When a team has a winning streak broken, it's tough to accept, but the way Lackey's 23-game streak ended last night at White Plains Regional Park was a particularly bitter blow.

After Lackey had turned the ball over three times in crucial situations and had lost its key defensive player, J.R. Chesley, in the opening minutes, Thomas Stone went on to a stunning, 17-0 victory that clinched the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference title for the Cougars.

Before the game, Lackey Coach Mike Brown had said, "We'll have to be very physical to beat Thomas Stone."

Lackey's opening series may have been an indication as to how this game would go. Taking over at their 22, the Chargers, behind the option running of quarterback Jay Drews and running back Keith Thomas, ran off considerable time in moving down to the Thomas Stone 29.

But on the next play, Thomas, who was hit by numerous Cougars defenders, fumbled the ball and Thomas Stone recovered and quickly took advantage. After moving the ball five yards to their 21, the Cougars' Craig Thomas ran straight up the middle to the Lackey 17.

One play later, Chesley, trying to make a tackle, came down hard on his right ankle and had to be carried off the field on a stretcher. He was taken to La Plata Hospital.

But although it had lost its defensive leader, Lackey (9-1, 7-1 in league) managed to hold Thomas Stone (9-1, 8-2) to a 30-yard field goal by Gary Devinger.

Thomas Stone, however, would end up dominating the game defensively, particularly frustrating the Chargers' running game. After finding yards hard to come by, Drews began to pass the ball more, but to little avail. Thomas Stone (9-1) 3 7 9 7 17 Lackey (9-1) 0 0 0 0 0

TS -- FG Devinger 30.

TS -- DiFabrizio 12 run (Devinger kick)

TS -- Thomas 27 run (Devinger kick)