Ask the Wilde Lake football team what a difference a week makes.
A week ago the Wildecats were 1-3 after losing to Oakland Mills, 27-7. And they had suffered further humiliation from an Oakland Mills announcer who repeatedly made comments that outraged Wilde Lake fans and coach Doug DuVal.
L It was about as low as the Wilde Lake program had ever been.
Then along came last Saturday's 21-14 victory over Hammond, and Wilde Lake suddenly is rejuvenated -- a team that is talking county championship again.
Ask the Wildecats what a difference 19 seconds makes.
That's how much time remained when Wilde Lake scored the winning touchdown against Hammond. The Wildecats had lost once in overtime already and didn't relish another overtime -- especially with Hammond's Tim Spruill quarterbacking.
Instead, Wilde Lake sophomore quarterback Tony Jackson, starting his third game, capped an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
It was a great personal moment for Jackson, who fumbled five times in his first start against Southern and then was sacked six times by Oakland Mills.
"Nineteen seconds saved 22 years of coaching because we were about to go dead in the water," DuVal said.
Hope is what has kept the young team going while struggling against adversities that no other county team has faced.
While Wilde Lake High is being rebuilt, the Wildecats live a gypsy life, commuting 4 1/2 miles each way to practice, playing their home games at Howard and practicing under primitive conditions with makeshift locker rooms and toilet facilities.
The Wildecats beat Hammond the old-fashioned way -- with off-tackle running out of a wishbone.
"They tried to sweep us early and we stopped that," Hammond coach Joe Russo said. "Then they just handed it to the tailback and had five guys blocking and got 380 yards rushing."
Dain Lewis picked up 162 yards and Alan Anderson had 102.
"Anderson's 20-yard run set up the winning touchdown," Russo said. "We just couldn't stop them."
Spruill was Hammond's offense. He had 54 yards rushing and 22 yards passing. He also intercepted two passes, returning one 64 yards for a touchdown.
The Bears led 14-0 early in the second quarter and appeared on their way to an easy victory against an apparently down-and-out team.
But Wilde Lake picked itself up, containing Spruill by playing seven defensive backs. Hammond had the ball for only five first-half plays.
"Our plan was to keep the ball away from Spruill," DuVal said.
Wilde Lake travels to Howard Saturday, and it knows that a win over the league-leading and defending county champs would spring it back into serious title contention.
Vikings stun Atholton
Before Mount Hebron's boys soccer team upset Howard yesterday, it pulled off its first shocker Friday, edging Atholton, 1-0. Tim Deppen, a transfer from New Jersey, scored.
The Vikings (6-2, 2-1) have struggled offensively, but the defense has produced three shutouts.
They nearly missed the Atholton game because the bus was late.
"We were supposed to play at 3 p.m. but the bus didn't arrive at Mount Hebron until 3:20," Vikings coach Kevin Good said. "It had been on a field trip to Annapolis and a kid got lost for two hours so they couldn't leave without him.
"Atholton had only one good scoring chance and we could have put it away early."
Good switched the emphasis of his team from offense to defense, and it has paid off. Last season, the Vikings were 4-8 overall and 1-6 in the league. This season only two teams have scored more than two goals against them. They've lost to Oakland Mills, 1-0, and to McDonogh, 4-0.
"McDonogh was our only poor game. They hit a 25-yard rocket in the upper corner and converted off two 20-yard direct kicks," Good said. "We missed a penalty kick and a breakaway."
Mount Hebron rallied from 2-1 down to beat Linganore, 3-2, in overtime. "We scored with a minute left in regulation and then with two minutes left in the second overtime," Good said.
Sophomore midfielder Pat Halter (four goals, five assists) has been the top scorer.
Sophomore sweeper Mike Stromberg, junior stopper Jason Reese, sophomore fullback Rob Graham and junior fullback Terrence Buckley have teamed with senior goalkeeper Shane Ardo defensively.
The Glenelg Country School boys soccer team, led by Spanish exchange student Dan Sueiras (eight goals, one assist), is 6-1-1.
Brad Eyre (four, two), Scott Zimmerly (three, five) and Chris Lindenau (three, three) also have contributed offensively. The defense has been led by goalkeeper Henry Johnsen, sweeper Chris Lehmann and stopper David Spangler.