Spalding overcame naysayers, tough duo

D.C.'s Dunbar seen by some as too tough


September 13, 2006|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Reporter

Archbishop Spalding's 47-40 victory over Washington's Dunbar on Friday night was more than stunning.

You would have been hard-pressed to find anyone who would have picked the Cavaliers to beat the Crimson Tide in the nonleague contest. And most didn't think it would even be a contest.

Dunbar came into Severn as The Washington Post's sixth-ranked team with returning Division I prospects in wide receiver Arrelious Benn and quarterback Nathan Bussey.

The duo had led the Crimson Tide to D.C. Turkey Bowl championships in each of their three previous varsity seasons and helped the team to a 9-2 season last year.

Spalding is coming off its best season in school history. The Cavaliers won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship last season and were 10-1 overall.

Even Spalding's ultra-confident coach, Mike Whittles, said before the game, "Well, if not anything else, our kids might be able to say one day that they played against those guys when they are playing on Sundays."

Whittles was referring to the possibility that Benn and Bussey could one day play in the NFL.

Bussey threw five touchdown passes, one to Benn, at Spalding.

Some were wondering why Whittles had even scheduled the game.

"We want to schedule nonleague games that can help us get better," Whittles said.

After Friday's game, Whittles said to those who suggested that staying close to Dunbar would be a plus, "We didn't just play them close, we beat 'em."

Junior quarterback Kevin Moran threw a pair of touchdown passes to Brian Rutland (37 yards) and Pat Mangum (28 yards) in the final 1:39 of the game so as not to waste a two-way performance by senior linebacker-running back Jake Trantin.

Trantin ran for 140 yards and three touchdowns and the returning All-County linebacker made 15 tackles on the other side of the ball.

Other upsets, results

Severna Park avenged last year's 30-0 season-opening loss at Calvert Hall with a 10-9 win over the Cardinals on Friday on a 27-yard field goal by Pat Bateman and a 14-yard touchdown run by Brent Sanders. ... Meade, 3-7 a year ago, opened with a 14-0 win at South River. ... After winning only one game in the previous two seasons, Glen Burnie gave coach Len Thomas a winning debut, 12-9, at North County as quarterback Marcel Thomas ran for a touchdown and passed for one. ... Southern posted a big win at Poly, 21-6, to spoil the debut of the Engineers' new coach, Roger Wrenn (formerly of Patterson).

Quick hit

Shayna Stearns, a returning All-County and second-team All-Metro field hockey player for defending Class 3A state champion Severna Park, has accepted a lacrosse scholarship from the University of Louisville.

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