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Two teams known for explosiveness, Potomac High School and host Gwynn Park, dueled in a defensive struggle Saturday. Only the Yellow Jackets showed their trademark ability in a 14-12 victory.
Nate Barnes opened the scoring with an 85-yard interception return in the first quarter, and quarterback Jay Adams followed with a 40-yard touchdown pass. It was all the scoring their team needed.
“That's what we needed to keep it moving,” Yellow Jackets coach Danny Hayes said. ”And then it came toward conditioning. We knew they had less people so we were switching people in and out.”
Perhaps the story of the game was the absence of Wolverines star Ronald Darby, a University of Notre Dame commit. While Darby was suited up, he never left the sideline because of a strained groin he suffered during two-a-days, according to Wolverines coach Ronnie Crump.
Without Darby, the Wolverines offense struggled to find consistency. Junior Antonio Washington, in his first start of his career, showed inexperience throughout.
The Wolverines blocked a punt on the first possession of the game and recovered the ball on the Yellow Jackets' 19-yard line. But three plays later, Washington was intercepted on an out pattern by Barnes, who raced to the end zone.
Washington finished 15-for-29 passing for 86 yards, with two interceptions.
On the Yellow Jackets next drive, Adams connected with wide receiver Michael Wingard for the team's other score, and senior wide receiver Brandan Banks converted the two-point try. Its offense did virtually nothing for the remainder of the game, as it was held to zero rushing yards. Adams finished the game just 2-for-10 through the air with an interception.
The Wolverines' defense awakened in the second half. Linebackers Vashawn Williams, Joshua Thorne and Marcus Pickens combined to sack Adams five times. Their offense got on the board with Washington hitting senior Tavon Young for a score to cut the deficit to eight, 14-6, late in the third quarter.
Three drives later, Thorne (2.5 sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries), dislodged the ball from Adams' hand in the end zone and recovered for a touchdown, but the Wolverines could not complete the comeback.
“It seemed like our kids fought to the very end,” Crump said. “I have to give my kids credit. It's really one of those things where we're trying to run things smoother, especially with a quarterback that's not experienced.”
Gwynn Park 14, Potomac 12
Potomac (0-1) 0 0 6 6 12
Gwynn Park (1-0) 14 0 0 0 12
G Barnes 85 interception
G Wingard 40 pass from Adams (Banks 2-point catch)
P Young 4 pass from Washington
P Thorne fumble recovery
PASSING - G: Jay Adams 2-10-1-36. P: Antonio Washington 15-29-2-86.
RUSHING - G: Malik Moore 6-6; Dewayne Staten 4-11; Joseph Hayman 2-7; Marc Branson 5-12. P: Adam Coles 17-65; Raymont Parker 1-2; Antonio Washington 2-0.
RECEIVING - G: Michael Wingard 1-40; Dewayne Staten 1- (-4). P: Tavon Young 6-34; Joshua Thorne 3-43; Dondre Echols 2-8; Raymont Parker 1-11; D'Vonn Smith 2-( -2).