Patterson's defense sparks upset of City Clay's two interceptions stop No. 11 Knights' drives

October 18, 1997|By Brant James | Brant James,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Eleventh-ranked City gave itself a chance to fight off upstart Patterson yesterday by exploiting the Clippers' weakness to near-perfection.

But Patterson exploited the Knights' own soft spot that much better and stunned host City, 19-14, to end a two-game slide and likely replace the Knights as a contender for a state playoff spot.

"What this does today is show we can beat a quality football program," Patterson coach Roger Wrenn said.

City took advantage of its wide receivers' marked height advantage over Clippers cornerbacks and used big-play passing from quarterback Vincent DeLoatch to stay in the game. Meanwhile, the Clippers amassed yards in clumps behind back Leon Bridgeforth (30 carries, 93 yards).

Eventually, two interceptions by Allen Clay in the final four minutes ruined City's comeback bid, dropped the Knights to 4-3, and improved Patterson to 5-2.

Bridgeforth gave Patterson its decisive 19-14 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter with a 7-yard run. But a failed two-point conversion pass from quarterback Tremaine Lyle gave the Knights a chance to win with a touchdown on their final three drives.

DeLoatch made that a distinct possibility with 5: 34 left in the game when he lofted a 34-yard completion to Keon Grimes to the Patterson 18. Clay snuffed the drive two plays later, extending full-out toward the back of the end zone for an interception.

Clay's second interception three minutes later ended the Knights' final possession.

Patterson established its running game on its second drive of the second quarter with a 15-play, 61-yard touchdown drive. The Clippers, hammering at the Knights with superior size on the line, consumed seven minutes and 20 seconds and did not attempt a pass on the drive.

City coach George Petrides was not surprised.

"We knew they had us outweighed at the guards and center," he said. "They just wedged us. They didn't do anything we hadn't seen."

City answered when DeLoatch (8-for-15, 133 yards, two touchdowns), who missed on his first five pass attempts, hit Bryant Johnson for a 40-yard completion over Ronnie Rivers to the Clipper 15. Three plays later, he found Warren Smith for an 18-yard score with 43 seconds left in the half. An attempted kick failed for a 6-6 halftime tie.

Patterson set up a third-quarter touchdown when Dino Alger returned an interception 38 yards to the City 7. Tight end Michael Crawford caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Lyles two plays later for a 12-6 lead, and Alger's kick extended the margin to 13-6.

City responded on its next possession when Lamar Jones swept right for 54 yards to the Patterson 16, and Johnson caught DeLoatch's 15-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 13-12. DeLoatch hit James Gee for a two-point conversion that gave City its last lead at 14-13.

Pub Date: 10/18/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.