Sometimes it's better to play old school, even in high school. Just ask Perry Hall's Nelson Knight after his Gators manhandled host Woodlawn, 35-0, yesterday in a Baltimore County 4A-3A game.
Knight rushed for 112 yards on 18 carries in the victory, one in which the No. 15 Gators (3-0, 2-0) played smash-mouth football, controlling the clock, the line of scrimmage and just about everything else.
"We didn't take them for granted," Knight said. "We practiced hard for them all week. It was just my turn to step up, and I did."
The Gators wasted little time getting started. On the first possession of the game, Perry Hall put together a 13-play, 62-yard drive - capped by Brad Chenowith's 2-yard run - to take a 7-0 lead.
Woodlawn (1-2, 0-2) tried to respond two possessions later. After a 36-yard punt return by Lee Daniel, the Warriors started a drive on the Gators' 31-yard line. But five plays later, quarterback Corey Fuller was sacked by Perry Hall's Marquis Glascoe at the 35 on fourth down.
Late in the second quarter, the Gators drove 60 yards - most of them coming on Knight's 37-yard run - and scored on a run by quarterback Mike Lang with 1:32 remaining in the half to run their lead to 14-0.
On their first possession of the second half, the Gators put the game away. After taking over at its 42, Perry Hall got a 40-yard acrobatic catch from receiver Dave Stinebaugh to move the ball to the Woodlawn 16. Two plays later, Knight scored on a 7-yard run for a 21-0 lead. The Gators completed the scoring with touchdown receptions of 18 yards by Matt Wood and 6 yards by Devon Rainey.
The win sets up a county showdown with No. 12 Hereford next Friday at Perry Hall. The Gators defeated the Bulls, 10-7, last year at Hereford, and Knight acknowledged looking ahead a little.
"I've had this one circled on the schedule since it came out," Knight said. "We played them in a close game last year, and it's a game we really want."
Said Gators coach Nick Arminio: "Last year we had one loss and they [Hereford] had one loss. We beat them, and they were ranked ahead of us in several local polls. We kind of have a chip on our shoulders. We'll settle everything on the field next Friday night."