Who needs slot machines and casinos, when you can watch Chuck Markiewicz and his North County Knights?
Ever the riverboat gambler in his run-and-shoot offense, Markiewicz gambled with a reverse option pass on fourth-and-one at the opponents' 45 in the third period. It worked and led to the go-ahead touchdown and ultimate 26-23 victory at Eleanor Roosevelt in Prince George's County yesterday.
"We just kind of outlasted one another and I think we were fortunate because we didn't play particularly well," said Markiewicz. "We won on guts. Our kids catch whatever is thrown to them."
Corey Wright's 27-yard option pass to Chris Mangum (eight receptions for 159 yards, one touchdown) for a first down at the Raiders' 18 set up quarterback Mike Evans' perfect pass to Wright (eight receptions, 95 yards, three touchdowns) in the left corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
Wright cradled the loft from Evans (21-for-36, 247 yards, four touchdowns) inside the chalk by inches before being driven out DTC of the bounds by his defender.
"That was the only place it could have been caught," said Markiewicz.
Bobby Lincoln's point-after kick gave the Knights a 19-16 lead with about four minutes left in the third period.
Roosevelt regained the lead about two minutes later on a 19-yard scoring pass set up by an Evans sack and subsequent fumble recovered by the Raiders' Sam Goines.
Evans to Wright from 39 yards out down the right sideline was the game-winner with about five minutes left. The Marvin Mobley-led defense did the job from that point to preserve the victory.
Mobley, middle linebacker and three-year starter, forced a fumble that was recovered by the Knights' Michawn Yuvienco at the North County 25 in the last three minutes. Mobley also intercepted a tipped pass at the Raiders' 43 to enable his team to run out the clock.
"Marvin hasn't been playing much because of some problems at home," said Markiewicz. "Having him on the field is a big lift for our team because he's been our spiritual leader since 10th grade."
Mobley and his mates held power running back Kevin Brooks to just 14 yards on nine carries in the second half after the latter had rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown on 14 first-half attempts.
"We adjusted things at the half, used a little more 5-2," said Mobley.
It was No. 4 North County's second win at Roosevelt in three years and the third overall in four years with yesterday's game as the last in the series.
The Knights opened with a 28-18 triumph at Roosevelt in 1994 and went on to win the 4A state championship.
Eleanor Roosevelt hammered the Knights, 58-29, last year in Ferndale. Roosevelt went on to make the 4A playoffs. North County started 0-2, went 7-3 and missed the playoffs for the first time in five years.
"We thought about what happened last year and didn't want to re-live that," said Markiewicz.
* St. Mary's 21, Pallotti 0: Ryan Metzbower completed seven of 14 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown to lead host St. Mary's (1-0) past Palotti (0-1). Metzbower rushed 10 times for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Pub Date: 9/08/96