Junior Rich Juergenson and sophomore Duane Fisher each scored two touchdowns, as No. 8 C. Milton Wright rolled over visiting Joppatowne, 39-6, in a game matching Harford County foes with similar 7-1 overall, 5-1 county records.
As it developed, those were about the only similarities.
This one was decided in the first quarter when Wright built a 12-0 lead, and Joppatowne saw its first two possessions end in a fumble and a punt and the Mariners had to wait until their third series for a first down.
Still, the visitors featured excellent speed and were explosive on offense. They finally showed it in the fourth quarter when Andre Turner broke a 90-yard touchdown run on a kickoff return, but at the time, his side was down, 32-0.
Ahead 19-0 at the half -- Joppatowne had a 44-yard pass play from quarterback Matt Berger to speedster Alonzo McDowell to the Wright 7-yard line, but the first half expired before another play could be run. The home team started the third period with a 14-play drive that consumed almost eight minutes and ended with a 1-yard plunge by Juergenson.
Where Wright had gone to the air in the first half because the running game was not producing its usual chunks of yardage, it was the runners who padded the margin in the second half.
"That's why that first series of the second half was so important. We controlled the ball for a long time and got points out of it," said Wright coach Steve Harward.
"We told them we had to get after people," assistant coach Dick Fordyce said of his halftime words with the offensive unit. "In the second half, the line did a much better job of blocking and Juergenson not only ran well, but did a solid blocking job, letting our runners get into the secondary."
With most of the passes coming in the first half, quarterback Mike Schmidt was 10-for-15 for 163 yards, with the 6-foot-2 Fisher hauling in six for 130 yards. Rushing, Jason Tharpe had 24 carries for 124 yards and one touchdown, and Juergenson added 52 yards. "That first fumble hurt us," said Joppatowne coach John Kling of his side's early turnover. "We knew we could run on them, but we got behind so quickly, and it's awfully hard to play catch-up."