Suitland quickly ushers Walbrook out of playoffs Warriors come undone in 2nd quarter of 52-14 loss

Class 4A football

November 16, 1997|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

SUITLAND -- The Walbrook Warriors slipped into the Class 4A state playoffs through the side door after No. 8 seed Oxon Hill was disqualified from postseason play for using an ineligible player.

Yesterday afternoon, Suitland not-so-politely showed the Warriors the exit.

The top-seeded and undefeated Rams of Prince George's County, who were also making their first state playoff appearance, forced five turnovers and scored 21 unanswered second-quarter points en route to a 52-14 victory in the Class 4A state quarterfinals.

Suitland (11-0) advances to next week's final four where it will meet Sherwood, which defeated Lake Clifton, 20-14.

"I saw Suitland on film and I didn't know they were that big, that strong and that fast," said Walbrook coach Kelvin Bridgers, who didn't find out until Monday that his team had qualified for states. "Offensively, we wanted to get off tackle and get outside, but with the speed of their linebackers and the strength of their line, it was very difficult for us to get anything going."

Suitland quarterback Isaiah Long, filling in for injured starter Freddie Thomas (rotator cuff), threw four touchdown passes and rushed for two more.

Long put the host team on the on the board with 5: 45 left in the first quarter when he lofted a 30-yard TD pass to Maurice Shaw.

Walbrook (7-3) answered immediately as Willie Robinson returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yard for a touchdown. Sophomore runningback Calvin Booker added the two-point conversion to give the Warriors an 8-7 lead.

"Willie makes those type of plays. He's been a big-play guy for us all year long," said Bridgers. "When he made that play, I thought that was the momentum that we needed."

It wasn't.

A face-masking penalty on a sack kept a Rams second-quarter drive alive and a 16-yard strike from Long to senior Lowell Morgan put Suitland ahead by six wth 8: 05 left in the half.

A late-hit on a player who signaled for a fair catch, allowed Suitland to start their next drive near midfield. Brian Jackson opened the drive by scampering 51 yards to the Warriors' 1 and Long took it in from there.

Walbrook's offense, which was limited to 18 first-half rushing yards on 14 carries, gave Suitland more good field position following a 13-yard punt. Six plays later, Long hooked up Morgan again, this time from 17 yards out, giving the hosts a 28-8 lead at the half.

"Playing a new opponent, I knew my guys would be a little jittery at first," said Suitland coach Nick Lynch. Walbrook gambled on fourth-and-five early in the third quarter but Mike Dorsey's pass to Reggie Leak was well short of the first down marker.

Suitland scored on its next two possessions while Walbrook threw interceptions on the first play of its next two drives.

"I still think the experience was good for us," said Bridgers. "We don't plan on letting this be our only appearance. Hopefully, we'll be back again."

Pub Date: 11/16/97

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