Jimmy Carter was in the White House, disco was hot and Cal Ripken was four months out of Aberdeen High School. It was 16 years ago that Atholton celebrated a victory over Wilde Lake.
Atholton's long gridiron drought ended yesterday afternoon at Wilde Lake at River Hill's mud-slicked field. Raider senior quarterback Jason Sandner's surprise bootleg on fourth-and-goal from the Wilde Lake 4 with a minute left tied the game at 13.
Junior kicker Sean Williams' point after put the Raiders on top, 14-13, and spoiled the Wildecats' homecoming.
Wilde Lake dropped to 4-3, 1-2 in the county. Atholton, off to its best start since 1986, improved to 5-2, 3-1.
"We kept running up the middle, so we thought they [Wilde Lake] would be looking for that play again," said Sandner of his touchdown run.
"We don't even have that play [in our playbook]. We just threw it out there for the first time."
Sandner barely outraced Wilde Lake senior linebacker Dain Lewis (14 tackles, two sacks) to the left corner of the end zone. Atholton, receiving big defensive plays from junior linebacker Levar Macon and Sandner thwarted Wilde Lake senior quarterback Jeff Johnson's last-ditch drive. Johnson's final pass fourth down to split end Barrett Wragg came up a yard shy at midfield.
"We haven't beaten them in a long time," said first-year Atholton coach Kevin Kelly. "They're still a good football team, so any time you beat them is a pick-me-up. We were just fortunate enough to get that last play near the end of the game."
The Wildecats scored on their first offensive drive on three plays with tailback Lewis (17 carries, 103 yards) carrying the final two times for 31 and 16 yards.
Lewis flattened one Atholton defensive back and dragged another into the end zone. The Wildecats failed to complete a two-point conversion pass after a high snap on the point-after attempt.
Raider senior Ricky Trott (216 all-purpose yards) handled the ensuing kickoff at the 7, broke up the middle, before cutting to the outside for a 93-yard touchdown return. Williams' point after gave Atholton a 7-6 advantage with 6:11 left in the first quarter.
Two series later senior return man Eric McDuffie took an end-around handoff on an Atholton punt and returned it 67 yards for a touchdown. Wilde Lake junior kicker Eric Leibe converted the extra point to push the Wildecats in front 13-7.
* Oakland Mills 41, Glenelg 0: Irving Conwell threw for a touchdown and rushed for two more as host Oakland Mills (5-2) downed Glenelg (2-5).