Francis Scott Key weathered a lightning storm, but even on a clear day it couldn't prevent Middletown's offense from striking.
Because lightning forced suspension of Friday's Francis Scott Key-Middletown game after only four minutes, the game was rescheduled for Saturday morning.
The Middletown Knights proved to be early-risers. Quarterback Chad Beckett threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Eric Thomas on the game's first play and Middletown went on to a 37-0 win.
The score was 30-0 at halftime, and each touchdown was set up by an Eagles' miscue. A 2-yard punt, a partially blocked punt, two fumbles and an interception gave the Knights great field position for their five first-half scores.
Records, streaks, milestones
* Top-ranked City's 12-7 victory over No. 7 Gilman Friday extended the area's longest winning streak to 14.
* Sparrows Point's 32-6 loss to Towson Friday extended the area's longest losing streak to 33.
* No. 6 C. Milton Wright won its 29th consecutive regular-season game with a 36-0 win over Edgewood Friday.
* No. 8 Overlea's 43-0 victory over Hereford Saturday extended the Falcons' winning streak against Baltimore County opponents to 33.
* No. 11 Wilde Lake won its 24th straight Howard County League game, 41-0 over Atholton Saturday.
* Bel Air ended a 19-game losing streak with a 14-6 victory over Havre de Grace Friday.
Shoot, Brown can run
North County senior Frank Brown is putting a lot of run into the Knight's run-and-shoot offense.
About 342 yards' and five touchdowns' worth. That's what Brown rushed for in the No. 12 Knights' 52-20 rout of Chesapeake-AA Friday. He also had caught two scoring passes for a school-record seven touchdowns.
Despite Brown's staggering statistics, North County coach Chuck Markiewicz said his offense is still 80 percent passing.
"We only have four running plays, and we've only used two of the four," he said.
Markiewicz also said that Brown, a transfer from Southwestern, is "just starting to get the hang of [the offense]."
A wise Owl
To refer to someone as a grizzled rookie head coach seems to be a contradiction in terms, but it aptly describes Dundalk head coach Dave Dixon.
After serving as an assistant coach for 26 years at Dundalk, Dixon took over as the head man this season. And he has the Owls in first place in the Baltimore County 4A-3A League.
The Owls moved into the top spot after their 28-6 win over Franklin Saturday. Perry Hall had paved the way for the Owls by upsetting previ
ously unbeaten Woodlawn, 2-0, Friday.
Dixon said there isn't much difference between the roles of head coach and assistant.
"The only difference is that I now I have to talk to the newspaper people after the game," he said.
Klock giving it time
Oakland Mills coach Ken Klock is enduring the usual headaches that accompany a team in a rebuilding season. He has seen his inexperienced team make mental errors and commit costly turnovers.
But he also has seen gradual improvement. The once-powerful Scorpions may have turned a corner with their first victory of the season, 13-7, over Centennial in double overtime Saturday.
"The last three games we have had a much better effort," Klock said.
Oakland Mills running back Damion Smith led the way Saturday by rushing for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 46 carries.
How about Joe Montana?
After Dunbar's 30-0 rout of fifth-ranked Patterson Friday, Clippers coach Roger Wrenn was asked if Buddy Edmond -- the former Patterson quarterback who transferred to Mount St. Joseph this season -- would have made a difference.
"It wouldn't have mattered if Dan Marino was out there," he said.