What a difference a half made for the Poly Engineers.
After gaining just 53 yards in a scoreless first half, No. 2 Poly's offensive line took command in the second half en route to a 20-0 win over host and No. 17 Cardinal Gibbons in a Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference game last night.
The win gave the Engineers (7-1, 5-1) sole possession of second place in the conference. The loss eliminated the Crusaders from contention at 4-4 (4-5 overall).
"We had to win to stay on pace in the conference," said Poly coach Augie Waibel. "This was a huge win."
The Engineers' second-half numbers on offense were also huge. Poly gained 207 yards as its line dominated and gave quarterback Albert Tyler lots of protection.
"[Gibbons] played good defense and kept us out of good field position for the entire first half," said Waibel. "Once we got out we were able to pass."
And pass they did.
Tyler helped engineer his team's first scoring drive with a 35-yard toss to Kevin Crosby with 10 minutes, 53 seconds left in the third quarter. Four plays later, another Tyler-to-Crosby pass gave the Engineers the lead.
Tyler faked a pitch to Frank Johnson, rolled left and found Crosby wide-open in the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown completion with 9:07 left in the period. Tyler then passed to Johnson for the two-point conversion to make it 8-0.
"I rolled out to the left and saw the tailback was covered pretty well," said Tyler. "I looked up and saw Crosby was wide-open."
Poly made it 14-0 on its next possession. Donald Odoms capped a 14-play, 85-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown run with 22 seconds left in the quarter.