Behind an ornery defense and another outstanding performance by running back Raphael Wall, Wilde Lake handily defeated Southern, 34-0, in a nonleague game yesterday at Wilde Lake.
With a decisive physical advantage, the defending Howard County champion had control of both sides of the line of scrimmage the entire afternoon.
In doing so, the Wildecats' defense turned in another tough effort. In the first half, in which the Wildecats (3-0) built a 27-0 lead, Southern was held to 21 yards in total offense without a first down. Wilde Lake forced two fumbles that led to touchdowns.
Southern (2-1) finished the game with 71 yards offense and two first downs.
This season the Wildecats, behind defensive backs Joe Guyton and Ricky Rowe, have allowed nine points going into their first county game, against Hammond.
As usual, Wilde Lake's offense was led by Wall, who had 13 carries for 115 yards and three touchdowns by halftime. Wall, who is being recruited by Michigan, Clemson and Maryland, among other schools, and has been timed in the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds, finished with 149 yards on 19 carries.
"The line has been doing their job," Wall said. "The holes have mostly been open. But I guess in a game like this, they have been keying on me so I couldn't break them like I wanted to."
On its first possession, Wilde Lake set the tone with its aggressive running game. It took the Wildecats seven plays to go 52 yards. Senior quarterback Mike Jones faked a handoff and swept around right end from seven yards for the touchdown. David Lubitz's point-after made it 7-0.
Wilde Lake's second touchdown was set up when defensive tackle Darius Waters recovered Stephen Griner's fumble at the Bulldogs 38-yard line. The Wildecats scored five plays later when Wall spun into the end zone to give Wilde Lake a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
After the recovery of a Southern fumble at the Bulldogs 7, Wall scored from the 9. His final touchdown came on a three-yard run.
Damon Hamilin added a one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.