Since earning the starting spot in practice before No. 7 Edmondson's fourth game, sophomore quarterback Carrol Washington has gradually developed into a reliable force.
Last night, in a 44-20 Baltimore City League Division I victory at Poly, the 15-year-old demonstrated not only how far he has come, but that he still has room for improvement.
Washington threw for 131 yards and touchdowns of 7, 21 and 46 yards, respectively, to Kyle Jackson, Kareem Damon and Darrin Johnson, and also scored his eighth rushing touchdown as the Red Storm (8-1, 6-1) built a 38-6 lead in the third quarter and retained their position on top of the Class 2A North region playoff standings.
Tariq Jones rushed for 80 yards and his 10th touchdown of the year, Sterling Jones scored on a 45-yard return of a punt that was blocked by Ryun Chandler, and Jackson returned his fourth interception of the year 87 yards for the game's final score in the Red Storm's sixth straight win.
Although the game was the best of the season for Washington, who has thrown for eight touchdown passes, he also threw an interception to the Engineers' Lee Reynolds, and was nearly sacked for a safety when he ran backward into the end zone before throwing an ill-advised pass that nearly was picked off for a touchdown.
"[Assistant coach Sam] Walker told me to go out there and try to do some things, but at times, I tried to do too much," said Washington, whose Red Storm led 26-6 at halftime. "It feels pretty good to go out there and do what I did for my team, being that I'm one of the youngest players on the field. But I'm still learning."
James Thorne and Dionta Cox recovered fumbles, Jamell Mason caused a fumble and Ben Akalefu disrupted two passes for the Red Storm, who entered the game with five shutouts.
"Carrol throws well, has a lot of athletic ability and we're trying to hone it in," Red Storm coach Dante Jones said. "We wanted to let him work on some things to get ready for the playoffs because we anticipate there will be times we'll have to throw the ball."
The loss overshadowed a gritty effort by the Engineers (6-3, 5-2), whose hopes of qualifying in the 2A North slipped further.
Reynolds rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown as well as a two-point conversion, and teammates Donnell Brown and Desmond Ham also rushed for scores.
"This was the last home game for our seniors, and we wanted to go out with a win," said Reynolds, whom Sterling Jones called, "a monster of a player," telling Reynolds, "you did a lot of things other running backs in the city couldn't do against us."
"They came to play tonight," said Jackson, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker-tight end. "But we were able to strap it up in the end and come out on top."