In a game Joppatowne desperately needed to win to remain a viable playoff contender, the Mariners graded out as "A" students last night.
With Havre de Grace reeling from injuries, Joppatowne dominated all the way and scored a 20-0 victory that kept it in the 1A North regional postseason picture.
The wounded Warriors simply couldn't generate enough offense without Michael Wood, their top runner who was hobbled last week, and No. 2 rusher Ardia White, who was hurt early last night.
"Too many injuries and too many penalties," said Warriors coach Tom Marron.
Marron tried to compensate with Lonnie Fleetwood, a fullback playing out of position, and the options of quarterback Billy Jackson.
But Havre de Grace's best first-half drives were stopped at the Mariners' 27 and 28 by an interception and an incomplete pass. A fumble lost by Fleetwood at the Joppatowne 7 halted its deepest second-half penetration.
"We did have to have this game," said Joppatowne coach John Kling, whose team faces C. Milton Wright next week. "I was very happy with the way we played. We beat them physically and our offense was very effective."
Joppatowne (6-2) has beaten two of the top teams in Harford County, having upset another ranked school, Aberdeen, before sending Havre de Grace to only its second loss in eight games.
The Mariners showed they meant business the first time they had the ball, driving 84 yards in eight plays to the end zone with co-captain Lamar Williams churning out the final 35 off left tackle.
They did the same thing after the break, taking the second-half kickoff 65 yards in nine plays. Quarterback Matt Berger got the touchdown on a draw from the 10 and Williams ran in the conversion for a 14-0 edge.
A clinching touchdown arrived late after Havre de Grace was held on downs for the third time in the game at the Joppatowne 45.
Instead of running out the clock, the Mariners struck with a 55-yard touchdown run by Andre Turner to add frosting to a satisfying victory.
Even a bizarre sequence at the end of the first half couldn't get the Warriors into the end zone. One defensive penalty after another prolonged the half, which ended with Havre de Grace throwing an incompletion from the Mariners' 7.
In the final 12 seconds, Joppatowne was assessed 33 yards in penalties on a pass interference call that negated an interception, unsportsmanlike conduct against the bench and roughing the passer.
The last one wiped out an interception and 100-yard return for a touchdown by Turner.