Dudley has Joppatowne football on a hot run

Notebook

September 21, 2005|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,special to the sun

Having lost several key players from last season's state finalist team, Joppatowne football coach Bill Waibel said during preseason workouts that he was worried about how his offense would come together.

David Dudley and the Joppatowne running game have helped Waibel relax.

Dudley ran for a school-record 383 yards on 35 carries and scored three touchdowns to help Joppatowne roll to a 35-20 victory over Havre de Grace last Friday. The Mariners ran right over the Warriors, gaining 508 yards rushing.

That came one week after Joppatowne ran for 472 yards in a 40-0 rout of Perryville, a team the Mariners defeated in last year's state playoffs. Dudley had only seven carries in that game, but he gained 119 yards. He has 502 yards in two games, and Joppatowne has 980 yards rushing.

"I know he's running the ball well, and we're running the ball well," Waibel said. "He's just decided he's going to be a big part of what we do, and he's working very hard."

Dudley scored on a 67-yard run on the game's first play and added touchdown runs of 2 and 3 yards.

Waibel's teams usually work out of the power-I, an older formation that emphasizes the run and has two or three backs in the backfield. The Mariners pass only a handful of times; starting quarterback Antoine Brown has thrown only nine times in the two games.

Dudley played wingback last year and moved to tailback this season. The backfield was a concern because Joppatowne lost all four of its starters from a year ago - quarterback Anthony Preston, fullback Jeremy Navarre (now starting on defense at Maryland) and running backs Joe Ivory and Ezra Ancrum.

But everything is working out so far with the help of an experienced offensive line. Waibel credits line coach Jason Bauer and juniors Mark Peterson, Chris Soul and Kwame Bowen-Wright and seniors David Miller and Spencer Washington. They're also getting strong play from sophomore tight ends J.R. Myers and Nathan Terpak.

Brown, a senior, has fared well at quarterback, completing five of nine passes for 138 yards and running the offense well. Dudley, though, has been the key player. His numbers are even more impressive considering he's a two-way player who also starts at cornerback.

"He's one of our spiritual leaders," Waibel said. "David doesn't fool around. He's just a tough kid."

Perfect so far

North Harford and Fallston are the only other unbeaten football teams in Harford County. The Hawks have scored 76 points in their first two games, including a 41-6 rout of North East-Cecil on Friday night.

Fallston has been consistent, scoring 28 points in each of its first two games. The Cougars went to 2-0 with a 28-14 win over Elkton last Friday. They got a break in their first win, a 28-27 victory over Havre de Grace, when the Warriors missed a late extra point that would have tied the game.

Bobcat challenge

Despite the loss of several players from last season's state playoff team, the Bobcats remain solid. One problem area for the Bobcats, however, is their inability to stop the run.

Bel Air opened the season with a 33-3 rout of John Carroll, but the Bobcats allowed 184 yards rushing in the process. Thomas Johnson then gained 288 yards rushing in a surprising 28-20 win over Bel Air in Frederick on Saturday. The Patriots had won just three games in the past two years.

The Bobcats aren't quite as big defensively and never had a three-and-out stand against smaller John Carroll in the opener, but kept control with a number of big plays.

"They sustained [drives]; we were quick strike," Bel Air coach Bruce Riley said.

Continued growth

The Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference has started its second full year and continues making changes.

The conference added cross country as a sport this year and is going to be doing more new things. Cecil County, which teams with Harford County to form the league, will run a lacrosse program for the first time this spring. It won't be in the league, however, probably joining for the 2007 season.

Cecil also did golf last year for the first time and has cross country this season, also for the first time. Harford schools, meanwhile are working at following what the Cecil schools do in having a trainer at every school for every sporting event.

"We're getting to that point," said Forrest Wiest, the Harford County supervisor of physical education and athletics. "[We're] taking a big step in that direction."

Strong showing

John Carroll girls cross country coach Rob Torres had hoped for a top-three finish in the small schools race of the Bull Run Invitational. What he got was a whole lot better.

The No. 7 Patriots put five runners in the top 37 places to compile 73 points and capture the division at Hereford in Parkton on Saturday.

Showings from junior Brittany Furst (second place in 20 minutes, 47 seconds), sophomore Erika Stasakova (sixth, 21:54), freshman Meghan McAdorey (10th, 22:37), junior Jessica Buchanan (26th, 23:49) and senior Amanda Selvy (37th, 24:11) helped inject more confidence into a squad that placed fourth and upset then-No. 4 Broadneck at the Barnhart Memorial Invitational at Dulaney on Sept. 10.

"I thought we had a shot at winning, but the only teams that I really knew what they had were the local teams," Torres said. "I figured if we could beat all the area schools and maybe get in the top three, it would be a good day."

Et cetera

John Carroll is hosting a free basketball coaches clinic on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, contact coach Anthony Macri at amacri@johncarroll.org.

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