BRANDYWINE – A high school football showdown between the Frederick Douglass Eagles and Potomac Wolverines was a tale of two defenses. However, it was Potomac’s defense that stood tall at the end as they handed Douglass their first loss of the season with a 6-0 victory on Sept. 15.
The entire first half was a defensive standstill by both sides, which left the score knotted at zero at halftime.
“I thought we could have capitalized,” Douglass Head Coach Julius Pinkney said. “We had some opportunities, but they did pressure us. They just played a little grittier then our guys played.
“We just couldn’t get some things off. We misconnected on a few things. We fumbled the ball, we dropped the ball and we had some momentum killers that we kind of did ourselves. They played hard so I can’t take anything away from them. That’s how it is when you play against a really good program like Potomac; you know it’s going to be a 50/50 game.”
In the second half, Potomac switched up their game plan and relied on their rushing attack as they only went to the air one time the entire second half. The duo of senior running backs, Mi’Jean Hill and Kevin Hayward Jr., led the way by combining for 131 yards in just the second half on 20 carries.
“We did a good job of pushing, and the line did a good job of blocking,” Hayward said. “We just stuck with the game plan and executed really good. We could have done more play action, selling our fakes and catching the ball better. We need to improve on our passing games, wide receivers doing their cuts and routes. We just got to keep working hard every day after practice and before practice.”
With 3:44 remaining in the third quarter, Potomac junior quarterback Dominique Anthony used his legs to make things happen. Anthony ran in for the first and only touchdown of the game with a 10-yard run.
“On that play, I was looking to pass, but the receiver didn’t get the call,” Anthony said about his touchdown run. “I tried to drop back and rolled to the left to see if anybody was open and I just decided to run. I had to break a couple of tackles, but I got in the end zone.
“I felt like we ran the ball pretty good and the O-line was blocking really hard. We could have passed the ball a whole lot better and it was a lot of miscommunication. We just have to work harder in practice and practice like we playing in the game to keep this momentum going.”
Following the score by Potomac, Douglass drove down the field and looked to score their first points of the game. However, with 58 seconds left in the third, senior free safety Jaquan Riddick forced a fumble and recovered it to give Potomac possession to close out the quarter.
“In practice, we set a game plan out,” Riddick said. “We wanted to shut them out and not let them score. We wanted to help the offense out. They got a lot of big plays in the passing game. We just have to practice, keep the intensity up, full pace, full speed and get to moving to keep it up after this win.”
At the beginning of the final quarter, Potomac fumbled the ball on the very first snap of the quarter and gave the ball to Douglass in good field position. Despite that turnover, the Wolverines defense was nearly impenetrable and got the ball back in their offense’s hands and that was all she wrote for the Eagles.
Potomac is now 2-1, which is their best start since 2015. They will look to continue their success as they take on Fairmont Heights High School on Sept. 21.
Douglass shares the same record, but Pinkney is not worried about his team losing its first game of the season in this fashion.
“It’s a learning thing,” Pinkney said. “You can learn a lot from a loss. We don’t like to lose a lot, but when you lose, it’s a reason why you lost. As a coach, I have to go back and take a look.
“We have to fix some things and come out better. Our kids understand that we don’t point fingers around here. It’s a team effort whether we win or lose. We know what we have to do as a club. It’s a lot of fight in our team, and we know we got a good team. All we got to do is fix the mistakes and that what my job is as a coach to do. We’ll have our guys ready to play next week.”
Douglass’ next game to get back in the win column will be on the road against Largo High School on Sept 21.