After taking what Towson High coach Chad Knippenberg described as a "hiatus" for a year, the Generals and Dulaney met on the gridiron for what used to be — and the coaches hope to restore — one of the area's most contested and heated rivalries.
While Towson (5-5) played as though the season-ending showdown was as important as ever, the Lions (3-7) showed they still have some catching up to do in the wake of a 62-21 loss to the Generals on Saturday afternoon.
Dulaney now leads the inaugural Rivalry Cup standings, 16-15, although there are plenty of opportunities remaining for either school to gain two points for each varsity win and one point for junior varsity triumphs during the 2013-2014 school year.
The Generals bolted to a 21-0 advantage on a 5-yard dive by junior quarterback Ronje Wright in the first quarter before Dulaney responded in the second period on a 15-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Gary Bernardez to junior wideout Kevin Cockerham.
Towson added scores by Wright and senior fullback Brandon Straughter to lead 35-6 at halftime before Straughter next touchdown started a running clock mandated by the so-called "mercy" rule that is enforced when there's a differential of 35 points or more.
Bernardez halted the running clock, however, when he sidestepped several defenders on his way into the end zone on a 21-yard jaunt with 3:06 left in the third quarter.
Towson wasted little time re-enforcing the rule and their dominance on Wright's 46-yard scoring run.
Even so, Bernardez wasn't through making his presence felt. His 11-yard pass to senior tight end Aaron Sless and conversion run made it, 48-21, with 9:23 remaining.
Junior running back Kenny Young's 7-yard run was Towson's answer before senior teammate Robert Jones' scintillating 85-yard interception return closed out the scoring.
Knippenberg said that his team's trip to play Allegany in Western Maryland last weekend, "toughened" the Generals for the Dulaney encounter.
He also credited center Pj Lenhart, guards Nico Regalbuto and Kevin Spencer and tackles Peter DeGuzman and Oscar Moylan for helping the ground assault gouge the Lions.
The coach added that he thinks the reinvigorated rivalry with the Lions could be a lot closer.
"Bernardez is a heckuva a ballplayer, and I thinks he's only going to get better," he said. "They're getting better as a team, too."
First-year Dulaney coach Daron Reid said that he's looking forward to having a team that knows his system better.
"Even though our record's the same as last year, the kids are starting to grasp the concepts," he said. "They're starting to buy into what we're teaching."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun