Duane Fisher, back at wide receiver after a year at quarterback, scored three touchdowns, and No. 9 C. Milton Wright scored in every quarter in producing a 30-12 victory over No. 3 City in Bel Air last night.
The game was capsulized in one brief moment halfway through the first quarter when Fisher scooped up a City fumble and raced 60 yards to score. Not only did he have a brilliant night, adding touchdown receptions of 78 yards (ran the last 50 after getting behind a defender) and 10 yards, but City self-destructed at every turn.
The Knights, coming off an 8-2 season and with their starting backfield intact, sprung loose two of their speedsters, junior Taber Small and senior Damian Beane, who scored on runs of 52 and 73 yards, respectively.
Otherwise, it was a horror show for coach George Petrides. Quoted in the preseason as saying, "I like what I see," the veteran coach found little to like about this game.
The punter dropped two balls before he could get kicks away; a running back was untouched when the ball slipped out of his hands before he could get out of his own backfield, there was another fumble recovery, and two pass interceptions.
For C.M. Wright, Chris Russell kicked a 31-yard field goal and three extra points and punted superbly. The Mustangs, 9-2 a year ago when they were co-champions of the Harford County League, had some serious graduation losses, but it was not noticeable. Coach Steve Harward's team picked up the pace seemingly without losing a beat.
Aside from Fisher's heroics, the team had only one sustained drive, taking 5:09 to go 57 yards in 12 plays in the second quarter, with junior quarterback Todd Shilow going over from the 1. That made it 21-6.
Russell punted six times, angling the ball out of bounds or over the heads of defenders to roll dead, so that the visitors could not unleash some of their speed.
The Wright defense was outstanding in making the lead stand up, led by linemen Jake Kramer, Rob Bennett, Scott Rudolph and Ted May, and defensive back Tim Jahnigen. They got help from the Knights' offense, but the defense still applied the pressure when it had to.
City's defense, which spent a long night on the field, got great work from linemen Aaron Roberts, Jason Ashe, and Anthony Salley, especially in the first half when the Knights limited Wright to 23 rushing yards on 16 carries.