OXON HILL - Nearly everyone In the overflow crowd at Oxon Hill High knew what the Randallstown Rams would do on offense yesterday.
Oxon Hill coach Cliff Haskins even devised a special defense to counteract it. No matter. In this Class 4A state semifinal game, Larry Washington was unstoppable.
The senior tailback ran 26 times for 202 yards and two touchdowns, leading No.1 Randallstown to a 21-7 win over formerly unbeaten Oxon Hill of Prince George's County.
The Rams (12-0) advance to the Class 4A final against Wootton at Westminster on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Patriots (12-0) were 20-7 upset winners over Springbrook, the top-ranked team in the Washington area.
Before yesterday, Oxon Hill (11-1 and ranked third in Washington) had allowed 29 points all season, and only nine in its previous six games. Washington, who has 2,022 yards rushing this season, said he knew the task at hand.
"We knew (the Clippers) had a good defense," he said. "But I knew if they gave me the ball, I could get at least 3 yards a carry."
Washington ran for nearly 8 yards a carry, behind an outsized offensive line that was able to take advantage of a flaw in the Oxon Hill defense.
"(Oxon Hill) didn't adjust to our wing properly," said Rams coach John Buchheister, who will coach in his third state final game. "They overshifted so much to the side that Larry was running that they created holes for us."
And the tailback found them.
On the first play after halftime, Washington broke a 7-7 tie with a 69-yard touchdown sprint. He took the ball on the right side, cut left through a hole and outran the Clippers down the left sideline to give Randallstown a 14-7 lead 58 seconds into the half.
With 29 seconds left in the quarter, Washington scored again. He capped a 10-play. 52-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown run, making it 21-7.
"Nobody has run on us like that," said Haskins. "He's a good back with excel1ent speed."
Down for the first time all year, the Clippers apparently didn't know how to react. Washington and D.J. Dorsey (16 carries for 68 yards) continued to run and eat the clock. The Randallstown defense, meanwhile, kept Oxon Hill from getting on track.
With the Clippers driving at the Rams 21 and less than seven minutes left, Dorsey, a senior in his first year of prep football, recovered a Randy Carter fumble and returned it 12 yards to the 27. Then, with 1 minute, 23 seconds to play, Mike Jenson recovered a Russel1 Thomas fumble at the Oxon Hill 26.
"The mistakes we made really hurt us," said Haskins. "We knew we could run on them, but every time we did, we had a turnover."
Randallstown, which will move to the smaller 3A classification next season, according to Buchheister, fell behind early. On the game's first drive, Carter scored on a 29-yard run up the middle to give the Clippers a 7-0 lead just 1:19 into the game.
The Rams tied it with 3:13 left in the half, when Shaun Poulton hit Tyrone Wells with a 29-yard touchdown pass over the middle, making it 7-7.
"We tried to sucker all the linebackers up on a fake to Larry," said Poulton. "Tyrone was left wide open."