Bowie coach Scott Chadwick knew that for his team to beat North Carroll, the Bulldogs would have to slow down Panthers running back Steve Suter.
They did just that, en route to a 21-6 victory in a battle of unbeatens at North Carroll last night.
Suter rushed for 109 yards and one touchdown on 31 carries to lead the Panthers (2-1). Jarrett Randall led the Bulldogs (3-0) with 101 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 17 carries.
"He's a great back," Chadwick said of Suter. "We had great field position and that helped. I don't think you could have written a better script for me," said Chadwick, who was an assistant coach at North Carroll for four seasons, and still lives in Hampstead.
"Give them credit," said Suter. "They controlled the line of scrimmage, especially in the second half.
"Me and the [offensive] line tried our best, but it didn't work tonight," said Suter, who entered the game with 482 yards rushing over his previous two games.
The Bulldogs took advantage of a North Carroll miscue in the second quarter to take the lead. After pinning North Carroll deep in its own end, the Bulldogs watched a Panther punt sail out of bounds at the North Carroll 29-yard line.
Six plays later, Randall scored from 5 yards out to put Bowie up 7-0 with 6: 18 left in the first half.
The Bowie defense keyed on Suter after that, holding the versatile back to only 21 yards before the half. The Panthers only collected 30 yards total offense on two possessions the rest of the half.
The Panthers came out fired up in the second half. After stopping the Bulldogs on three plays, North Carroll drove 69 yards in 11 plays to score on Suter's 1-yard run. The extra point, however, sailed wide right and Bowie held a 7-6 led.
The Bulldogs enlarged their lead on the next series. After a Brandon Wells 46-yard kickoff return, the Bulldogs drove 35 yards in four plays, scoring on a 9-yard pass from Dion Mitchell to Warren Winston to make it 14-6.
Bowie added more on its next possession, again taking advantage of good field position. After a Kyle Postell 41-yard punt return gave the Bulldogs the ball at North Carroll's 22, the Bulldogs scored three plays later when Randall ran it in from 6 yards to make the score 21-6.
The Panthers marched to the Bowie 7 the next time they had the ball, but a Regis Burket pass intended for Zack Wingate in the end zone on fourth down-and-goal fell short.
"They were bigger and stronger than we were and that was the difference," said Panthers coach Bill Rumbaugh. "We made some bad decisions, especially on special teams."