Backups help Poly advance, 28-6 3A football

If they never play another varsity football game, Poly juniors Jackie Wise and Francis Giles might merit varsity letters for their poise in yesterday's 28-6 Class 3A quarterfinal victory over No. 13 Howard.

The top-ranked Engineers' Greg Kyler (1,113 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns) turned in a stellar performance with 254 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns although Poly was out-gained, 251-248.


While Kyler (12 carries, 129 yards) was held to six yards and a touchdown in the first half, Wise, Giles and senior running back Louie Randall (20 carries, 72 yards) rose to the occasion.

With quarterback Charles English out with a knee injury and tight end Quory Paige nursing a groin injury, Wise called signals and Giles replaced Paige.


Wise completed just two of five passes for 24 yards, but the second was a 13-yard scoring strike to Giles with 6:57 left in the second quarter, set up by Kyler's 45-yard punt return to the Howard 15. They hooked up for the conversion pass also, giving the Engineers (10-0) a 15-0 lead that stood at halftime.

"Those new kids and our second-string center, Dwayne Powell -- my heart goes out to them for hanging tough," said Poly coach Augie Waibel.

Along with English and Paige -- who played sparingly -- running back Randy Beamon and center Will Smith are nursing injuries. All should return when Poly plays host to fourth seed C. Milton Wright (10-1) in Saturday's 1 p.m. semifinal. The Mustangs topped fifth seed LaPlata, 25-24, on Friday night.

Howard entered the game averaging 26 points while giving up six, and the Lions moved the ball well between the 20s. But Howard County scoring leader Guy Smith (1,122 yards, 15 touchdowns) was held scoreless and limited to 56 yards on 13 carries.

Quarterback Dalawn Parrish, who has passed for 706 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 524 yards and six touchdowns, was 10-of-19 yesterday, including a fourth-quarter, 46-yard scoring strike to Carlton Fox (four catches, 126 yards).

The Lions were thwarted in key situations by Poly's Brian Scott (two sacks), Zack Jeffers (an interception), Rashaad Kitchen and Robert Maddox, who had his sixth interception.

"We heard Guy Smith was an excellent runner, but our defense was up for them," said Scott, who had extra-point kicks after Poly's first and last touchdowns.

"We'll play C. Milton Wright with the same heart and determination," said second-team All-Metro lineman Joe Brown (287 pounds).


"Our offense and defense are great."