Joppatowne, Burks hand No. 9 Edgewood 1st loss

Joppatowne 23 Edgewood 19

October 28, 2006|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,Special to The Sun

Fullback Mason Burks is known as the closer at Joppatowne. He's the one the Mariners trust with the ball when they need a big play.

Burks certainly closed the deal last night, rushing for 143 yards on 12 carries and scoring the clinching touchdown as visiting Joppatowne (6-2) defeated previously-unbeaten Edgewood, 23-19, in the rain and mud in an Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference game.

Thomas Washington rushed for 101 yards on 18 carries in a losing effort for the ninth-ranked Rams (7-1).

With the Mariners leading, 15-13, and facing fourth-and-four from midfield with just under 2:30 left, Burks took a handoff from quarterback C.J. Townes and ran off tackle 50 yards for a score to put the game away.

"He's the one we go to when the conditions are bad because he hangs on to the ball," Mariners coach Bill Waibel said. "In that situation, I thought we had as good a chance of getting 4 yards as we did of getting off a good punt. He came through for us."

Waibel credited his defense, which stopped a long Edgewood drive at the 1-yard line just before the half to keep the score tied at 7.

"That was monstrous," Waibel said. "In those conditions, we knew scoring would be at a premium, and keeping it even at the half really fired our kids up."

After a scoreless third quarter, the Mariners capped a 15-play, 95-yard drive when Townes dived in from 1 yard out for a 13-7 lead. On the conversion, Townes ran off tackle to the right to make it 15-7. Townes finished with 74 yards on 11 carries for the Mariners, who only threw two passes.

The Rams answered on their next drive, using Washington's 4-yard run to cap an 11-play, 64-yard drive with 5:16 left to make the score 15-13. A pass on the ensuing conversion fell incomplete.

On the next series, the Mariners took over at their own 31 and drove to midfield to set up Burks' heroics.

Edgewood scored the game's final touchdown on a 1-yard run by quarterback James Scharf with 36 seconds left.

"Everybody doubted us," Burks said. "We needed to come out today and prove to ourselves and to everybody else that we could win this game. It's an unbelievable feeling."

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