Oakland Mills junior quarterback Irving Conwell figured that giving up a dance was a small price to pay for winning a football game.
Conwell, who transferred to Oakland Mills (5-2 overall, 4-0 league) this season after playing two years at Hammond, had thought about attending Hammond's homecoming dance last night -- depending upon how badly his team beat Hammond (3-4, 1-3) yesterday.
After Oakland Mills crushed the Bears, 31-0, Conwell decided his presence at the dance would not be welcome.
"No way I can go now," he said, grinning ear-to-ear. "It's too risky. I'm going to Centennial's instead."
Conwell's best friend, Hammond junior quarterback Tim Spruill, suffered his worst game of the season.
Spruill was the one Hammond player Oakland Mills knew it had to control.
To stop Spruill, Oakland Mills coach Ken Hovet moved two of his best players, Jake Daft and Brian Howard, to defensive end positions.
"We wanted to keep him in the pocket because he's effective if he gets outside," Hovet said. "Our defense did an excellent job of exerting controlled pressure. Then, in the second half when we knew they had to pass, we blitzed all the time. Paul Brown especially had a great game for us."
Oakland Mills came up with five sacks in the second half, three interceptions and one fumble recovery as a result of the pressure.
Including two 15-yard penalties and a 9-yard quarterback sack, Hammond had minus 6 yards of offense in the first half.
The Bears, who lost 40 yards in sacks, and a couple of other rushing losses, had a net gain of 11 yards in the second half.
Meanwhile, Oakland Mills' offense ran well against the Bears.
Daft rushed 21 times for 188 yards and two touchdowns, leaving the game with 1,011 yards for the season. The Scorpions had 316 total yards rushing and 35 passing.
"We didn't want to pass. We wanted to control the ball so Spruill wouldn't get it," Hovet said. "We had hoped to run to the strong side, but they stacked that up early so we ran to the weak side. Jake eventually gets his yards no matter where we run."
Hammond coach Joe Russo was realistic about the result. "We were just outmanned and outclassed," he said.
But he was a little disappointed with the way Spruill played.
"Tim has been great all season but just had a bad game today," Russo said. "He missed some receivers and was caught out of position on defense."
Russo said the counter trap and the sweep hurt his team the most.
"We did too much arm tackling. And that No. 45 [Lang Wethington] killed us today," he said.
Wethington, a fullback and linebacker, threw lead blocks for Daft, made a bunch of tackles and recovered a fumble.
Howard, who had a 37-yard run to set up Oakland Mills' first touchdown, also was impressive.
And Fardan Carter scored twice, running 30 yards for Oakland Mills' second touchdown.
The three Scorpion interceptions went to Conwell, Mark Dymczenski and Casey Moffit, who returned his 35 yards for a touchdown.