Bench­mark games high­light Week 4 ac­tion

Record Observer - - Sports - DAVID INSLEY

Though it has just one win this year — that over 0-3 Stephen De­catur — Wi­comico High’s foot­ball sea­son seems to have a brighter out­look than last year.

In 2015, the Class 2A In­di­ans went 2-8, those wins com­ing against 1As Snow Hill and Washington, who com­bined to go 1-19 (that lone win was Washington beat­ing Snow Hill in Week 4).

This week, Wi-Hi gets a chance to show if it’s able to stake a claim as a truly resur­gent team.

With North Caro­line com­ing to town, and sting­ing from per­haps the most bizarre way a team has lost a foot­ball game in re­cent mem­ory, it’ll take a strong per­for­mance from the In­di­ans.

That North Caro­line de­feat? Yeah, it came in abrupt, stun­ning fashion, as a chip-shot field goal was blocked on fourth-and-goal at the Kent Is­land 1-yard line. Braden Doyle, in ab­so­lutely the right place and at the right time, grabbed it, dash­ing 89 yards for the touch­down that put his team ahead 21-14 in the fi­nal minute.

For those who asked, yes, I agree with Bull­dog head coach James Mc­Cormick’s de­ci­sion to kick, in­stead of try­ing to force it in on fourth down. Yeah, you’re only a foot or so away, and it’s re­ally tempt­ing. But, truth­fully, I’d have tried the field goal, too. A short-count quar­ter­back sneak might have got­ten the job done, but the Bull­dogs had just been stopped three times deep in the Kent Is­land red zone.

But, hon­estly, if you can’t at least at­tempt an 18-yard field goal, the short­est one pos­si­ble, you’ve got se­ri­ous prob­lems on spe­cial teams.

The Buccaneers, who trailed 14-7 in the third quar­ter, im­proved to 3-0, avenged an early-sea­son 2015 loss to North Caro­line as well. Now, they’re on the road again, this time tak­ing on De­catur, Fri­day at 6 p.m.

The Bull­dogs will take out their frus­tra­tions on Wi­comico, which runs the

triple-op­tion with aplomb, 30 min­utes later in Sal­is­bur y.

Odds are I’ll be at one of the two games down south, so look for me. I’m the tall, wide, goofy-look­ing guy with a clip­board, who keeps los­ing his Dol­lar Tree sun­glasses. I’m out three pair so far this fall (hence, my re­liance on in­ex­pen­sive shades).

While the pre­miere Class 2A game is in Sal­is­bury, there’s a big 1A game 40 min­utes away.

Kent County looks to break its 24-game los­ing skid against arch-neme­sis Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester in what should be the best small-school game of the week in the Bay­side Con­fer­ence.

The Vik­ings dodged a se­ri­ous bul­let

in last year’s Week 4 con­test, which was home­com­ing at Kent County. Down nine go­ing into the fourth quar­ter, C-SD some­how pulled out an over­time win to keep the streak alive, and then knocked the Tro­jans out of the play­offs seven weeks later.

So, the hunger is there for Kent County, but will the re­sults be? We’ll find out.

Eas­ton, now 2-1 (the team won just twice in all of 2015), hosts James M. Bennett. The War­riors lost this game last year on Stephen Os­car’s last-minute field goal. The loser of Fri­day’s game will prob­a­bly not make the play­offs this year.

Park­side vis­its Colonel Richard­son in what could be a very in­ter­est­ing con­test; can the Colonels, whose of­fense went crazy in Week 2 but died at Kent County last week, find the end zone on their own this

week? If so, the Rams may be in for a bit of trou­ble.

Queen Anne’s County vis­its Sus­sex Cen­tral, Del., in a game the Lions won last year thanks to, ac­cord­ing to Donny Graef, his team’s abil­ity to take ad­van­tage of Cen­tral turnovers. The gnomes in my base­ment got this one wrong last year, pick­ing Cen­tral only to see the Lions win by mul­ti­ple scores.

Fi­nally, Washington takes on Snow Hill. The Ea­gles for­feited last week’s game at Ar­ca­dia, Va., due to in­suf­fi­cient num­bers. Coach Tim Ri­cho said over the week­end he ex­pects to dress 1819 play­ers, a cou­ple more than the pro­gram listed in Week 2’s loss to Colonel.

I hope the Ea­gles keep the pro­gram go­ing; it’s hard to keep morale up, but to be hon­est, yes, I’ve seen worse teams. The 1989 Colonel Richard­son squad, which scored a sin­gle touch­down all year (in Week 10 against the Bull­dogs), and maybe the 2003 Park­side team

(Colonel’s only vic­tory that year), which went 0-10 and scored just 46 points all sea­son, come to mind.

Wel­come to Week 4 of Bay­side foot­ball. There will be games in Caro­line, Dorch­ester, Tal­bot, Wi­comico, and Worcester coun­ties, so stop on by for a dog and a night of fun. The weather should be good, with tem­per­a­tures around 80 but the hu­mid­ity a bit lower than what we’ve had of late.

Fri­day’s Games Game of the Week Kent County (2-1) at Cam­bridge-SD (2-1) Is No. 25 upon the Tro­jans, or can they fi­nally turn the tide of his­tory? (Ra­dio: WCEM-AM 1240 and 94.3 WINX-FM; pregame 6:45 p.m.) — Vik­ings, 28-20. N. Caro­line (2-1) at Wi­comico (1-2) As Wi-Hi builds its en­durance, the team will im­prove. Those play­ing the In­di­ans early in the sea­son, as C-SD coach Jake Cole­man said, are luck­ier than their late­sea­son op­po­nents. — Bull­dogs, 35-14. Kent Is­land (3-0) at De­catur (0-3) In many pre­vi­ous years this would be a mar­quee matchup, but when two of the best play­ers get re­cruited away from a strug­gling team, it’s no longer the case. — Bucs, 44-7. J.M. Bennett (2-1) at Eas­ton (2-1) Bennett made the play­offs last sea­son, in no small part due to a win in this Week 4 game. Can they re­peat? — War­riors, 28-27. Park­side (2-1) at Colonel (1-2) Park­side might not be the pre­miere team in the South Bay­side (we’ll know for sure once they play Bennett in Novem­ber), but it’ll be just enough for this week. — Rams, 35-16. Queen Anne’s (3-0) at Sus­sex Cen­tral (1-1) Watch­ing Mike D’An­gelo put on a pass­ing clinic, with 261 yards and four scores on just six throws last week, makes me won­der if some­one has cloned 2011 alum­nus Tyler Ger­man, who was also an amaz­ing passer and play caller. — Lions, 28-26. Washington (0-3) at Snow Hill (0-3) With the vis­i­tors up to near full strength and with their start­ing passer back, they’re primed to get what will prob­a­bly not be their only win this year (they were 1-9 in 2015). — Jaguars, 42-20. Last Week: 6-1. Sea­son To Date: 17-4 (.810). Ca­reer to Date: 804-170 (.825). Fol­low me on Twit­ter: @Davetalkss­ports.

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