Commentary

Atholton airs it out in win

Updated: September 26, 2009, 7:50 PM ET
By Mike Loveday | ESPNRISE.com

COLUMBIA, Md. -- First, Mother Nature rained on Wilde Lake's celebration. Then, Atholton did.

Kalvin Seamonson
Mike LovedayKalvin Seamonson accounted for four touchdowns in the win over Wilde Lake.
Atholton (4-0) got big games from Kalvin Seamonson and Matt Robinson and used a second-half surge that included a game-winning fumble recovery for a touchdown to defeat Wilde Lake (2-2) 34-30 during its homecoming game and on the day it inducted its former coach into the Hall of Fame.

With Atholton leading 28-20, Wilde Lake forced a fumble and took possession on its own 15-yard line. In four plays, Wilde Lake moved the ball downfield, but a fumble on its fifth play of the drive resulted in Robinson scooping up the ball and running 35 yards for a touchdown and sealing the win for the Raiders.

"They were double-teaming me but I was able to shoot the gap," Robinson said of the developing play that resulted in the fumble. "I saw the ball and I knew we needed the score so I just scooped it and ran."

"I told our kids that this is a program win," Atholton head coach Kyle Schmitt said. "This is only the fourth time in 30 years we have beat them and I told the kids that if they want to be considered an upper echelon team in Howard County they need to beat Wilde Lake."

Refuse to lose

Wilde Lake took an 18-14 lead into halftime and held that lead until the final seconds of the third quarter.

With the clock ticking down to the final seconds of the third, Seamonson connected with Robinson on a 74-yard touchdown that put Atholton up 22-18.

However, the Raiders did not hold that lead for long.

Khalil Vierra took the first play of the fourth quarter 70 yards for a touchdown that put the Wildecats back on top 24-20. The play took 13 seconds.

But on its next possession, Atholton proved it is an up-and-coming program -- marching down the field on a 13-play, 76-yard touchdown drive that ate up more than five minutes of the clock. Seamonson's 14-yard touchdown pass put Atholton up 28-20 -- a lead the Raiders never relinquished.

Matt Robinson
Mike Loveday/ESPNRISE Matt Robinson finished with 180 yards receiving in the win.
Dynamic duo

Seamonson and Robinson came up big in a huge game for Atholton.

Seamonson completed 17 of 26 passes for 302 yards and three touchdowns. The senior quarterback added another 55 yards and a touchdown rushing on the day.

Robinson finished the day with eight catches for 170 yards and a touchdown. The University of Maryland commit also had the fumble return for a touchdown, caught a 2-point conversion and recovered Wilde Lake's onside kick attempt in the final seconds of the game.

Overlooked performance

He might not be the biggest player on the field at 5-foot-8, 160-pounds, but Atholton's Adam D'Amico played huge in the win.

The junior tight end had three catches for 57 yards and a touchdown and also helped convert a 2-point attempt.

Running Wilde

Wilde Lake's Khalil Vierra turned in an outstanding game -- rushing for 182 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries in the loss.

Junior running back A.J. Harris added 83 yards rushing on only 10 carries.

Hall of Fame in anyone's book

Not only was Wilde Lake celebrating its homecoming, it honored its longtime head coach, Doug Duvall, and stadium announcer, Ed Hamel, by inducting them into its school Hall of Fame.

Duvall coached at Wilde Lake for 37 years, and compiled a record of 308-88 -- winning five state championships -- before retiring after last season.

What this means

Atholton held a one-point lead over River Hill for first place in 3A East before this win, a lead they could keep. Atholton proved it has the talent to play with some of the better teams in Howard County. Before this game, Wilde Lake's only loss was a 27-0 loss to River Hill -- the six-time defending Howard County champions. The Raiders play Oakland Mills next and will not play River Hill until Week 9.

Wilde Lake was on the outside of the playoffs looking in before the loss. Fortunately for them, two teams (Stephen Decatur, Mount Hebron) ahead of them lost this week, which should leave them in good shape in terms of playoffs. Depending on Saturday's other games around the county, it looks as though the only team remaining on Wilde Lake's schedule with a winning record is Long Reach.

ESPNRise encourages comments from its users. Leave a comment below. Mike Loveday covers high school sports for ESPNRISE.com. Mike can be reached at Michael.Loveday@espn.com