What a game Friday night at Severna Park between two unbeaten teams renewing the county's oldest rivalry in the 40th year as No. 5 Annapolis squeaked by No. 14 Severna Park, 21-17.
The Fighting Panthers' dramatic victory came on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Mike Phaneuf to playmaker Rayvon Johnson with 34 seconds left. The stunning strike came after the Falcons had taken the lead at 17-14 on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Chris Odom to Paul Gillette with 1: 50 remaining.
The game was played in front of one of the three largest crowds ever at Severna Park, including many former players among them like Johnny Venizelos, who was the Falcons QB in the 1960 inaugural that ended in a 0-0 tie.
"It was one of the best football games I've ever been in," said 11th-year Annapolis coach Roy Brown.
The game was in stark contrast to last year when the Panthers rolled, 47-7, in J. P. Hines' first year as Severna Park coach.
"If they're not a top-10 team, I don't know who is," Brown said. "Jerry Hines has done a great job turning it around. That was as good an effort we've ever made against an outstanding team."
Only the third head coach in Falcons history, Hines said before this season that it was "a new era."
An Arundel grad who played for Buddy Hepfer, Hines unquestionably made his mark Friday night. While it may be a "new era" and the battle was fought in midseason rather than the final game as it was the first 39 years, Brown and Hines was just like Al Laramore (Annapolis) and Andy Borland (Severna Park) all over again.
"It was just like it was in the late 80s," said former Severna Park fullback-linebacker Kevin Schiavone, who is now an Annapolis assistant.
The series is now tied at 19 wins apiece with three ties, and the next one in year 2000 won't come fast enough.
Left hanging on the net
Sometimes acting on good intentions doesn't always work out.
Take the case of second-year North County boys basketball coach Mike Francis, who dropped out of the 25th Annapolis Cap City Classic this past week.
Taking a cue from the Knights' football team in raising money for the Kevin Ebersole Math Scholarship Fund, Francis has decided to host a Christmas tournament for the benefit of the memorial fund established by Ebersole before his death to bone cancer on Sept. 20.
To say the least, pulling out of the Cap City at such a late date has left Annapolis hanging for a fourth team. North County was committed to Cap City since last year.
"It's a nice idea, but they could have waited until next year to do it," said first-year Annapolis athletic director Dave Gehrdes.
Annapolis boys basketball coach John Brady hopes to get approval to name the 25th Cap City Classic after Fred Stauffer, who retired the end of last year after 29 years (1971-1999) as Panthers athletic director Northeast freshman Brian Carneal set an Anne Arundel County high school record for nine holes with a 5-under 30 at Eisenhower Golf Course in Crownsville on Wednesday. With five birdies and no bogeys, he also tied the course record for nine holes, said Eagles golf coach Brandt Schanberger.
Former Brooklyn Park High baseball coach Dennie DeWitt, who died at age 48 this week of a heart attack at his native Bellefonte, Pa., is being remembered by many of his former players and friends.
Donations in his memory should be made payable to the Bellefonte High School Baseball Association and mailed to Wetzler Funeral Home, 206 North Spring St., Bellefonte, Pa., 16823.
DeWitt played baseball and football at Bellefonte High and center field for a Penn State team that qualified for the College World Weries in 1973. Hired as a physical education teacher at Brooklyn Park in 1974, the following year McMullen made him an assistant coach.
When McMullen moved on to Broadneck in January 1982, DeWitt became the Bees baseball coach and was 95-79-1 in nine seasons.
"Mr. DeWitt was quite instrumental in my life, and I owe a lot to him," said John Mullinix, who spent six years as a manager to DeWitt's baseball team and was one of several to call the 24-hour Sportsline about DeWitt.
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