It was a rematch of last year's Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference championship game and possibly a preview of this year's title game.
Patterson was hoping for a repeat of last year's victory over Lake Clifton, but now the Clippers are hoping that if yesterday's contest was a preview of this year's title game script, they can rewrite the ending.
No. 17 Lake Clifton got its revenge yesterday, dominating No. 8 Patterson, 26-8, at home.
The game had no effect on the conference standings because the teams are in separate divisions, but it certainly had a positive effect on the Lakers (5-1), who have been waiting for this meeting since the Clippers (6-1) upset them a year ago.
"We were ready for this game, and we really wanted to beat them," said Sam James, the Lakers' "Mr. Everything," who sparked his team to victory with outstanding performances on defense and offense.
Quarterback DeWayne Washington also played well, completing seven of 12 passes for 121 yards and intercepting a pass. Running back Lydell Darien gained 121 yards and scored twice on 17 carries, and Prentice McNair returned a fumble for a score and passed for another.
But it was James who was clearly the leader. He had four carries for 36 yards and five receptions for 77 yards and one touchdown. He also made several solid hits from his linebacker spot, including one late in the second quarter that forced Patterson quarterback Buddy Edmond to fumble and led to the go-ahead touchdown. McNair recovered the ball and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown, giving the Lakers a 14-8 lead.
The Lakers' defense shut down a Patterson attack that had averaged 35 points in its first six games by limiting it to just 129 yards of total offense. Edmond, who had thrown for over 1,000 yards, completed just six of 15 for 57 yards and one of his tosses was intercepted.
"We knew he hadn't been hit and we wanted to put a lot of pressure on him," James said of the Lakers' strategy against Edmond. "Our defense played real well."
The Lakers also shut down Patterson's talented running back, Mike Branch, who had run for 705 yards and 11 touchdowns. Branch did score the Clippers' lone touchdown on a 2-yard run in the first quarter, but he finished with just seven carries for 34 yards.
Patterson had several mental breakdowns on offense. Twice the Clippers did not have enough players on the field and once it cost them a timeout. They were also penalized for delay of game three times, and there were other times when there seemed to be a mix-up between Edmond and head coach Roger Wrenn.
"We did not play with very good discipline at all and I told them that halftime," said Wrenn. "We did not look sharp. We had some delay-of-game penalties, we were in the wrong formations, and we called improper plays. We just looked like we were really tight. I thought we panicked a little."