Churchill, coming off one of its worst football seasons ever, wants everyone to know it is back -- apparently as strong as ever.
The Bulldogs held defending Maryland Class AA state champion Gaithersburg to minus-one net yard in the first half last night and dominated in every fashion the remainder of the game as they stayed unbeaten with a 26-7 Montgomery AA Division I victory at Gaithersburg.
Junior quarterback Jim Kemp, son of Congressman and former professional quarterback Jack Kemp and brother of current pro quarterback Jeff, looked as sharp as anyone in the family ever has as the Bulldogs improved their record to 3-0 overall, 1-0 in the league. The perennial county contenders suffered a 3-7 season in 1986.
Kemp completed all six of his passes, most on rollouts from Churchill's wishbone when the Trojans were stacked to stop the option. He threw for 85 yards, including a four-yard play-action touchdown to Fred Sollock that gave the Bulldogs a 16-7 lead with 7:00 left in the first half.
Kemp scored on a one-yard sneak behind the power blocking of center Will Gant and left guard Gus Drakakis for a 23-7 lead at the half. Gaithersburg (1-2, 0-1) never generated an offensive drive as Churchill's defensive line, led by 6-foot-2 senior tackle Chuck Arrington (two sacks), smothered the run and put quarterback Jason Crawford under heavy pressure whenever he attempted to pass.
"We have played Churchill many times and just about have always had good close ball games," said Gaithersburg Coach John Harvill. "This is the first time we were ever embarrassed. They have a very good foootball team, and we are a young team that will get better as the season goes on, but they were something tonight."
The Trojans ran only 11 first half plays, and did not gain more than two yards on any of them. But they still led, 7-0, after linebacker Gus Williams picked up a fumbled pitch on Churchill's opening drive and ran 20 yards for a touchdown.
A Gaithersburg fumble at its own 30 led to Tony de Guzman's 45-yard field goal for a 9-7 lead, and a bad snap on a Gaithersburg punt attempt led to Sollock's touchdown.
"When we get the ball inside the 30, we should be unstoppable," said Kemp. "And tonight, we were."
De Guzman, a senior who never played a varsity sport before this fall, kicked a 48-yard field goal for the only score of the second half. Churchill (3-0) 6 17 3 0 26 Gaithersburg (1-2) 7 0 0 0 7
G -- Williams 20 fumble return (Venz kick)
C -- Leventhal 1 run (kick failed)
C -- FG de Guzman 45
C -- Sollock 4 pass from Kemp (de Guzman kick)
C -- Kemp 1 run (de Guzman kick)
C -- FG de Guzman 48