Howard County High School Sports: Fall: Region/States: Class 3A Football: Wildecats roll to victory

Saturday, November 22
Class 3A Football: Wildecats roll to victory

They leave Cougars out in cold, advance to state semifinals for eighth time

Several hundred hardy fans came to Wilde Lake last night and huddled on metal bleachers to watch the Wildecats roar into the Class 3A state semifinals with a 39-15 victory over Fallston.

No.6 Wilde Lake (11-1), a five-time state champion, claimed the 3A East regional title and advanced to the semifinals for the eighth time, while Fallston (8-3), a participant in postseason play for the first time in its 32 year history, is going home.

As the wind dropped the wind chill into the 20s and snow swirled in cottonlike waves through the air, Wilde Lake's Jerrel Epps scored three times on runs of 60 yards, 11 yards and 1 yard and Wildecats quarterback Danny March scored twice, from 4 and 45 yards, to lead the attack.

"I don't think I've ever played in a game this cold," March said. "But once we got moving, we didn't realize it was cold.

"Everyone was a little shaky at the start, and we didn't know what would happen. But we put it together. We were more aggressive, and we used our speed to get on top of them."

Once the game got started - about 25 minutes late because game officials thought the start time was 7p.m. and no one called them from the locker room for the scheduled 6p.m. kickoff - Fallston moved quickly to take the lead, 3-0, on a field goal by Matt Barile.

But the celebration on the Cougars' sideline didn't last long. Twelve seconds later, on Wilde Lake's first play from scrimmage, Epps took the handoff and went 60 yards for the Wildecats' first touchdown.

It was the first of four long scoring runs set up by Wilde Lake's blockers of Lucas Place, Ramin Nejaddehghan, Matt Bounds, Austyn Martin-McRae, Gerald Picott, Jackson Drury and Greg Meighen.

"We had a good run," Fallston coach Dave Cesky said. "Sometimes you just get outmanned, and that happened tonight. They had a little more team speed than we did. We didn't see that much team speed like they had during our regular season."

Fallston's last two touchdowns came in the fourth quarter, on a 12-yard pass from backup quarterback Troy Vermillion to Tony Johnson and on a fumble recovery and return by Mike Montgomery.