Rivalry week lived up to its billing. Two of the major games (City-Poly, Mcdonogh-Gilman) went down to the wire, and a third (Fort Hill-Allegany) was also close. And those are just some of the exciting matchups in the season's final regular season games.
Poly 26, City 20 OT
The game story can be found here
Forest Park 6, Lake Clifton 0
The game story can be found here
C.H. Flowers 14, Wise 12
Apparently Wise's defense isn't an immovable object. After setting a Maryland public school record with eight straight shutouts, No. 4 Wise (9-1) surrendered 14 points to No. 16 Flowers (9-1), which is double the points they've given up all season (Suitland scored seven in Week 1). Behind a stubborn, staunch rushing attack, Flowers grinded away against Wise's vaunted front four.
Still, Wise was in position to win up 12-6 in the second half. But Flowers embarked on a methodical, clock-eating 17-play drive that ended in a Reginald Woods touchdown run. The ensuing two-point conversion gave Flowers a 14-12 lead halfway through the fourth quarter.
In the beginning it looked like another typical Wise game: Score first then let the defense do the rest. The Pumas' Deontre Johnson scored on a 3-yard run in the first quarter, giving Wise a 6-0 lead. But Flowers refused to fold. In the second quarter the Jaguars drove down the field and then did something no team had done in 34 quarters -- score a point. Christopher Gregory's 1-yard run tied the game at 6.
Wise took the lead back in the third quarter when Rahsaan Moore capped a short drive -- set up by a muffed punt -- with a 3-yard run. Once again, Flowers came back. And this time they took the lead for good.
Gilman 34, McDonogh 27
With the MIAA A-Conference title on the line, Gilman denied No. 15 McDonogh its first outright championship in school history. Instead, the Greyhounds (7-3, 4-1 conference) wrapped up their ninth conference title since 1998.The Eagles finished with the same 4-1 conference record as the Greyhounds, but the head-to-head loss on Saturday gave the tie-breaker to Gilman.
Not only was this game for the conference championship, but it also pitted two longtime rivals against one another. Gilman and McDonogh have met for 94 years with Gilman holding the overall lead in the series, 56-33-5.
The game lived up to its long history. Both teams engaged in a punch-and-counter-punch affair that started early in the first quarter and didn't end until the final whistle.
McDonogh charged out to the early lead when quarterback Rudy Johnson (182 yards passing, three touchdowns) hit receiver Gabe Macis with a 42-yard bomb to make it 7-0. But Gilman answered with three straight scores. Quarterback Darius Jennings led the way with two touchdown runs sandwiched around a Cyrus Jones touchdown, making it 21-7. Jennings would finish with 252 rushing yards and three scores on the day.
Johnson cut the margin to 21-14 with a 40-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. But Jennings' third touchdown run put Gilman up 27-14 at halftime.
The Eagles weren't about to fold on their home field. Johnson started the third quarter with an 8-yard touchdown run and ended it with a 51-yard scoring strike to receiver Sam Eby. Johnson's third touchdown pass tied the game at 27.
But Jennings led Gilman downfield once again. With seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Gilman capped off a 10-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run from Dexter Davis, making the score 34-27. Johnson and the Eagles responded, driving all the way to Gilman's 15. But the McDonough signal caller was sacked on a key fourth-down play.
McDonough, however, had one last chance to score after forcing a Greyhounds punt. But Johnson's final heave was intercepted with 17 seconds left in the game.
DeMatha 10, Bishop McNamara 7
No. 1 DeMatha hasn't played from behind much this season (the first Good Counsel game not withstanding) but on Saturday afternoon No. 21 Bishop McNamara not only led, but they gave the Stags a colossal scare.
McNamara held a 7-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but with just under nine minutes to go, DeMatha's Marcus Coker busted through for a 7-yard touchdown run. After that, DeMatha's defense held and the Stags escaped with the win.
Both defenses played well throughout. McNamara actually had several scoring opportunities - DeMatha lost two fumbles inside their own territory - but the Stags stood strong. They recorded five sacks on the day. The Mustangs, for their part, held all-world runner Coker to just 87 yards rushing.
The Stags opened the scoring early on a Michael Branthover field goal. But McNmara got on the board late in the second quarter when James Joseph (14 for 24 for 106 yards) marched his team 83 yards downfield. The last 15 of those yards came courtesy of a Joseph pass to Devin Bassett, making the score 7-3. Neither team scored again until Coker's game-winning run.
With the win, DeMatha is the top seed in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and squares off with No. 4 Gonzaga next Friday. McNamara falls to the No. 3 seed and will be on the road against Good Counsel.
Arundel 69, Southern 28
The game wasn't much to talk about -- just another blowout victory for the 10-0 Wildcats. But it had significance because two Arundel stars set records. Quarterback Billy Cosh now has 6,878 career passing yards, which is a Maryland public school record. The Kansas State-bound Cosh currently owns 11 state records.
His top receiver, R.J. Harris, also etched his name into the record books. After hauling in 12 receptions for 144 yards and three touchdowns against Southern, Harris now has 24 receiving touchdowns in his career, which is a single-season record.