Wilde Lake overwhelmed by Damascus

Wildecats stopped by strong defense, big plays

Damascus 35 No. 12 Wilde Lake 6

State semifinals Class 3A

December 01, 2007|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special To The Sun

DAMASCUS -- Wilde Lake moved the ball nicely on the first drive of last night's Class 3A state semifinal game. The Wildecats made two first downs and used up more than four minutes before being forced to punt.

But No. 12 Wilde Lake couldn't do much else after that, needing nearly two quarters to make another first down. The aggressive Damascus defense shut down the Wildecats, and the Swarmin' Hornets made a string of big plays on offense to take command en route to a 35-6 victory.

Damacus (12-1) advances to the Class 3A state title game next week against No. 5 Hereford, which beat Lackey in last night's other state semifinal game. Wilde Lake finished the season 10-3.

Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVall said he could see what was coming after watching film of Damascus.

"We knew we were running into a buzz saw," DuVall said. "That's a good football team. That's a [real good] football team. I'm proud of my kids. They played hard all year long."

They played hard in this game also, but Damascus was able to neutralize their trademark speed. The Swarmin' Hornets limited Wilde Lake to 56 yards of total offense in the first half, and they jumped to a 20-0 lead at the break.

Wilde Lake running backs Jarrel Epps and Ashton Hayes combined for 363 yards in last week's second-round win over North Harford. But Epps (73 yards) and Hayes (55) often were slowed and kept between the tackles, rarely getting a chance to break free. Wilde Lake finished with 226 yards of total offense, 70 of which came on Christian Hough's 70-yard run in the final two minutes.

Hough scored the lone Wilde Lake touchdown, which came with 1:04 remaining and the Swarmin' Hornets holding a 35-0 lead.

"They did a good job of sealing us off," Wilde Lake quarterback Danny March said. "They just wanted to win."

Quarterback Kyle Frazier and running back Evan Zedler led the way. Frazier completed seven of 10 passes for 163 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for two scores, and Zedler rushed for 203 yards and two touchdowns as they combined for most of the team's 400 yards of offense.

Frazier threw a 57-yard touchdown pass - which bounced off a Wilde Lake defender - for a 7-0 lead with 3:16 left in the first quarter. Zedler ran for a 19-yard score, and Frazier sneaked in from 5 yards in the second period for the 20-0 lead. Zedler added a 56-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second half, and Frazier scored from 1 yard out later in the quarter for a 35-0 lead.

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