At halftime, Wilde Lake principal John Quinn neatly summed up the reason for yesterday's lopsided 47-7 Wildecats victory over rival Oakland Mills.
A lineman at Penn State during the 1974 and '75 seasons, Quinn said Wilde Lake's line is bigger than the one he played on with the Nittany Lions.
"Our tackles at Penn State were maybe 265 pounds," he said. "The tackles at Wilde Lake this season are 295."
The Scorpions simply couldn't match Wilde Lake's bulk and muscle on the line.
"We just ran straight at them and they were breaking," said A.J. Case, who rushed 22 times for 165 yards - all but 19 of those yards in the first half when he had touchdowns of 44 and 42 yards. He also scored in the third quarter on a 36-yard run after an interception.
"I hit the seams, and they were open," Case said. "My linemen did a great job. There wasn't much that Oakland Mills could do. The victory meant a lot because it was the first time Oakland Mills ever lost a homecoming game, and I had never beaten them during my career."
Oakland Mills (3-1 overall, 1-1 Howard County) won the previous two varsity games that Case played in, and the JV game his freshman season.
No. 13-ranked Wilde Lake (4-0, 4-0), which also received 131 yards on 14 carries from Austen Merrills, led 34-7 at halftime.
"It was hard to sustain that in the second half, but this team plays hard and works hard, and we were too big and too fast today," said Wildecats coach Doug DuVall. "We controlled the line and ate the clock, but I am going to get tired of seeing that quarterback."
Oakland Mills freshman Nick Finney played a sensational first half at quarterback, completing nine of 13 passes for 117 yards. He was stopped in the second half (0-for-8) mainly by his own receivers, who dropped three passes.
"I thought we'd throw better," said Oakland Mills coach Ken Hovet. "But we didn't help the freshman out. Our protection collapsed and we dropped balls. No. 69 [Dane Randolph] killed us. I don't think we blocked him all day."
Randolph, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound junior transfer from Jacksonville, Fla., said he expected a tough game.
"They couldn't run," Randolph said. "Doug [Smith] did his job."
Smith played nose guard and also was praised by DuVall.
"This was a tough position for Oakland Mills to be in," DuVall said. "I know because I've been there. They are a very young team that played hard all through the game, and he [Hovet] did a good job coaching."
Oakland Mills has 12 sophomores and three freshmen on its varsity.