Sparrows Point's James Rehak easily could have been distracted entering Thursday night's Baltimore County 2A-1A League game at Pikesville.
Tropical Storm Isabel had caused the water of Jones' Creek, a tributary of the Patapsco River, to rise enough to destroy the family's Atlantis Marina surrounding his home in Edgemere.
"There was 5 feet of water in the marina, and it totaled six boats. I worked with my dad and five of his workers for three or four days cleaning it up," said Rehak, describing damage his father, James Sr., estimated at more than $200,000. "There was enough debris - wood, pieces of boat - to fill three Dumpsters."
The junior linebacker/tight end was, nevertheless, focused enough to play a key role in the Pointers' come-from-behind 20-19 victory over Pikesville. The win ended a six-game losing streak for the Pointers, whose last victory was a forfeit by Chesapeake-Baltimore County last season.
School archives show the Pointers (1-2 overall, 1-0 league) hadn't won a contested game since 1998, according to athletic director Russ Lingner.
Down 13-0 in the first period and 19-6 at the half, Sparrows Point needed Rehak's eight tackles, two sacks and two pass breakups to lead a defense that shut out the Panthers in the second half.
Offensively, Rehak made key blocks for running backs David Brady (176 yards, one touchdown) and John McDowell (197 yards, two touchdowns). Brady also kicked an extra point and made an interception. Matt Rose had a sack, David Leisher a fumble recovery, and Danny Thompson an interception.
"This storm raised a lot of emotion in me. I can't get in fights, so I just went out and hit whoever had the ball," said Rehak, 16, whose school has been used as a shelter for storm victims. "I got a good block on this one guy during John's first touchdown. I pancaked him. I was really able to focus everything into the game. It was a big release for me."
Sparrows Point was 0-10 in 1999, according to Lingner, did not field a team in 2000, was 0-10 in 2001 and 1-9 last fall.
DuBois' deed doer
Quarterback/defensive back Marcus Parham of W.E.B. DuBois (3-1) of Baltimore City did it all in Friday's 20-14 win at Centennial of Howard County. He rushed for 120 yards and one touchdown, returned a fumble 90 yards for another score and grabbed two interceptions.
On the year, Parham (6 feet, 185) has returned three of his five interceptions for touchdowns, two fumble recoveries for scores and rushed for 571 yards and three more touchdowns.
Navarre negates Aberdeen
Joppatowne defensive end Jeremy Navarre made 13 tackles, had a sack, forced two fumbles and caused one in a come-from-behind, 28-21, Harford County League victory at Aberdeen (2-1).
Defensive end Chanton Naismith returned a fumble 38 yards for a touchdown, and running back Brent Cash rushed for three more scores for the Mariners (1-2).
Gators get going
Coach Nick Arminio, who turned Eastern Tech into an area football power, is trying to revitalize Perry Hall.
And he's on the right track with the Gators (3-0) entering tonight's Baltimore County 4A-3A opener with visiting Parkville (3-0).
In 1998, Arminio began a four-year transformation of traditional doormat Eastern Tech. The Mavericks went 1-9, 7-3, 9-2 and a school-record 12-1 in his final year, finishing as Class 3A state runner-up and No. 2 in The Sun.
The Gators are led by linebacker Dave Roccio, defensive end David Smith, defensive tackle James Wily and defensive back Dennis Hoke.
Roccio has 17 tackles (10 solo), a sack and an interception. Smith has 17 tackles and a sack. Wily has 20 tackles, and Hoke has four interceptions and a blocked punt.
Quarterback Nick Larichiuta has rushed for three touchdowns and thrown for a score, and running back Marcus Jones has rushed for a touchdown and 268 yards.