Gilman's Ambrose Wooden patterns his game after Virginia Tech's Michael Vick, and in yesterday's 41-0 rout at unranked St. Paul's, the 6-foot, 180-pound sophomore quarterback did his best imitation of him.
Employing his sub-4.3-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Wooden darted his way to 209 of Gilman's 344 rushing yards and scores of 22, 12 and 85 yards. Gilman (3-0) won its 24th straight game and collected its 13th shutout in that span, having outscored opponents by a combined 847-124.
So, how does it feel to quarterback a team that has outscored this year's rivals, 103-0, and achieved a No. 1 state ranking by the Associated Press, a No. 10 in USA Today's East Region and No. 40 by FoxFab50?
"Pretty good, sometimes. Hard to believe. It's a challenge," said Wooden, who is filling the void left by two-time All-Metro Ryan Boyle.
"Ryan coached our quarterbacks all summer," Wooden said. "Once he pulled me aside and gave me a little pep talk about keeping my head, my focus and not getting frustrated."
Wooden rushed for 55 yards in a game-opening drive that covered 80 yards in nine plays before Malcom Ruff scored from one yard, and Tilghman Morton kicked one of five extra points.
St. Paul's played valiantly the remainder of the first period, sacking Wooden once. But Gilman wore down St. Paul's (1-1), whose 33 total yards came mostly of f Brenden Gill's second-half passes to Walter Hill (seven receptions, 94 yards).
Gilman led, 14-0, after Napoleon Syke's 54-yard, end-around run to his left 7:58 before halftime, and Jason Lee's 1-yard run that finished off a 10-play, 48-yard drive with 2:14 left in the first half.
St. Paul's drove to Gilman's 6-yard line, but Tab Kolkin sacked Gill, Aaron Nocar tipped a pass away from Hill in the end zone, and J.D. Nelson intercepted Gill before falling out of the back of the end zone.
Others playing well, defensively, were All-Metro Defensive Player of the Year, Starrett Esworthy, with a sack and a pass breakup, and Matt Willsey, with a fumble recovery and a sack.
Matt Novak's fumble recovery set up one of Wooden's scores, and Yeardley Green registered a sack.
"The shutout's pretty important to us right now," said 6-4, 210-pound defensive lineman, Greg Lotz. "They came close [to scoring], but those were our second-team guys, and they really stepped up."