Boys' Latin withstands painful test

Lakers hold off Cardinal Gibbons, 16-13

Football

October 29, 2005|By LEM SATTERFIELD | LEM SATTERFIELD,SUN REPORTER

Boys' Latin knew it had been in a battle last night.

Its starting quarterback, Grady Gamble, was sidelined with a hip injury. Receiver/defensive back James Neal's hamstring was cramping up. And several other Lakers players complained of being banged up.

But the visiting Lakers persevered over Cardinal Gibbons, escaping with a 16-13 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference North Division victory.

The win sets up Friday's North Division title game against St. Paul's, with the winner meeting South Division champ Archbishop Spalding in the inaugural B Conference championship game Nov. 12 at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium.

Neal's 90-yard punt return score had the Lakers (7-1, 3-0) up 7-0 at 8:39 of the first quarter. And it appeared the rout was on after teammate Brett Weiss kicked a 33-yard field goal with 1:56 left in the quarter.

But the Crusaders (6-4, 1-2) pulled within 10-7 by the half when Cortez Washington's blocked punt landed them on the Lakers' 28-yard line and Kiero Small scored five plays later from 6 yards out.

"Once I got the punt return, it gave us momentum, but they're a great team with a lot of talent," Neal said. "It was a battle, not lopsided at all. We really had to stay on top of them."

In the second half, sophomore Charlie McComas replaced Gamble, who was injured from a hit by Antwarn Jones early in the third quarter. McComas promptly found Thaddeus Robinson on the end of a 42-yard scoring pass at 9:22 of the third.

The Crusaders cut the lead to 16-13 with 2:53 to play after Jones' 1-yard run capped a 10-play, 76-yard drive. But the Lakers maintained possession to run out the remaining time.

Chris Boland had two interceptions, two tackles for lost yardage and, in the game's final two minutes, carried the ball four times for 30 yards for Boys' Latin.

"They're a great team and we knew we didn't have it locked up," Boland said. "Their two backs [Small and Jones] are fast, and they bring it.

"They have the type of players that can change the game instantly. We had to put it together for all four quarters."

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