If the fourth game of four consecutive home games for the Arbutus Big Red (4-1), Saturday, Aug. 16, is anything like the first three games, fans of the elite semipro football squad should expect a lot of points from the home team’s offense and a shutout from the defense.
In the three previous home tilts at the Arbutus Middle School gridiron, the Big Red has outscored their opponents by a combined score of 100 to 0.
The home streak started with a 21-0 whitewash of the Washington Warriors.
They followed that with a 34-0 shellacking of the Richmond Hornets.
Most recently, on Aug. 9, the Big Red dismantled the Tri-County Crusaders, of Jackson, NC, 45-0.
“This team is really, really good. We’ve got depth, two people deep, for every position,” Big Red coach Ulander Giles said.
That was proven against the Crusaders when Ray Mack played his first game of the season, following his campaign with the Baltimore Mariners indoor football squad, and he caught two touchdowns passes from quarterback Stewart Long.
One went for 69 yards and the other churned up 50 yards.
“He’s a receiver that is going to go get the ball and he has the ability to explode and strenght to run with it,” Giles said.
Mack also returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown.
That wasn’t the only special team highlight of the night.
New kicker Jerome Thompson made three field goals and could have had a fourth except for a botched snap.
Ryan McGowan, who had kicked for seven years, is the backup kicker, but Thompson’s emergence has given him a chance to focus on his natural offensive and defensive line positions.
That’s the type of deep depth Giles has enjoyed all season.
He also has talent at the quarterback position.
Reserve Kevin Ford relieved Long and tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Moody.
Running back Brian Chapman, a Catonsville High graduate, rushed for 44 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Tim Fobbs had two interceptions and 6-foot, 285-pounder Michael Greenlove had a pair of sacks.
Most of the rest of the tackles were spread out over the entire team, which was fine with Giles because he got to see several of his reserves.
That ultimately leaves the coach with a pleasant problem.
“It’s hard when you have so much talent because everybody wants the ball and everybody wants to play,” Giles said.
Arbutus hosts the Western Maryland Stags on Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. at Arbutus Middle School.
The Big Red defeated the Stags 38-6 on the road on July 19 and started a four-game winning streak.
That victory came after they opened the season with a 28-22 loss at the Northern Neck Rivermen.
The Big Red will get their chance for redemption on Sept. 13 when they will host the Rivermen at Arbutus Middle in the final regular-season home game of the season.
Before that, they will play on the road at the Carolina Stallions (Aug. 23) and at the Virginia Titans (Sept. 6).
They have a bye Labor Day weekend.