Versatile Bryant is Ram tough

As defender, kicker and receiver, junior gives Randallstown a welcome lift

hard work benefits 6-0 Loyola



Darrell Bryant was all over the field in Saturday's 32-0 rout of visiting Baltimore County 2A-1A League rival Lansdowne, and his effort has given Randallstown coach Albert Howard a reason to smile during what has been a trying season.

A 6-foot-2, 190-pound Rams junior, Bryant caused a fumble as a defensive back, kicked two extra points and caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Myron Vanstory, who also threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Lester Duckett.

Jordan McLain scored on runs of 2 and 5 yards behind an offensive line that included sophomore Emmanuel Beale (6-0, 255 pounds), junior Demetrius Jones (5-10, 242) and seniors Devin Jones (6-0, 225), Kenneth Mayfield (6-2, 290) and Michael Maultsby (6-0, 335).

Also playing well were senior defensive back Lantz Carter, with an interception; senior strong safety Leonard McCullough; senior defensive tackle Ryan Gladden; junior linebacker Eric Edwards; and senior linebacker Jamahn McCollough. Senior running back Kadeem Taylor led the Rams' offense, which generated 223 of its 280 yards on the ground.

In victory, the Rams rose to 2-4 with the most difficult part of the schedule yet to come. But Randallstown was 1-4 last year before winning its next six games to earn a spot in the Class 3A North regional title game, where it lost to Bel Air.

"We came into the season with moderate expectations, considering what we lost," said Howard, referring to graduated 2004 All-Metro Defensive Player of the Year Melvin Alaeze and Maryland freshman Jamari McCollough. "We're starting to progress as a team and starting to play with consistency."

Randallstown leads the Baltimore City-County area with 17 playoff appearances, including berths in nine of the past 11. Since 1994, Randallstown reached the postseason every year but in '96 and 2002.

Randallstown has been reclassified into this year's 2A North region. It entered the weekend trailing Milford Mill, Douglass of Baltimore City, Overlea, Eastern Tech, Hereford and Edmondson in the chase for one of the top four seeds necessary to qualify for regional play.

"We've played teams tough in the past and know what we're up against," said Howard, whose Rams close with regular-season games against Owings Mills, Hereford, Eastern Tech and Milford Mill. "Our playoff hopes are dim, but we feel like we're in the mix and can be the spoiler and build on this situation. There's always hope."

Blue-collar Dons

Loyola is not a large football team, physically, nor is it blessed with blazing speed. And no one individual has put up huge statistics. But what has kept the No. 2-ranked Dons in the win column are ingredients that seem clichM-i: hard work and determination.

The Dons are unbeaten at 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the league as they visit No. 4 McDonogh (4-1, 3-0) for Saturday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference clash.

Questions lingered for the Dons this year, in the aftermath of the graduation of two-time All-Metro quarterback-linebacker Brady Smith, The Sun's 2003 All-Metro Defensive Player of The Year.

But Loyola passed an early test with its season-opening, 15-12 victory over last year's Class 1A public schools state champ Dunbar.

"This team has worked very hard this year to overcome injuries and inexperience," Loyola coach Brian Abbott said. "We don't have any superstars, just a bunch of kids who have been executing. I could not be prouder of their efforts."

Leading the way are linebackers Tony Hamlett (6-0, 235 pounds) and Bubba Harris (6-1, 205), defensive lineman Jake Quigg (6-2, 210) and defensive back Casey Creaney (6-2, 205), part of a defense that allowed an average of 7.5 points in its first five games.

Quigg has three sacks and seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and Hamlett has seven behind-the-line tackles to go with two sacks. Quigg also contributes as a punter, averaging nearly 40 yards per attempt.

Offensively, quarterback Joe Lennon (6-2, 190) has thrown for more than 700 yards and nine touchdowns, and rushed for 271 yards and two scores.

Among Lennon's favorite targets are Omari Mobley, a 6-2, 175-pound junior with three touchdown receptions. Creaney and Mike Horne have two scoring receptions each. Junior Devin Gordon leads the Dons with 20 receptions for 250 yards and two touchdowns.

Creative Cardinal

Calvert Hall soccer player Ernest Jackson likes to do what he calls "the grunt work."

"I think of myself as a playmaker," said Jackson, a third-year starter. "For me, it's not so important to be the one who scores the goal as much as who helps to create the opportunity."

That's what he's done for three straight seasons, playing wherever coach Andy Moore has asked him to. Jackson has 16 career goals and 13 career assists (four goals, two assists this year) - numbers that could be tripled as a forward were it not for his value at other positions.

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