Poly puts hurt on City, 41-22

Walker's 252 yards, 3 TDs, Young's efforts lead way to Division I championship

Football

High Schools

November 09, 2003|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

City College football coach George Petrides has spent this season watching his team time and again rally from deficits to win.

In yesterday's 115th edition of the Knights' annual game against archrival Poly, however, any thoughts of such a comeback had to be shelved even before the end of the first half.

Led by senior running back Jasmond Walker, who spent the afternoon bursting through gaping holes and juking his way past would-be tacklers, the Engineers scored the game's first 34 points, then cruised in the second half on their way to a 41-22 victory at M&T Bank Stadium.

Behind the punishing blocks of fullback Shanorm Young, Walker finished with a career-best 252 yards on 24 carries, including touchdown runs of 13, 10 and 18 yards.

"We came out with a focus," said first-year Poly coach Anthony Knox. "Once we got started, it was like rolling downhill."

The win gave Poly (9-1), which leads the all-time series, 57-52-6, the outright championship in Baltimore City's Division I. The Engineers also secured the No. 2 seed in the coming Class 2A North playoffs as well as a home game.

Poly dominated from the outset, with Young breaking loose for 53 yards on his team's first offensive play, leading to a 19-yard scoring run by Young.

Near the end of the first half, however, Poly removed all doubt with a 1:02 burst that netted three touchdowns.

Walker began the surge by capping a 75-yard drive with a 10-yard scoring run with 2:06 left.

"I just ran my holes as they developed," said Walker, who earlier this season ran for 160 yards against Douglass. "My line and my fullback got good blocks. They've been pretty consistent all season, but today they just stepped it up even bigger."

On City's next play from scrimmage, Emmanuel Davis' pass was tipped at the line, popping high into the air. Young, playing at linebacker, caught the ball and followed his blockers 30 yards into the end zone for a touchdown with 1:53 to play in the half.

The Engineers then forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and, two plays later, cashed in when quarterback Daniel Wilkins found Kevin Armstrong in the corner of the end zone on a fade route with 1:04 left, extending the lead to 34-0.

"I don't know what happened in the first half," said Petrides, whose 7-3 team needed a win to ensure a postseason berth. "It just seemed like everything that could go wrong went wrong. There's not much you can do when that happens."

To that point, Poly had out-gained City, 277-56, in total offense. Knox said the bulk of the damage came as a result of favorable matchups that put Young one-on-one with a tackle, often allowing him to spring his running back.

"We sent Shanorm inside and told him to take care of that outside guy, and those holes just opened up as big as Texas," said Knox. "[Walker] was hot, so we just rode him."

Said Young: "I just wanted to make holes for my running back and get him into the end zone. I think he can go anywhere he wants to when I block for him."

Davis threw three touchdowns passes for City, but all were well after the outcome had been decided.

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