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OUTSIDE COMPETITION GETS THE BETTER OF COUNTY TEAMS

Anne Arundel County high school football teams started the 1990 season with a better cumulative record against out-of-county foes than last fall's opening slate, but still had a losing record. County teams were 4-7 against outsiders, and if you add the wins by Severn School and St. Mary's Labor Day weekend, that's a 6-7 start.

Last season at this time, county schools produced a dismal 3-9 mark the first full weekend, and with Severn and St. Mary's opening with lopsided losses, 3-11 overall. County schools (16) went on to compile a cumulative 19-41 record, including the 20-6 loss by AA's only playoff team Annapolis to Gaithersburg of Montgomery County, against outside competition while being outscored 1,078-619.

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County 4A schools were 6-11 against outside competition while the 3A, 2A, and 1A teamswere 10-14 and the three private schools (Severn, Spalding and St. Mary's) were 3-16. Public schools (13) were 16-25 together.

Most of those 1,078 points were given up by the non-4A schools who were dominated 812-385 while the eight larger schools were outscored 266-234.

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The county had only one winning week against the outsiders and that was a 5-3 slate the sixth full week. Only three county schools had winning records against the outsiders: Andover, which has merged with Brooklyn Park to become North County High, at 4-2, and 4A teams Arundel and Meade at 2-1 each.

Archbishop Spalding had the worse record of all in playing non-county squads at 0-6 followed by 0-3 Annapolis (4A), and two teams at 1-5 in Southern (2A) and St. Mary's.

In addition, county schools were shut out some 15 times by outsiders while posting only four shutouts of their own. Andover had a pair of whitewashes while Meade (4A) and Severn School had the others.

Severn however, was shut out twice as the private schools combined got blanked eight of the 15 times -- three each by St. Mary's and Spalding. County 4A schools were 1-3 in shutouts against the outsiders while the other smaller public schools were 2-4.

This opening weekend county schools got shutout thrice -- Spalding 34-0 by St. Paul's; Annapolis 21-0 by Friendly of Prince George's County and Glen Burnie, 14-0 by Queen Anne's. Old Mill had the only county shutout in the win column, 33-zip over LaPlata. County teams were outscored 204-113 the first full week, but 99 of those points were given up by Spalding, Chesapeake (lost to Thomas Stone 35-6) and Northeast (a 30-6 loser to Chesapeake of Baltimore County).

Including Severn's 13-12 victory over Bishop Walsh and St. Mary's 13-7 triumph over Model School of D.C. over Labor Day weekend, the county was outscored 223-139. Local 4A schools, the county's top teams, were only 2-4 and got outscored 102-66.

What do all these stats say about the caliber of our teams? I'm really not sure, so how about you telling me. Give me a call on my 24-HOUR SPORTSLINE, 647-2499 with your opinion as to why our 16 county schools as a whole are being pushed around by teams outside our county.

I've got a theory, but am not convinced it is the main reason and am anxious to hear from you before I offer my analysis. You don't have to divulge your identity on the 24-HOUR SPORTSLINE, but if you want me to quote you please, give your name and phone number.

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Those wishing to identify themselves, but preferring not to be named in print, can rely on their anonymity when calling.

Let me hear from you fans, parents and coaches as to what the crux of why our county teams are not faring well outside the county. It would make an interesting future column.

Now let's get to some of the top highlights and quotes from the first full football weekend.

St. Mary's Saints of second-year head coach Brad Best won its second in a row on Saturday by 23-22 in double overtime at John Carroll High in Harford County.

"It was great to win on the road again," said Best, whose Saints were avenging a 28-0 hammering at the hands of the Patriots a year ago.

"I thought our offensive line was outstanding and our defensive line was after John Carroll's first couple possessions."

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St. Mary's held a 15-7 lead with a minute to go when JC struck on a 60-yard bomb and added the two-point conversion to send the game into OT. After the home team scored in the second OT, but missed the conversion, the Saints got a four-yard TD run by Charlie Finamore and subsequent two-pointer by the senior back to win it.

Junior wingback Joe Conte rambled for 130 yards including a 24-yard TD jaunt on 16 carries and senior QB-kicker Charlie Griffith scored on a 1-yard plunge and booted the point after plus a 22-yard field goal in the third period.

Also, Saturday Glen Burnie's Gophers got blanked a second year in a row by the Queen Anne's Lions of the Eastern Shore, 14-0. The Lions shut out Glen Burnie 15-0 a year ago.

In Friday's action, the two Class 4A powers, Annapolis and Severna Park got manhandled at home by a pair of Prince George's foes. Friendly extended its winning streak to three in a row over Annapolis by 21-zip count, while Severna Park was overpowered by High Point, 19-13.

Annapolis had one potential TD fumbled into the end zone for a touchback as Ahmed Middleton lost the pigskin on the goal line after dashing 30 yards and it rolled out of the end zone going over to Friendly. Also, in the first half, the host Panthers had a 50-yard TD pass called back for an illegal motion penalty.

"I guess the bright spot for us was the passing of quarterback Darryl Foote," said an otherwise dejected Annapolis coach Roy Brown, who stood helpless with his staff on the sidelines as Friendly's Mike Brown plowed his way through the Panthers for 243 yards and three TDs (53-1-2) rushing.

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"Darryl completed 9 of 17 for 144 yards and one interception. Anytime we throw 9-for-17 for 144 yards, that's a season for us."

Brown was referring to the Panthers' run-oriented offense.

Carlos Evans was Foote's primary receiver with four receptions for 61 yards and Brown said "everyone of his receptions was a great catch."

Middleton grabbed three passes for 54 yards and Eric Tooles caught the other two. Tooles also intercepted a pass on defense.

In Severna Park's second straight loss to the Eagles from PG County, coach Andy Borland's Falcons got a dose of their own medicine as the winners ran over the home team with its power-I.

"They just ran over us with the power-I like we run, and we couldn't stop them and their big back (Milton Stone who gained 144 yards on 26 carries)," said Borland.

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The Falcons got a fine effort from sophomore QB Tim Bowerman who debuted with five completions in six attempts for 67 yards and one TD (8 yards to John Novak). Bowerman actually completed all six of his passes, but one was grabbed by the enemy.

Falcons' running back John Jennings rushed for 82 yards and a TD on 15 attempts.

Arundel managed to slip past Bowie for the first time in the last four tries by 14-13 while the wrong Chesapeake won. Chesapeake of Baltimore County ran over Northeast 30-6, but Chesapeake of AA County was ripped by Thomas Stone of Charles County, 35-6.

"I have some good news and bad news," said Chesapeake (AA) coach Tom Kraning on the 24-HOUR SPORTSLINE. "The good news is that with about 2 minutes to go in the first half, we had a 6-0 lead (on Jamie Robertson's 1-yard plunge), but the bad news is, they made us play the rest of the game."

Kraning praised the play of seniors Kenny Crogan, defensive tackle, and Mike Storm, middle linebacker.

"I'm not sure why, but for some reason, we just stopped blocking and tackling and Stone got the momentum (scoring 27 unanswered points in second half) and we were in big trouble."



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