The offensive explosion that was expected when Edmondson High and Patterson, two of the area's top scoring teams, met yesterday in a showdown for first place in the Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference, never was.
Whether it was the rainy weather or strong defensive play, unranked Edmondson's surprising 8-7 victory over host and sixth-ranked Patterson came down to two touchdown drives and two goal-line stands.
Patterson (4-1, 2-1) got its touchdown and made its goal-line stand in the first half to take and preserve a 7-0 halftime lead. But Edmondson (4-0, 4-0) dominated the second half with a goal-line stand that was followed by a 99-yard touchdown drive that put the Redskins ahead.
"We've been doing that all year," said Edmondson coach James James, whose team is off to its best start since he took over in 1987. "We spot people some points and then in the second half we put it together. I keep telling them that one day we are going to run out of time. Thank God it wasn't today."
Running back Antwan Barmer capped the 12-play, 99-yard drive with a 1-yard run after the Redskins failed to get into the end zone on three plays from inside the 4.
Barmer took the handoff and started inside, then spun just outside his left tackle and into the end zone for the score. On the conversion try, quarterback Michael Dawkins froze the defense with a fake handoff and found Sean Robinson in back of the end zone for the conversion to make it 8-7 with 9 minutes, 9 seconds left.
"I saw them [Patterson] stacked up on the inside and I just cut outside," said Barmer, who finished with 15 carries for 71 yards. "I had faith my line would block so I just took it outside."
After that score the teams played a game of give-away with each turning the ball over twice.
Edmondson muffed a punt. Patterson quarterback Buddy Edmond threw an interception. Edmondson fumbled and Edmond threw another interception. This time Edmondson held on to run out the clock.
Edmond, the area's sixth-leading passer, completed just five of 11 for 94 yards, with the two interceptions.
"They had an exceptionally good defensive game plan against us," said Patterson coach Roger Wrenn. "They played kind of a 5-3 and tried to take away the option and I thought they did a nice job of defending the pass."
Wrenn faulted himself for not going for a field goal after the Clippers' first drive of the second half stalled at the Redskins' 1. Faced with a fourth-and-goal, Patterson tried to score on a run by Edmond, who was dragged down by a host of Edmondson defenders led by linebacker Steve Everette.