RISING SUN -- The players sensed the enormity of the situation immediately and set out to do it justice -- Bowling Brook Prep School won its first ever football game.
After they jumped and hollered for awhile, the Thoroughbreds quietly and quickly gathered together.
"You should be so proud of yourself," said coach Gary Myers to his Bowling Brook team after a 26-19 victory over West Nottingham Academy yesterday. " There will never be another time like this, winning your first game in the first year of football at the school."
In the season opener for both teams, Bowling Brook experienced a few anxious moments, which made the outcome all the more well-earned.
First, linebacker Tom Fallon of West Nottingham scored after recovering a fumble in the end zone. The visitors from Carroll County compounded their mistakes, being penalized on every other play for a spell.
Missed assignments, sloppy tackling and poor containment also assisted West Nottingham, which assumed a 13-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
Then 190-pound Triston Scott took over. After contributing a 35-yard run to spark Bowling Brook's first touchdown drive, Scott barreled 48 yards over left tackle to even matters. On defense, he delivered a block as teammate Todd Mebane picked off a pass and scored on a 40-yard return, lifting Bowling Brook to a 19-13 halftime lead.
Scott contributed more than half the team's yardage during the team's next scoring drive early in the third period, but his touchdown run from in close was nullified by a clipping penalty. No problem. Quarterback Rashaad Cobb promptly hit huge target Carlton Briscoe (6-3, 215) with a floater in the end zone to push Bowling Brook's lead to 26-13.
Nearly matching the explosiveness of Scott for West Nottingham was Marvin McLain. He made several exciting runs, finally getting in for his team's last score with about two minutes remaining.
"I'd say we met expectations but didn't exceed them," said Myers, who was quick to point out mistakes by his team. "We had two scrimmages, so we had a pretty good idea what some of these guys could do.
"We've got some good athletes who are going to get better, but we had some who were disappointing, too. Overall, we could have been better."
Bowling Brook, an alternative school for chronic juvenile offenders who are usually court-assigned to the facility for a year, started its football program just a few months ago.
A rigorous conditioning program started in June was followed by football-type training in August, so Myers was confident of his team's physical condition. "But from there," he said, "all the credit has to go to our coaches. Most of these kids hadn't played much organized ball. There has been an awful lot of work put in teaching the basic fundamentals on up."
A while back, Myers, a former assistant at Liberty and South Carroll high schools and Bowling Brooks' group living director, said, "I didn't put a lot of thought into winning. Competing and having fun was the main objective."
No. 1 Gilman 43, St. Paul's 7: The Greyhounds (3-0) scored 36 first-half points in its home win over St. Paul's.
No. 2 Randallstown 26, Patapsco 6: Junior halfback Davon Johnson rushed for 96 yards on 10 carries, scoring two touchdowns to lead the Rams (2-1) over Patapsco (1-2). Tyese Ademluyi had 60 yards on five carries and Jabari Savage rushed 70 yards -- including 30 for a touchdown -- on six attempts. Archie Trader completed five of 10 passes for 130 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown completion to Gary Bates.
No. 4 Milford Mill 36, Parkville 15: Senior Richard Johnson returned the opening kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown, and connected with senior Brandon Thompson for three scoring passes as the Millers (3-0) turned back the host Knights (2-1).
No. 5 Hereford 35, Catonsville 14: Ryan Vogel rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns as the visiting Bulls (3-0) upended the Comets (2-1). The Bulls rolled up 462 yards of total offense, including 280 on the ground. Quarterback Sean Wdowiak completed seven of nine passes for 154 yards and one touchdown.
No. 7 Oakland Mills 7, River Hill 6: The defending state Class 1A champion Scorpions (3-0, 2-0 Howard County) scored on a game-opening 66-yard touchdown drive, then held off the host Hawks (2-1, 1-1) despite the ejection of their starting quarterback J. T. Rembert.
Robert Roche, who played quarterback the second half for the Scorpions, kicked the game-winning extra point then made a game-saving sack with 1: 40 left to play and the Hawks threatening at the Oakland Mills 12-yard line.
Dundalk 26, No. 8 Eastern Tech: Dundalk's Esker Mance ran for three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 2: 58 left to play, and the unbeaten Owls surprised host Eastern Tech (2-1) in a Baltimore County 3A/4A game.
Mance, a senior fullback, rushed for 248 yards on 25 carries and had two receptions for 28 yards. Dundalk was 5-5 last year, and hasn't had a winning season since 1992.
No. 9 Patterson 42, Southern-B 12 -- Rashidi Scott rushed 10 times for 74 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Clippers (3-0) over the Bulldogs (1-2).