Western Tech's most potent weapon -- its speed -- was on full display at Lansdowne last night.
The Wolverines converted on several deep passes, and got a 77-yard touchdown reception from tight end Zack Oleszczuk, to blaze to a 28-20 win over the Vikings before an overflow crowd.
"We have the most speed in our league," said Western coach Jason Blind, whose team improved to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the Baltimore County 1A-2A Division.
That was evident several times, as quarterback Tom Smith and the Wolverines' fleet-footed receivers capitalized on advantages in both size and quickness against the Lansdowne secondary.
Wide receiver Joe Cromwell put the Wolverines ahead for good when he ran under a Smith fourth-down pass for a 26-yard scoring play and a 21-14 lead with 9: 15 left in the third quarter. That came four plays after Smith (8-for-12, 185 yards) and Cromwell connected on a 34-yard pass play.
Smith threw his third touchdown of the game later in the third quarter, zipping a 1-yard slant to Michael Goodwin for a 28-14 lead.
"Cromwell and Goodwin got big catches when we needed them," Blind said.
Lansdowne (2-2, 1-2) tried to muster an answer behind All-County running back Jerald Hurt, who finished with 25 carries for 156 yards. During a 16-play drive to start the fourth quarter, Hall carried five times, and quarterback Micah Stanovich converted two fourth-down plays. Stanovich capped the drive with a 2-yard quarterback sneak that cut the Western lead to 28-20 with 5: 25 to play.
Western's speed again proved too much, though. Smith hit Goodwin on a 25-yard fly pattern that moved the ball deep into Lansdowne territory and left the Vikings few options when they got the ball back with just over a minute left and no timeouts.
"We made a couple key mistakes, and we let the big play beat us," said Lansdowne coach Ted Bell.
Western, which came into the game already assured of surpassing last year's record (1-9), needed just five offensive plays to jump to a 14-0 lead.
A bad punt snap on Lansdowne's first possession set up Western at the Vikings' 9-yard line. Two plays later, Domonique Foxworth scored on a 4-yard run.
Three plays into the Wolverines' next possession, Smith and Oleszczuk teamed up on a 77-yard scoring play. Oleszczuk caught a short pass in the flat, broke a tackle and raced up the right sideline for the score. Foxworth added the two-point conversion.
Foxworth finished with 20 carries for 103 yards, but one of his biggest plays came on defense. He stuffed Stanovich on a fourth-and-three play from the Western 35-yard line midway through the third quarter, which started the Western drive that culminated in Smith's short touchdown pass to Goodwin.
After falling behind 14-0, Lansdowne got back in the game quickly thanks to Hurt.
He reeled off runs of 31 and 16 yards during a 58-yard scoring drive, and finished the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run with 3: 13 left in the first quarter. Four plays later, Hurt took a Western punt at his own 22, cut to his left, found a seam and followed an escort of blockers up the left sideline for a 78-yard touchdown and a 14-14 halftime tie.
Pub Date: 9/25/99