Eastern Tech's turnaround mode

Despite big losses, Mavericks play way into county title, state playoff pictures

Notebook

November 02, 2005|By LEM SATTERFIELD | LEM SATTERFIELD,SUN REPORTER

Despite big losses, Mavericks play their way into title and playoff pictures Eastern Tech's Jerry Hauburger and Justin Whitlock had little trouble accepting their season-opening, 41-0 loss at Potomac. After all, the Prince George's County team is the defending Class 2A state champion.

But losing consecutive games by a combined 39-2 against Loch Raven (on homecoming) and neighborhood rival Overlea, "that was pretty low," said Hauburger, a defensive end and running back.

"At that point, we were falling apart," said Whitlock, a linebacker and running back. "But we came through it, and today, you saw the results."

Whitlock spoke while standing near an end zone Saturday at Milford Mill, where he and Hauburger sparked a 16-12 Baltimore County 2A-1A League win by the Mavericks (5-3, 5-2) over the previously unbeaten Millers (7-1, 6-1).

The victory, coupled with a 14-6 win by Randallstown (4-4, 4-3) over defending league titlist Hereford (5-3, 5-2), intensified the chase for the conference crown.

It also heats up the race for one of the top four berths in the Class 2A North regional playoffs, for which Milford Mill, Douglass (7-1), Loch Raven, Hereford, Overlea and Eastern Tech are competing.

Hauburger and Whitlock combined for 165 rushing yards and two touchdowns and 15 tackles, four sacks and a fumble recovery.

Mike Celini had a team-high 12 tackles. Steve Rice had eight tackles and rushed for 102 yards. Dave Spalt kicked a 29-yard field goal and two extra points.

Eastern Tech meets Randallstown Saturday before facing Hereford on Nov. 11 at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium. Milford Mill, meanwhile, visits Hereford, a three-time state titlist, on Friday, before playing host to Randallstown on Nov. 12.

Milford Mill has dropped into a first-place tie with Loch Raven (6-2, 6-1), a team it defeated, 18-7. Since then, however, the Raiders have won five straight, including a come-from-behind, 32-22 victory over Hereford.

Loch Raven has remaining games with struggling Lansdowne and Overlea (6-2, 5-2), which has lost to Milford Mill in overtime and by 22-6 to Hereford.

"Loch Raven might be the best team in the league right now," Eastern Tech coach Marc Mesaros said. "They're really good."

Hereford has three regular-season losses for the first time since going 5-5 in 1995. The Bulls' streak of nine straight postseason berths since '96 is in jeopardy with games against Milford Mill and Eastern Tech on the horizon.

Repeat performance?

Randallstown was 1-4 last season before winning six straight games to earn a spot in the Class 3A North regional title game, where they lost to Bel Air. This year's Rams have won four of their past five games, including three straight, after an 0-3 start.

In last weekend's 14-6 win over Hereford, Randallstown was led by junior quarterback Myron Vanstory, who rushed for one touchdown and threw a 35-yard scoring pass to Lester Duckett.

Jordan McLain had an interception, Ryan Gladden had a sack and Darrell Bryant kicked both extra points for the Rams, who received a pre-game motivational visit from Randallstown graduate Melvin Alaeze, The Sun's 2004 All-Metro Defensive Player of the Year who is now at Hargrave Military Academy.

"It's a big win because I know everyone was writing us off," coach Albert Howard said.

Under the radar

St. Paul's football coach Dave Dolch feels as if his Crusaders were counted out as contenders in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference in the aftermath of a 33-14 loss to traditional A Conference power McDonogh in their second game of the season.

But having won five of their past six games, the Crusaders are firmly in the mix.

In fact, St. Paul's can win the North Division crown with a victory Friday over Boys' Latin. And as the division winner, the Crusaders would earn a berth in the inaugural league title game opposite South Division champion Archbishop Spalding at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium on Nov. 11.

This year's 10-team B Conference - split into two five-team divisions - is a result of a merger between the B and C conferences a year ago. The Crusaders (6-2, 3-0) won a share of two of the past three B Conference crowns, and Boys' Latin won three straight C Conference crowns.

"Until now, we've been kind of flying under the radar," Doch said. "The kids like that."

St. Paul's has been led by senior receiver-linebacker Nathan Matthews, who has returned an interception for a touchdown and ranks as the Crusaders' No. 1 receiver ahead of senior Stephen Bernstorf.

Senior John Yurek is the Crusaders' quarterback, operating behind a line anchored by seniors Matt Bailey and Alex Kafarakis.

Senior linebacker Alex Griswold and sophomore linebacker Mike Shipley are the top tacklers, junior defensive end Mike Moss is a returning All-Conference player and senior defensive tackle Daly Hassett (a capable run-stopper.

Dolch lists senior long snapper Derek Lichtfuss and senior kicker David Corak as Division I prospects. Maryland, Virginia and Cornell have expressed interested in Corak, and Maryland is interested in Lichtfuss, Dolch said.

Pikesville in hunt

First-year coach Rob Jackson, a 1988 graduate of Overlea, has Pikesville in the hunt for its first football playoff berth since 2000, when it lost to Owings Mills in the opening round.

Led by quarterback Josh Burke, the Panthers (5-3) had outscored their opponents by an average of 32-17 before Saturday's loss to Reservoir of Howard County. The Panthers have won five of their past seven games since losing their season opener to Franklin.

Pikesville is in the race for a berth in the Class 1A North region.

lem.satterfield@baltsun.com

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