No. 9-ranked Hereford's run at a second consecutive Class 1A state championship was stopped by Prince George's County's Forestville, 35-17, in a semifinal at Hereford last night.
The Knights (10-2) will play the winner of today's semifinal game between No. 13 Oakland Mills and Cambridge-South Dorchester the University of Maryland's Byrd Stadium next weekend for the state title.
In suffering only their third loss in the last 36 games, the Bulls (10-2) were unable to become the first Baltimore County team to make a return trip to College Park and the first area team to do so since Dunbar in 1994 and 1995.
After leading 17-13 at halftime and effectively slowing Forestville's wing-T offense, Hereford found itself shut down in the final 24 minutes.
"They dominated the football game," said Hereford coach Steve Turnbaugh. "We knew what we were up against. We saw things from the press box that we thought we could do, but we were just out-'athleted' across the board."
The Knights, who won at Allegany last weekend, scored on their first three possessions of the second half as Deangelo Bullock, Ed Walker and Andrew Payton put across touchdowns.
Gary Morgan, who stands only 5-foot-7, proved to be the biggest thorn in Hereford's side last night. The senior rushed for 107 yards and scored twice, including the opening, 85-yard kickoff return that put the Knights up 7-0 just 14 seconds into the game.
Still, Forestville wouldn't have the lead again -- at 21-17 -- until 4: 13 remained in the third period on a sneak by Bullock.
On the Bulls' next possession, Walker hit Hereford quarterback Chris Lauer from the blind side, causing a fumble that the Knights recovered at Hereford's 17.
Three plays later, Walker (78 yards) went wide to his left and turned the corner for a 14-yard touchdown, extending the lead to 27-17. The Bulls could not recover.
"They blew us off the ball a couple times, but we came right back," said junior fullback Reg Cavender, who rushed for 65 yards and two scores. "We tried to fight the rest of the game, but the game slipped away with their speed."
The Bulls got their first scoring opportunity after the Knights fumbled on their first play from scrimmage, and Dan Saunders recovered at the Forestville 9.
On fourth and goal from the 3, Cavender went in off left tackle with only a second remaining in the opening quarter to pull Hereford even. He later scored again, putting the Bulls ahead, 14-7.
Hereford's defense was controlling the line of scrimmage, holding the Knights' offense to 30 yards in 14 plays. But on play No. 15, Morgan took a handoff on a counter play, shot through the middle, and went 74 yards, bringing the Knights to 14-13 with 5: 17 left in the first half. A 20-yard field goal by Hereford's Pat Devereux finished the first-half scoring.
Forestville 7 6 14 8 -- 35
Hereford 7 7 3 0 -- 17
F--Morgan, 85 kickoff return (Bullock kick)
H--Cavender, 3 run (Devereux kick)
H--Cavender, 1 run (Devereux kick)
F--Morgan, 74 run (kick blocked)
H--Devereux, 20 field goal
F--Bullock, 1 run (Morgan run)
F--Walker, 14 run (run failed)
F-Payton, 14 run (Bullock run)
Pub Date: 11/21/98