Sparrows Point gets strength from lifting

Pallotti's passing, running keep it at top of MIAA C

Football notebook

October 20, 2004|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Sparrows Point's players went straight to the weight room after a season-ending loss to Loch Raven put the final mark on a 3-6 record last year.

"They lifted until midnight, and they've been hitting the weights hard ever since," said second-year coach Eric Webber. "This year, we're stronger than most of the teams we play."

This year, the Pointers are 6-1 (4-0 in Baltimore County's 2A-1A League) and seem on the verge of making the Class 1A state playoffs - their first postseason berth since 1989.

The Pointers rank No. 1 in the 1A North region, ahead of Joppatowne, Perryville and Chesapeake-Baltimore County, which they play in a division game on Saturday.

The top four teams from each region meet in a playoff to determine the regional champion and state semifinalist.

Pointers running back John McDowell has gained 1,136 yards and scored 15 touchdowns, and quarterback David Brady has rushed for 236 yards and six touchdowns and passed for 369 yards and five more scores.

Moving up

Since leaving the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference three years ago, Pallotti has risen to the upper echelon of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference.

The Panthers (7-1 overall, 3-0 league) have outscored rivals by an average of 33-8 entering Saturday's game at two-time defending C champ Boys' Latin (4-2, 3-0).

Kevin Olive has 769 passing yards and 11 touchdowns. His primary receivers are 6-foot-4, 210-pound tight end Tim Jennings (15 receptions, 184 yards, five TDs) and 6-3 Ryan Alexander (14, 398, one TD).

At running back are Trevin Parrish (1,051 yards, 11 touchdowns) and Harold Morton (590, seven TDs).

"In my first season, we had 18 kids show up for our first day of practice. Last year, we had 32, and this year 52," said third- year coach Jack Meade, whose teams were 5-5 and 7-3.

"We upgraded our schedule, dropping three schools that we beat by a combined 108-8, and we picked up Gibbons and St. Mary's [each from the B Conference] and Kent Island, which was undefeated," Meade said.

"We beat all three, but this is the best Boys' Latin team I've seen."

Lakers quarterback Rocco Romero is "a threat to run or throw," said Meade. "They're well-coached, disciplined and physical, especially on their offensive and defensive lines."

Big matchup

When No. 1 Loyola visits No. 3 Gilman on Saturday, the game will pit the winners of seven of the past eight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crowns.

It also will feature a Dons defense anchored by free safety- quarterback Brady Smith, The Sun's 2003-2004 All-Metro Defensive Player of The Year, linebackers Rob Utz and Tony Hamlett, and defensive back Aaron Slaughter.

The Dons (7-0 overall, 1-0 league), who last year won their first league title since 1997, have allowed an average of six points per game. A year ago, the Dons shut out the Greyhounds, 14-0.

Gilman's Biff Poggi has coached MIAA A Conference championship teams during all but three of his eight seasons.

Gilman (6-1, 1-0) is coming off last Saturday's come-from-behind 12-7 win over Landon of Bethesda, when Luke Bell sandwiched field goals around a Ben Eaton touchdown run.

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