Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Wilde Lake tailbacks Zach Brown and Jarad Flagg both weigh 210 pounds, yet their running styles have nothing in common.
"I call myself 'Midnight' because when I run I'm so fast that no one can see me," Brown said. "I call Jarad 'Horse' because he runs right over people and when people try to tackle him, he keeps going and carries them. When we both get going, no one can stop us."
Long Reach's defense certainly wasn't up to the task. The rushing attack, combined with senior Ryan King's field goal midway through the final quarter, enabled host Wilde Lake to post a 24-21 victory in a Howard County game Friday night in Columbia.
The 6-foot-2 Brown, a junior, rushed for a game-high 102 yards on 16 carries and the 5-11 Flagg ran for 95 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries as Wilde Lake made its first night home game in school history a memorable one. Flagg also scored on a 70-yard screen pass.
"We felt our tradition was threatened after last year," said Flagg, a senior whose team went 6-3 last year but finished fourth in the county standings. "But we wanted to prove this year was going to be different."
Wilde Lake (2-0, 2-0 league) wasted little time establishing itself against the Lightning (1-1, 1-1), which had defeated the Wildecats last fall by making a field goal with less than a minute left in the game.
Last night, on third and seven from its 30-yard line, Wilde Lake senior quarterback Nate Andorsky threw a quick screen pass to Flagg, who picked up a few blocks and powered down the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown that gave his team a 7-0 lead 90 seconds into the game.
Long Reach countered when senior tight end Darryl Webb caught a 13-yard touchdown pass on fourth down from senior quarterback Ray Gilbert, but Wilde Lake's defense asserted itself in the second quarter when senior cornerback Eddie Thomas stepped in front of a screen pass and returned it 70 yards for a 14-7 lead.
Long Reach junior running back Keith Richardson (10 carries, 46 yards) tied the game at halftime on a five-yard run, but Flagg gave his team the lead for good on its first possession of the second half by sweeping down the sideline for a 27-yard touchdown run.
On its next possession, Wilde Lake drove 82 yards to the Long Reach 1-yard line before settling for a 19-yard field goal by King, who never played football until joining the team for the first day of practice. Richardson ran the ensuing kickoff back 92 yards for a touchdown with 7 minutes 45 seconds remaining, but Long Reach never again crossed midfield and Wilde Lake ran the final 4:06 off the clock.
"I saw Wilde Lake play Long Reach last year and they won it on a field goal, and toward the end of school last year I thought that I could be a kicker," said King, who grew up playing soccer. "So one of the coaches gave me a book to read and I practiced this summer and now here I am."