Joppatowne's bid for title game fails


High Schools


Tears were flowing as the Joppatowne players walked slowly into the locker room last night. The Mariners desperately wanted to make a third straight state title game appearance and, despite having possession for long stretches, they came up short.

Antonial Coles helped Potomac get several big plays that host Joppatowne couldn't answer. The senior running back finished with 225 yards and two touchdowns and helped the Wolverines to a 14-7 victory over Joppatowne in a Class 2A state semifinal.

Joppatowne (10-3) won the Class 1A state title in 2003 and lost to Dunbar in last year's championship game. Potomac (11-2) will be making a third straight Class 2A state title game appearance. The Wolverines lost to Aberdeen in the 2003 final and rebounded to beat Hereford in last season's title game.

Potomac was a little bigger, quicker and faster than Joppatowne. But the Mariners stayed close and were driving to tie the game before quarterback Antoine Brown was stripped and fumbled at the 20-yard line. Coles then ran on 10 of the final 11 plays as the Wolverines ran out the final 5:23.

"They're a good team, but we played our hearts out," said Joppatowne lineman Spencer Washington quietly. "They just came out on top."

Turnovers and mistakes proved crucial. Potomac's four turnovers let Joppatowne keep possession for those long stretches - the Mariners held a huge 68-41 advantage in plays run - but the Wolverines took advantage of the Joppatowne miscues. They scored both touchdowns on the first play after a Mariners error.

Coles ran for a 47-yard touchdown one play after the Wolverines recovered a first-quarter fumble. Potomac made it 14-0 when Coles scored on a 69-yard run with 4:59 left in the first half. That touchdown came after the Mariners were flagged for too many men on the field as the Wolverines were trying to punt, a call that gave Potomac a first down.

The Mariners also missed on several scoring chances. They got inside the Potomac 20-yard line three times but fumbled the ball away once and came up short on fourth down another time.

Joppatowne again relied heavily on running back David Dudley. He finished with 122 yards on 27 carries, including the Mariners' only touchdown on a 2-yard run with 6:19 left in the third quarter. Dudley then sat out part of the fourth quarter with a leg injury but came back on the final drive.

Potomac 7 7 0 0 - 14

Joppatowne 0 0 7 0 - 7

P-Coles 47 run (Scarlett kick) P-Coles 69 run (Scarlett kick) J-Dudley 2 run (Harrell kick)

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