BRANDYWINE – In a clash of two undefeated Prince George’s County high school football powerhouses, only one could come away with an unblemished record.
A 20-yard touchdown catch from Charles H. Flowers wide receiver Andre Patterson proved to be the game-winner over Gwynn Park. Still, Flowers Head Coach Dameon Powell had praise for the Yellowjackets in his team’s 14-7 victory on Sept. 29.
“I feel really good right now. That’s not your typical 2A team,” Powell said. “That’s a great team, well coached, and they have some very talented athletes. Gwynn Park did a lot of good things scheming up against us this week. We had to make some adjustments after having a 0-0 score at the half, and the changes proved to be correct.”
Everything was on the line as neither team wanted to drop its first game of the season. The Jaguars and the Yellowjackets have had outstanding starts to their seasons and it gave the game a championship atmosphere.
Many wondered how both team’s defenses would matchup against each other. Both were strong, as neither offense mustered a single scoring opportunity. It was not until the second half that Flowers or Gwynn Park found some success and put points on the board.
The Jaguars struck first. After a commanding opening drive in the third quarter, a penalty by the Yellowjackets moved the Jaguars into the redzone. Following the infraction, Flowers quarterback Julius Duvall handed the ball off to Zebadiah Suku, who ran into the endzone from two yards out.
Not long after the Jaguars put points on the board, the Yellowjackets began to have some success of their own. Quarterback Kamari Brown finally got his chance to put points on the board, connecting with Michael Morgan, Jr. on a well-timed pass for a 20-yard touchdown that tied the game up at seven.
Once the fourth quarter began, Flowers came alive again. After gaining excellent field position to start the final period, the Jags’ offense went through the air to assault the Yellowjackets’ defense.
With just a few ticks off the clock, Duvall connected with Patterson for a 20-yard touchdown to make it 14-7.
“It’s been a humbling experience. I’ve been with these guys through thick and thin,” Paterson said. “We executed and I’m humbled to get the win for my guys.”
Following the quick score, the Yellowjackets made significant efforts to move the ball into Flowers territory. However, the stout Jaguars’ defense prevailed once again as Darnell Dupar picked off a Brown pass.
Despite the mistake by Brown, the Yellowjackets had another chance to tie the game up and send it into overtime. Unfortunately, Gwynn Park's offense struggled to pick up first downs. Gwynn Park dug itself into a deep hole as it faced a 4th-and-long situation. Brown was flushed out of the pocket and tackled just a few yards shy of a first down.
Despite the rough offensive day for the Jaguars, Duvall was content with his team’s performance.
“I started off slow today, but we were solid, and there was some inconsistency by not connecting on things,” said Duvall, who finished with 124 yards and a touchdown. “However, we found a way to win today. It’s not all about how you start, but how you finish the game.”
Gwynn Park falls to 3-1 with the loss. Despite the end of the undefeated streak, Gwynn Park Head Coach Danny Hayes said this game didn’t bother him too much.
“We still feel pretty good. It is good just to keep things moving in a game,” Hayes said. “We could have won and got some things going, but penalties came at a crucial moment and it was in (Flowers’) best interest to capitalize on it.”
The undefeated Jaguars (5-0) will face Largo (2-3) next week, while the Yellowjackets will look to bounce back against Friendly (1-4).