LANHAM – In a game where defense reigned supreme, Charles H. Flowers displayed its dominance with three sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. Together with the two-way performance by sophomore Mekhi Williams, Flowers narrowly defeated its rival DuVal, 7-0. The game was set up to be an emotional encounter between the two county rivals. […]
LANHAM – In a game where defense reigned supreme, Charles H. Flowers displayed its dominance with three sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. Together with the two-way performance by sophomore Mekhi Williams, Flowers narrowly defeated its rival DuVal, 7-0.
The game was set up to be an emotional encounter between the two county rivals. Flowers Head Coach Dameon Powell returned to coach against his former team for the first time. He had a 13-year career with DuVal before moving to Flowers in the offseason.
For DuVal, Tarrell Lockwood was making his head coaching debut after three years as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator.
However, once the game began, defense led all conversations. Before halftime, Flowers had back-to-back interceptions, including one by senior safety Malcolm Johnson, while DuVal senior defensive lineman Malik Clarke sacked Jaguars quarterback Russell Gantt, Jr. Both teams combined for a total of 10 punts and their offenses crossed the 50-yard line one time each.
DuVal junior running back David Dupree tried to spring the offense, rushing for 75 yards on 16 carries. However, late in the fourth quarter, Dupree was stripped of the ball by a Flowers defender during a 7-yard run. Flowers recovered the loose ball, giving themselves good field position on DuVal’s 38-yard line with a chance to win the game.
Williams made the final drive for Flowers his coming out party. Already with an interception in the first quarter as the strong safety, the two-way specialist led the team down the field with 22 rushing yards and finished the nine-play drive by scoring the game-winning touchdown. Williams ended the game leading the team in rushing with 64 yards on 15 carries.
“The offensive line brought us home,” Williams said. “We wouldn’t have made that touchdown without the offensive line.”
DuVal had one more chance to tie the game with less than three minutes to go in the game. Dupree started the drive with two rushing carries for 12 yards and a first-down. However the Jaguar defense interrupted and almost intercepted two long-range passes.
The Flowers bench exploded into a “Let’s Go Defense” chant after every defensive stop during the final drive until DuVal quarterback C.J. Smith was sacked for the third time on fourth down, effectively ending the game with 32 seconds left.
“We found the way to win and that was the key. Those defensive stops and offensively we put up something together to score,” Powell said.
Senior linebacker DeLani Carter, who came into the game with an injury to his right knee, was able to lead the Flowers defense and contributed with a sack. Carter, who has received interest to play football for Navy, did come out of the game during DuVal’s final drive and expects to learn more about the extent of his injury in the upcoming days.
“I wasn’t expecting to get the call on a lot of plays today,” Carter said. “But the coaches said that they were going to send me on blitzes so I was hoping to (get a sack) and it feels great.”
Once the game was over, joy exuded over Powell. He celebrated the victory by high-fiving the Flowers cheerleaders and giving each member of his coaching staff a warm embrace. Both teams lined up for a postgame handshake before heading home, capping off another chapter in the rivalry.
“We knew it was going to be emotional and we knew it was going to be a tough game,” Lockwood said. “We gave the ball away three times and still came out with only a seven-point defeat. There is a lot to build off this game.”
Flowers 0 0 0 7 – 7
DuVal 0 0 0 0 – 0
F – Mekhi Williams 3-yard TD run