Surprise -- Knights on the road again

November 11, 1999|By MARK KELLER / Sports Editor

MIDDLETOWN, Md. - For Tim Ambrose and the Middletown football team, it's simply business as usual.

Over the last four years, the Knights have piled up 38 wins in 40 regular season games, including a current streak of 29 in a row. Once again, it wasn't good enough to earn them a home playoff game.

So Ambrose has taken the Alfred E. Neuman approach to Middletown's continued playoff fate: "What ... me worry?"

"It's no big deal really," Ambrose said. "It would be nice if the situation was different and we were to host a game, but why spend energy worrying about that?"

So despite the fact that Middletown (10-0) was actually fourth in the 2A points, the Knights must board a bus this afternoon to go to their state quarterfinal game at Howard because they were second in the West region behind Urbana.


Once again ... no big deal.

"We know the way the system is set up - which we don't disagree with - and with our playing in the MVAL, the likelihood of us winning the region is not very good," Ambrose said. "It's just something we have to do. We want to be in the playoffs. It doesn't matter where we play."

Strangely enough, it's that way of thinking that may have saved Middletown's season. The Knights lost their top two quarterbacks - Jared Ambrose and Richard Wiles - in week 1, a blow that any program would find hard to take.

"Two plays after (Jared's injury) happened, a couple seniors said to me, 'Coach, what are we going to do?'" Ambrose said. "You go forward, that's all you can do. What's your choice?"

Middletown's senior leaders stepped up, buckled down on defense - as the Knights always seem to do - and turned what Ambrose said could have been "catastrophic" into another outstanding season.

"I'm not surprised at where we are, because I thought we had great potential," Ambrose said. "I sure would like to have those two out there for their experience ... and because they're seniors. But it doesn't bother me that we don't have them."

What? You expected him to be worried?

Tonight: 7

Directions to Howard: I-70 East to U.S. 29 South to Md. 100 East to Md. 108. Make a right, school is on your right.

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