Annapolis' Johnson picks off 3 extra yards after film review


After a check of the game films, did you know that Chris Johnson of Annapolis tied a county high school football record in a 34-8 romp over Glen Burnie on Oct. 1?

In my game story, I reported that Johnson had returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown, three yards shy of the county record 101-yard return by another Panther, Ahmed Middleton, in 1990.

Middleton's interception also came against Glen Burnie on a night in which he set a county record for most interceptions in a game (four).

Coach Roy Brown said after viewing the film that Johnson's return should be adjusted to 101 yards to tie Middleton.

"On the film you can see Chris in the end zone when he grabs it, but it's tough to tell if he was one or two yards deep, so we will officially call it a 101-yard return for the touchdown," said Brown.

There was some discussion by Brown and others that an interception in the end zone could not be returned, but it can.

Dan Stevens, commissioner of the Washington District Football Officials Association, said: "Only kicks can not be returned from the end zone. Kicks are dead when they go into the end zone per federation rules."

About my recent comment on officials being held accountable to reporters for making controversial calls, Stevens agrees his men should be and should not refuse to speak with the media.

"I think we owe it to the fans, who pay to get in, to know exactly what we called and why instead of leaving a lot of doubt," said Al Baldwin Sr., one of the top officials in the WDFOA.

In that Glen Burnie loss to Annapolis, can you believe the visiting Gophers had no penalties assessed against them while the host Panthers had eight for nearly 100 yards?

* Did you know that Broadneck's stellar junior pass receiver, Jason Smith, went into yesterday's homecoming game having broken his own school season records for pass receptions (was 31), receiving yards (was 556) and touchdowns caught (was five)?

With half the season left (including yesterday's sixth game), Smith had 38 receptions for 607 yards and nine touchdowns.

* Have you seen Broadneck High's glossy fall athletic program? Isn't it hands-down the best in the county?

But do one of the Bruins football fans have a refund coming for a patron ad in the program that says, "Beat Annapolis?" Why didn't somebody tell that guy that Broadneck dropped Annapolis from its football schedule this year?

* If Academy Awards went to JV football teams, wouldn't North County clean up? Check the names of these three JV Knights: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and Cesar Romero.

Curtis is a freshman running back built like a fireplug whom the kids call "Chocolate Thunder."

"Chocolate Thunder is legit, going to be a good one," said North County football coach Chuck Markiewicz while watching Curtis run over, around and through a few opposing JV players recently. The young man combines power and speed.

* How many of you have seen the Chesapeake High JV football team coached by Bernie Williams? Are they huge or what, with a few of the linemen tipping the scales at 270 to 300 pounds?

* Remember Greg "Nuke Laloosh" Arnold of "Bull Durham" fame? How could you forget the colorful former Orioles minor-league pitcher who has been impersonating Elvis and Tom Jones since his baseball days?

I ran into Arnold, a Glen Burnie resident, this past week, and he said his wife, Mandy, is expecting, and he has quite a name picked out.

Arnold has a son named Brooks Robinson after the former Orioles great who took Arnold under his wing at spring training in 1968. Arnold wants to name the latest Nolan Ryan Arnold if it's a boy.

Did you know that Orioles manager Johnny Oates once caught an Arnold no-hitter at Triple-A Rochester?

Isn't it great that Arnold's ex-voice coach and minor-league bat boy, Harrell Wilson, one of the last Tin Men, is back in the area working in Arnold's home improvement business?

* Did you lacrosse guys know that the North County Fall Lacrosse League for midget players starts today at Brooklyn Park Junior High, but you can still sign up by calling Walt Blahut of sponsoring Sportarama at (410) 859-8456 or Jerry Prodoehl of the Andover Apaches at (410) 544-0445?

* Finally, don't we all wish a speedy recovery to veteran Anne Arundel Umpires Association official Kevin Mahoney, who is recovering from a heart attack?

Mahoney, who had been working fall baseball and youth football, is the father of former standout Old Mill and Mayo Legion catcher Mike Mahoney, now at Catonsville Community College.

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