JOPPATOWNE -- Demont Blackmon and Adric Turner scored a touchdown apiece to lead No. 9 Aberdeen past previously unbeaten Joppatowne, 12-6, in a defensive battle last night.
The fleet Aberdeen backfield found little running room against the Mariners (5-1), who entered the game with the best defensive statistics in the metro area.
The Joppatowne defense lived up to its billing by holding Blackmon, the Harford County League's leading scorer, to 80 yards on 17 carries. They stopped the quick-stepping tailback nine times for losses or no gain.
"I knew they were tough," said Aberdeen coach Macon Tucker. "That this game would be easy did not even enter my mind. They are a team to be reckoned with. We were lucky to win."
Aberdeen survived three turnovers -- two interceptions and a fumble -- and was the beneficiary of two nullified scoring plays by Joppatowne. A holding penalty called back Vernon Wingfield's 11-yard scoring run in the first half. Holding also canceled Damon Davies' 61-yard scoring run on a rollout early in the third quarter.
The Aberdeen defense, led by 260-pound senior Ron Frink (six assisted tackles, four unassisted), held Joppatowne to 53 net yards in the first half. Davies could not move against the Aberdeen line on a consistent basis.
Aberdeen scored first on a 25-yard pass from Tito Coley to Blackmon. Joppatowne's Bill Hadrys broke through the line to block the extra point, leaving the score 6-0 with 6:53 left in the second quarter. The score brought Blackmon's league-leading touchdown total to 16 in six games.
Davies got the Joppatowne offense moving as the second half opened. Two plays after his 61-yard run was called back, he ran for 28 yards to the Aberdeen 43, then passed 34 yards to Chris Weber, who was stopped at the 9. Wingfield ran in from the 5 two plays later. The kick went wide to the right and the score was tied, 6-6, with 6:25 left in the third quarter.
It remained that way until the last 11 seconds of the quarter, when Turner scored from 8 yards out to put Aberdeen in front to stay, 12-6. Hadrys again blocked the PAT attempt.
The Eagles withstood a heart-stopping, last-gasp pass play as the clock ran out. Davies put up a long pass from the Aberdeen 46 that was deflected into the arms of Joppatowne receiver Mark Johnson at the 15-yard line. He was buried under three Eagles defenders as time expired.
"All I could see was that kid scampering into the end zone," said Tucker. "We were lucky. This was a key game for us. We had to win this one."