Joppatowne crosses Dunbar line, 21-0

Superior interior play lifts Mariners into final with shutout, 291 rushing yards

Class 1A state football

High Schools

November 30, 2003|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Dunbar coach Ben Eaton knew what his 13th-ranked Poets were up against when they took the field at City College for yesterday's Class 1A state semifinal game with unranked Joppatowne: straight-ahead, power-I football.

"We felt like the two lines [Joppatowne's offensive vs. Dunbar's defensive] were going to be the difference in the game," Eaton said. "We didn't get the line play that we wanted to get on the defensive side of the ball."

What the Poets (11-2) did get in their 21-0 shutout loss was smacked in the mouth, Mariners--style, by a team whose offensive coordinator, Bill Waibel, is the son of the man who made a career of the power game locally.

Brent Cash scored his 23rd and 24th touchdowns on 191 of the Mariners' 291 rushing yards. Quarterback Anthony Preston (68 rushing yards) completed the only pass he attempted, a 12-yard touchdown to Brad McKemy. And Joppatowne (7-5) earned a berth in Saturday's state title game at M&T Bank Stadium against Beall (10-3) of Frostburg.

Eaton knows what earned the fifth title game appearance for Joppatowne, winner of a championship in 1975, and runner-up to Hereford in 2001.

"It was their execution," said Eaton, who was an assistant to Stanley Mitchell when the Poets won 2A and 3A crowns in 1994 and '95. "We didn't tackle well, but their line played really, really well."

Eaton also was an assistant when Poly's 20-13 loss to Dunbar in '97 ushered Waibel's father, the late Augie Waibel, into retirement after 35 seasons. Bill Waibel, 40, an assistant to Greg Komondor, admitted his father's last high school game as a coach was on his mind.

"My father always respected Dunbar and its fans. I thought about it a little bit," said Waibel. "My saying goes, `WWAD - What would Augie do?' Keeping it between the tackles, double-tight, power - at times, it's like he calls half the plays out there."

Joppatowne's 6-foot-4, 232-pound defensive end/fullback Jeremy Navarre set the tempo, blocking a punt on Dunbar's first series that teammate Raymond Lough recovered at the Poets' 37-yard line. Four plays later, Cash's 7-yard run and Preston's extra point gave the Mariners a 7-0 lead with 5:40 left in the first quarter.

"We came out loud and pumped up," Navarre said. "We wanted to make big plays early."

Joppatowne's offense took over from there. During the scoreless third quarter, for example, the Mariners had possession for all but two minutes and six plays, accumulating 100 rushing yards.

Joppatowne's 11-play, 54-yard final scoring drive began in the third period and ended with Preston's pass to McKemy, followed by Preston's conversion run with 9:25 to play.

Waibel said Cash now has what is believed to be a single-season school record of 1,726 rushing yards behind an offensive line whose average size is 6 feet, 248 pounds. It is composed of seniors Ray Sacco and Jeremiah Waters, juniors Jonathan Hardesty and Randall Russum, and sophomore Spencer Washington.

"They come out, create the holes and we go through them," said Cash. "By the third, fourth quarter, they were just blowing Dunbar's guys off the line. They're in great shape and getting better and better."

Although Dunbar's Nathan Irby (1,859 yards, 15 touchdowns) gained 111 yards, Joppatowne shut down the Poets' passing game. Ancrum brothers Ezra, a junior, and Aaron, a senior, had an interception and a sack. Joseph Ivory had a sack and Tony Jondo disrupted a pass by Dunbar's Earl Chaptman (1-for-8), who entered the game having passed for 1,178 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Cash also played well defensively, bringing down Dunbar's Derek Sessions at the Mariners' 7-yard line after his first-quarter, 61-yard catch.

Dunbar's passing game "was nothing new to us," said Aaron Ancrum, part of a defense that contained Maryland-bound quarterback prospect Erin Henderson of ninth-ranked Class 2A state finalist Aberdeen in a come-from-behind, 28-21 victory.

Said Ezra Ancrum: "After that game, we were like, `We can do this now.'"

"We started out 0-2, and were picked to finish last by everybody," Navarre said. "To have a chance to win states is unbelievable."

Joppatowne 7 6 0 8 - 21

Dunbar 0 0 0 0 - 0

J- Cash 7 run (Preston kick) J- Cash 15 run (run failed) J- McKemy 12 pass from Preston (Preston kick)

State football championships

[At M&T Bank Stadium)Thursday

Class 3A: Linganore vs. Lackey, 7 p.m. Friday

Class 4A: Broadneck vs. Damascus, 7 p.m. Saturday

Class 2A:Aberdeen vs. Potomac, 11 a.m. Class 1A: Beall vs. Joppatowne, 4 p.m.

NOTE: Admission $8

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