passes and blocked an extra point, Akers made four tackles for lost yardage, and Billy Rueter had two tackles for lost yardage.

Walker had only 56 rushing yards after a 252-yard effort last weekend against City.

"They're aggressive," Walker said. "One of the best lines we've seen."

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