Upset that he gave up two big catches early in a 60-15 win over Friends on Friday, Sturn made a promise to his teammates at halftime. "Listen," he told them, "I'm going to have a huge second half."
Four interceptions and a touchdown later, Sturn walked off the field and celebrated one of the best individual performances in Spalding football history. One by one, his four interceptions broke Friends' spirit and turned a close game into a rout.
"At halftime, the coaches came in all mad and screaming," Sturn said. "I knew that I needed to pick it up. I didn't want to let my teammates down. That second half, man, it was almost unbelievable."
Even those who witnessed Sturn's turnaround struggled to grasp it. Coach Mike Whittles laughed and smiled after Sturn's second interception. He shook his head in utter shock after the fourth.
"He just made some outstanding plays on the ball," Whittles said. "It was so great to see. He just knew exactly where the ball would be. I've seen a lot of things, but nothing like that. That was pretty unusual."
Sturn has shown break-out potential before, intercepting a team-high five passes last season. "I knew I had something like this in me," Sturn said. "But it's pretty awesome when it happens."
North County's Fans
The Knights have spent the last few years praying for fans to just show up. Last weekend, North County had a crowd worth showing off.
Excited by the team's two-game win streak and inspired by homecoming, about 500 fans packed one of the county's biggest stadiums Friday night when North County lost to visiting South River, 49-12. Fans painted their faces and wore Knights' jerseys. One rowdy group of boys took off their shirts and showed off painted chests that read -- one letter per man -- GO KNIGHTS.
"Unbelievable support," North County Coach Gary Liddick said. "This is the best crowd I've ever seen here, no doubt. I thought the atmosphere was just amazing."
When North County opened the game with a 93-yard scoring drive, the crowd erupted. Students traded high fives while the band played a short number.
"That type of crowd is a big step for our program," Liddick said. "It's just exciting for this team to see how much the community cares."
You Should See
Annapolis at Northeast
It may not have the glamour of Friday's other big match-up -- Broadneck vs. Old Mill -- but it promises similar intensity. With a win, the Panthers or Eagles would shape the rest of their season.
For Northeast (3-3), beating Annapolis would be a gigantic step toward its first winning season in 20 years. "We need to play every game well," Coach Mike Cotham said. "The key for us is consistency."
For Annapolis (4-2), a win would legitimize the team's turnaround under first-year coach Brian Brown and spark a push for the playoffs. "We haven't done anything yet," Brown said. "Everything is just getting started."
-- ELI SASLOW