Victory twice as sweet

football

Engineers top archrivals and secure postseason appearance

November 09, 2008|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Baltimore Sun

For the Poly football team, there wasn't much that could have seemed longer than the excruciating first half of yesterday's 120th matchup with archrival City.

Except, that is, for the agonizing wait to see whether the Engineers' stunning second-half comeback in a 16-13 win before an announced 6,835 at M&T Bank Stadium had earned them a playoff spot.

After going the entire first half without a first down, Poly took the lead on a pair of second-half touchdowns by running back Jon Marcus, including the game-winner with 4:47 to play. It took more than an hour afterward, however, for the Engineers (6-4, 5-3 Baltimore City Division I) to learn they had secured a berth in the Class 2A North regionals when Calvert Hall defeated Randallstown.

To Poly coach Roger Wrenn, the playoffs were a bonus. Job No. 1, though, was beating City.

"This is our Army-Navy, our Super Bowl," said Wrenn, whose team broke its three-game losing streak against the Knights, extending its series lead to 59-55-6. "Anything that happens hereafter is just icing on the cake."

The loss also knocked City (6-4, 5-3) - which entered the day holding the last of four regional seeds - out of the playoff picture.

For much of the game, however, that seemed a most unlikely scenario.

Led by nimble quarterback Ellis Foster, City out-gained Poly 203 yards to 31 in the first half. Foster, who finished with 171 passing yards - including nine passes for 112 yards to speedy receiver Adrian Coxson - and 58 rushing, led the Knights on a pair of first-half scoring drives.

When he floated a touchdown pass to junior Avery Griffin over defensive back Jeremiah Harrison on fourth-and-goal from the 18-yard line early in the second quarter, City had built its lead to 13-0.

Poly quarterback Antoine Goodson, who finished with 60 rushing yards and 36 passing, led his team on touchdown drives of 65 and 67 yards on its first two possessions of the second half. Marcus, who ran for 67 yards on 15 carries, finished off both, with scoring runs of 12 and 4 yards, respectively, each capped by a two-point conversion run by Goodson.

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