DuVall denied in state final

varsity class 3a football

Wolverines run off with championship

December 05, 2008|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,sandra.mckee@baltsun.com

Many years ago, Doug DuVall handed a football trophy to a kid. Last night, that kid took away what could have been DuVall's last trophy.

In DuVall's final game as Wilde Lake coach after 36 years, his Wildecats fell to Westlake, 13-0, in the Class 3A state championship game at M&T Bank Stadium. The title was the first for Westlake and coach Dominic Zaccarelli, who recalled that first meeting with DuVall.

"I was 8 or 9 years old and went to Thunder Hill Elementary School in Columbia," said Zaccarelli, who has coached Westlake for 17 years. "Doug had just gotten the job at Wilde Lake, I think, and he gave out the trophies at youth league. Who would have dreamed we'd come full circle?

"He's one of the most respected coaches, not only in the state, but in the country. His kids play hard for him, and it was an honor to play against him and his team tonight."

DuVall said: "I couldn't be prouder of my team. My kids played hard. They came a million miles this year, and they'll always be champions in my eyes. I wish we would have won for them, but you don't win everything in life."

There was not much difference between Westlake (11-2), the No. 4 seed from Charles County, and Wilde Lake (12-2), the No. 5-ranked team in the area. They both played strong defense, forcing punt after punt. They both had powerful offenses that couldn't consistently move the football.

But the Wolverines were able to spring Devon Smith on a punt return that he took 88 yards down the sideline for a touchdown in the first quarter.

"We played great defense," said DuVall, who won five state championships at Wilde Lake. "We had one little mistake on offense [the punt return], and they had some speed. We played tough and couldn't get it going offensively, and that was it."

Westlake's Antoine Reese (131 rushing yards) broke off a 66-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for the only other score.

Wilde Lake quarterback Danny March had a team-high 57 rushing yards and twice put the football on the fingertips of Chaz Cousins-Lee, the first one in the end zone and the second on Westlake's 20-yard line, but the receiver could not secure either.

"I'm just trying to forget about dropping those passes," Cousins-Lee said. "I'm a team player, and I would have loved to have made those catches for my team."

Wilde Lake had so many plays that were so close to making a difference.

"Yes, we just missed making the big plays, and the plays we just missed they made," March said. "Little League is the last time I remember playing in a game like this."

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