Marvin & Raheem: Super Bowl Champs!

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Raheem (L) messes with Marvin at celebration back in Indy.
(Photo by Tom Strickland/Associated Press)

  On Feb. 4, 2007, the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears, 29-17, to capture Super Bowl XLI. Two of the Colts' starters were WR Marvin Harrison and DT Raheem Brock, products of Roman Catholic and Murrell Dobbins Tech, respectively. This was the first time since 1949 (Eagles) that an NFL champion boasted as many as two Philly guys and a first for any major pro team since the 76ers captured NBA honors in 1967. Look below for stories on both guys from their high school days, followed by your congratulatory notes.      

SOPH STANDOUT CARRIES
 ROMAN TO WIN, NO SWEAT

By Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer

  Roman Catholic High's Marvin Harrison stood quietly in the end zone, looking for all the world like someone who had R & R'd for the preceding 2- plus hours.

  Over walked the Rev. Richard McLoughlin, Roman's dry-witted principal, and out came the quips.

  "Did this guy play? " McLoughlin asked. "His uniform's not dirty. Why, he doesn't even smell. "

  Marvin Harrison had played, all right.

  The record will show that Roman, as a team, defeated St. Joseph's Prep, 36-12, Saturday at Roxborough High's field to break a 17-game Southern Division losing streak that covered parts of four seasons. It also should show this: Harrison was the decisive factor.

  The 6-foot, 170-pound sophomore caught six passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns, of 61 and 93 yards. He intercepted two passes, including one on a conversion attempt. He served as the perfect, second-half decoy, drawing several Prep defenders whenever he went in motion. And he received the ultimate compliment, in that the Prep refused to kick off long.

  "(Harrison) has a gear that nobody else has," said Ed Brodbine, Roman's first-year coach. The coach then relayed the story of what happened Sept. 9, in the final minute of Roman's 32-26 non-league win at Wissahickon.

  Harrison made the difference in that one by catching Jim McGeehan's 57-yard bomb with 0:44 remaining.

  "Their real good kid, the Division I prospect (Andreas Gaynor), was playing Marvin man-to-man," Brodbine said. "When Jimmy threw the Hail Mary pass, they were going stride for stride. Then Marvin saw the ball and, bang, he just took off. It wound up not being close. Marvin had him beat by 10 yards. "

  In four games, Harrison has transformed 23 receptions into 475 yards and four touchdowns. That's a season for most guys.

  When Brodbine became Roman's coach, he was aware that Harrison had scored 22 touchdowns for the '87 freshman team and had caused several longtime coaches to laud him as the "best freshman we've ever seen in this league. " After much thought, Brodbine decided he could best utilize Harrison and McGeehan, no slouch himself, by installing a spread offense and putting Harrison at slotback.

  "He gives us as much as possible out of this formation," Brodbine said. ''We want to get the ball in his hands. Preferably wide, so he can do what he wants. "

  "I like receiver a lot," Harrison said. "Most defensive backs in this league aren't real fast. I feel I can beat them deep.

  "Since Jimmy's only a junior, we'll probably run this offense next year. Maybe I'll play running back in 12th grade, but if not that's OK. However they want me to contribute is fine. "

  Harrison, whose quickness also makes him a talented point guard in basketball, first played football with the Roxborough Eagles' 105-pounders. He scored 29 touchdowns that season, in '85, then "15 or 16" the next with the 125s.

  When asked if he ever has been caught from behind, he answered simply, ''No."

  "I grew up around 24th and Girard," he said. "I never played (organized) sports, just in the school yards. Then we moved to Roxborough and I hooked up with the Eagles. That got me started. We're back around 24th and Girard now. It's an easier trip to school. "

  Harrison scored his touchdowns, both of which came in the first half, by maximizing simple swing passes from McGeehan (9-for-11, 244 yards, three touchdowns). His 93-yarder occurred just 0:40 before halftime.

  Then, it was decoy time. Roman jumped to a 22-6 lead with 3:45 left in the third quarter on Eddie Owens's 13-yard run. On five of the six plays in the 74-yard drive, Harrison went in motion to one side and somebody (Owens, John Spino, Jermaine Wilson) ran to the other. The play preceding the touchdown was a 14-yard run by Harrison.

  "Being a decoy," Harrison said, "allowed the other guys to do things to help us. "

  Brodbine said the only drawback to having a player as explosive as Harrison is that the others tend to lean on him too heavily, "and he's not going to be able to break the big ones every game. "

  Meanwhile, Brodbine is prouder of Harrison, the person, than of Harrison, the budding superstar.

  "What an attitude," Brodbine said. "He's no head job, no prima donna. He gets along great with the kids. He doesn't say two words. The first month, I thought he didn't like me. Best of all, he finished last year (scholastically) with second honors. "

NOTES
  Jermaine Wilson scored Roman's last TD on a 91-yard interception. Three players tipped the ball before Wilson caught it . . . Prep quarterback Frank Costa, a 6-4 junior, passed 14-for-32 for 161 yards. Dewey LaRosa made six catches for 70 yards . . . Roman's previous league win also had been over the Prep - 24-16 on Nov. 3, 1985. The Cahillites had dropped 11 consecutive league games before that.

DOBBINS' BROCK FOLLOWING
IN DAD'S YARDAGE MARKERS
RAHEEM'S FATHER'S EXPERIENCED ADVISOR, EX-TEMPLE, NFL BACK ZACHARY DIXON

By Ted Silary, Daily News Sports Writer

  The extra young Raheem Brock figured his father was merely his father.

  He figured every dad had a separate room for trophies and mementoes and could pop NFL game tapes into a VCR and comment, "Now on this play, son, I . . . "

  Raheem Brock, a 6-3, 235-pound junior, is a blossoming stud at Murrell Dobbins Tech as a tight end, outside linebacker and punter. His father is Temple product Zachary Dixon, who was a running back and return man for the Broncos, Giants, Eagles, Colts and Seahawks in his NFL career (1979-85).

  "When you're little," Brock said, "you don't really realize. But when I got older, I could understand things more and appreciate what he did and how hard he had to work to get there. "

  With 1,153 yards in 1978, Dixon is the No. 2 one-season rusher in Temple's Division I-A history (dating to '71). In the pros he produced 1,099 yards from scrimmage (732 rushing, 367 receiving) and added a whopping 2,639 on returns.

  Yesterday, Brock blocked like a madman and was a dominating presence on defense as Dobbins squashed host Simon Gratz, 27-0, in a Public League game.

  "I think I can do the same as my father - get into college and make the pros. I'm going to try, at least," Brock said. "After I retire, I want to own my own business. I'd like to have something that would keep kids off the streets, like an arcade or an entertainment center. Even if I don't make the pros, I want to do that." 

  Dixon now lives in Germantown, Md., where he's a sales manager for an electronics store and a personal trainer. His son, who also lives in Germantown (the section of Philly), is one of his projects, both in person and via long distance.

  "We talk about once a week," said Brock. "I tell him about my games and he gives me suggestions. But more than that, he talks about keeping my head in my schoolwork and staying away from the girls. He says there are people out there that will be jealous of what I'm doing, and will try to bring me down, and not to let it happen.

  "I try to listen and do what he tells me. I want to be a good role model for the kids on the way up. There aren't enough around. "

  Teaming with center Octavius Blocker, guards Marc Skinner and Darnell White and tackles Maurice Childs and Troy Coleman, Brock helped Roland Whiting (12 carries, 149 yards), Yorel Prosser, Terah DeLarge and Kimbee Monsanto run for a touchdown apiece. He also provided a highlight by rampaging for 13 yards on a reverse, causing the substitute Mustangs to yell "Mooooooose!" in delight.

  On defense, Brock made eight tackles, including two for losses. Otherwise, he was rocking the blockers so linebacker Lamont Lister, among others, could move in for the kill.

  "I love taking on fullbacks," Brock said. "I like making them scared, so they run around me. "

  Raheem, whose cousin, Raymond Feamster, is a promising junior at Jules Mastbaum Tech, has lived most of his life in Philadelphia with his mother, Patricia Brock. But he spent the fifth grade with his father and still heads to Maryland for summers and extended school breaks.

  "I show him tapes of our games and he gives me help," Brock said. "Since he knows about training, he gives me workouts. They're hard, too. Bench presses, curls, squats, exercises for my stomach muscles . . . lots of things. I've been trying to improve my speed. "

  Coach Doug Macauley said Brock was one of the top performers in Dobbins's weight room in the offseason, increasing his bench press from 170 to 270 pounds.

  "The kid doesn't realize how much potential he has," Macauley said. ''Sometimes he doesn't do exactly what he should (techniquewise), but still makes plays because of his size and power.

  "We're hoping he's going to be a scholarship athlete. He has good grades and he's a nice kid. He's doing what he needs to do. The one thing I want to see is improved speed. Once that happens, look out. "

  Said Brock: "My mom follows my football career. She thinks I'm a real good player. Me? I think I'm just all right. I can get better. "

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Contributions . . .

Yo, Marv.  Let me congratulate you Raheem on winning your first Super Bowl.  It doesn't seem that long ago when we were catching the sub talking about the future.  Now, you're a world champ.  It shows that dreams do come true.  Continued success and I'll see you when you come home!
-- Cous

I just want to say Congratulations to Marvin and Raheem, both products of Philadelphia. They are both great players and they've got what some of the best, like Dan Marino, has never seen. Both of these gentlemen are remarkable people. Their success just goes to show that you can do whatever you set out to do and you shouldn't let trials and tribulations trip you up in your life but use them as stepping stones. I hope to see these two continue to give back to the Philadelphia community. Once again I want to say congratulations and also say thanks for putting the modern day Philadelphia athletic program back on the map.
-- Michael"The Legend" Leak
Mastbaum "'06"