OXON HILL -- Glenelg was able to do yesterday what two other Howard County teams couldn't in the postseason: play with a Prince George's County team. But the Gladiators weren't able to accomplish their main objective: keep Potomac quarterback Harold Dorman under control.
The senior beat the Gladiators with his legs and right arm, leading the Wolverines to a 26-21 victory in the Class 2A South region title game. Dorman passed for 286 yards and accounted for all four Potomac touchdowns.
The Wolverines (11-1) will play the area's No. 1 team, Eastern Tech (12-0), in a state semifinal game Friday night at CCBC-Essex.
After quick and decisive exits by Mount Hebron (30-0 loss to Douglass) and River Hill (49-21 loss to Gwynn Park) last weekend, Glenelg (10-2) refused to go quietly after falling behind twice by two touchdowns. The Gladiators weren't able to capitalize on two possessions in the final seven minutes of regulation.
"They gave all they had all year," said Glenelg coach John Davis, whose team won the Howard County title for the third straight season. "Nobody expected us to play for the region final; nobody expected us to win the county. These guys really overachieved."
Senior Joe Blodgett scored two touchdowns in his final game for Glenelg -- a 98-yard kickoff return and a 27-yard pass from quarterback Mike Corona in the final quarter. The Gladiators' final chance ended with Corona's third-and-10 pass deflecting into the hands of Wolverine defensive back Kirk Jefferson with 48.7 seconds left.
"We played a good game. They shut down our run," said Blodgett. "We started loosening some things up and started gaining yards, but they adjusted."
The Gladiators were without leading rusher Tim Siders. Siders, who had 1,153 yards and 14 touchdowns, was suspended by Davis for a violation of team rules last week. It may not have made a difference because Dorman constantly confounded Glenelg's defense with big plays.
On a fourth-and-19, Dorman lobbed a 23-yard scoring pass to Korey Coles in the right corner of the end zone for a 12-6 lead with 2:13 left in the first half. On the Wolverines' next possession, Dorman and Coles hooked up on a 36-yard scoring play on second-and-26 with 12.8 seconds left.
Blodgett gave the Gladiators a huge emotional boost, returning the ensuing kickoff 98 yards on the final play of the first half, cutting the deficit to 18-14. Glenelg moved inside the Wolverines' 25-yard line three times in the half, but could only cash in on a 14-yard run by Joey Stancil.
Potomac extended its lead to 26-14 in the third quarter as Dorman broke out of the pocket and weaved through two Glenelg defenders. He sidestepped Corona around the 3-yard line for a 37-yard scoring run, leaving only Corona to slam his hand on the turf in disgust.
"You see him go from one side of the field to the other, then chuck it 70 yards," said Davis. "Our game plan was designed to make him throw, keep him in the pocket and make him beat us in the air. He had some opportunities; we kept them in some real bad downs. The difference was them getting out of a couple that really hurt us."
Potomac 6 12 8 0 -- 26
Glenelg 0 14 0 7 -- 21
P--Westbrook 39 pass from Dorman (pass failed) G--Stancil 14 run (kick failed) P--Coles 23 pass from Dorman (run failed) P--Coles 36 pass from Dorman (pass failed) G--Blodgett 98 kickoff return (Nicola pass from Corona) P--Dorman 37 run (Dawson pass from Dorman) G--Blodgett 27 pass from Corona (Issacs kick)