Patterson settles score, beats Dunbar, 24-14, for title

November 22, 1992|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

In 1989, an undersized and undermanned Patterson team defeated a then unbeaten Lake Clifton squad for the Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference championship.

Yesterday in the title game at Poly, the Clippers faced an unbeaten Dunbar squad that had beaten them by 30 points earlier in the season.

While the scenario was slightly different from last year, the end result was the same.

The No. 13 Clippers defeated the co-No.8 Poets, 24-14, for their second title in four seasons, before more than 800 fans.

"We felt we had to do some things different to beat them," said Patterson coach Roger Wrenn. "We had to play with poise. I thought there in the third quarter we lost our poise for just a minute, but we got right back to it. I thought we had to out hustle and win the kicking game, which we thought we did well."

In winning their second title since 1976, Patterson (10-1) was also able to do something that hadn't occurred in the Poets' (9-1) previous nine games -- score more than a touchdown in a game against them. Dunbar, which was scored upon only twice and had seven shutouts during the regular season, trailed, 11-8, at halftime.

The Poets regained the lead in the third quarter on a 3-yard touchdown run by Hollis Roberts, completing a four-play, 9-yard drive, set up by a Terrence Hinton interception.

On the next play from the line of scrimmage for Patterson, Willie McGirt threw his second interception of the game, giving the Poets possession at the Clippers' 35-yard line. But the damage and momentum would swiftly swing back in the Clippers' favor.

Dunbar had early success running down-and-out patterns against the Clippers and went to the play once again. This time, Patterson cornerback Stacey Plater read it, stepped in front of receiver Sean Lipscombe, and returned the interception 80 yards for a touchdown, giving Patterson an 18-14 lead with 2:53 left in the third quarter.

"The coaches kept telling me to play the deep flat because they were able to beat us out there," said Plater, a 5-foot-9 junior. "They ran it again, so I just broke for the ball and it hit my hands. I started upfield, got a couple of blocks and ran it for the score."

The Clippers' defense came up big again on the Poets' next possession, stopping Lipscombe on a fake punt on a fourth-and-10 from the 21. Four plays later, fullback John Sauer scored from 14 yards out, increasing Patterson's lead to 24-14 with 11:55 remaining in the game.

"We just wanted it more than they did," said Sauer, who rushed for 100 yards on 18 carries.

In the first meeting on Oct. 9, the Poets dominated the Clippers, 30-0, as their defensive and offensive lines dominated. By the beginning of the fourth quarter yesterday, they were showing signs of wearing down.

"We have played hard all season, but things didn't work out," said Derrick Player, Dunbar's 6-foot-5, 320-pound lineman. "Probably, the biggest problem we had was the two weeks off, that's what really hurt us. Not playing football for two weeks really took a lot out of us."

The Poets showed no ill affects from the layoff in the first quarter, outgaining the Clippers, 63 yards to 17. Dunbar took advantage of a fumble recovery by Player at Patterson's 34, getting a 13-yard touchdown run by Roberts. E. J. Fitzgerald went to Lipscombe for the conversion for a 8-0 lead with 4:09 left.

On a fourth-and-2 from their 32, Patterson attempted a fake punt with Plater coming around Sauer for a handoff, but was met by a gang of Poet defenders. Ronnie Green kept the damage to minimum by intercepting a Fitzgerald pass.

On the next play, McGirt threw a quick pass in the flat to Plater, who lateraled to Ryan Lewis coming down the sidelines and he raced 40 yards to the end zone. Green's conversion run tied the game at 8.

Green later hit a 22-yard field goal to give Patterson its 11-8 halftime lead.

"We have been feeding off that loss [30-0 to Dunbar] since it happened," said Wrenn. "We knew we were not as bad as that 30-0 score indicated. After that game, I went into the locker room and told them that was a blessing in disguise because if we won that game and came into this game undefeated, we would been an easy pickoff. Instead, we got burned, but we were fired up today."

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