When the Poly football team’s starting quarterback, DeVone Stubbs, suffered a separated shoulder during last week’s win over Tuscarora, senior wide receiver Tyrese Chambers showed confidence in backup Jermaine Harvey. It’s paid off.
For two straight weeks, Chambers has caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Harvey. Last week, they connected with six seconds left for a 32-30 win in Frederick. Friday afternoon, a 26-yard touchdown pass sparked an 8-0 win over Baltimore City Division I rival Douglass.
“We had a little rough practice and things was a little rough in the beginning,” Chambers said, “but I told my quarterback to trust me: ‘Trust me. I got you.’ And he did. That’s how I got the score. We’re going to make sure we come back harder next week against Dunbar.”
Host Poly (2-2, 1-1) struggled to move the ball early, losing 6 yards over its first three possessions before turning the ball over on a fumble, but the Engineers gained ground on their fourth drive late in the second quarter.
Chambers opened the drive with a 17-yard catch-and-run before K’Ron Hines ran for 15 yards. A couple of Douglass penalties helped move the ball, and Hines ran twice more for 10 yards to reach the Ducks’ 26-yard line. On the next play, Harvey saw Chambers sprinting down the right sideline and fired. Chambers tracked his pass to the end zone, beating double coverage to come down with the ball with 1:24 left before halftime.
Poly coach Dwayne Green said his offense lacked energy and seemed to move in slow motion at times against a tough Douglass team with a huge defensive line. But the Engineers did enough to pull out the win in what has become a highly competitive Division I.
Chambers, who has 19 catches for 530 yards and eight touchdowns in four games this season, finished with just the two catches on the scoring drive for 43 yards Friday.
“It was not necessarily designed for him,” Green said of Chambers’ touchdown catch, “but the quarterback made the read. He saw the matchup, and that’s the guy he decided to throw the ball to, so I’m glad he did. It was a score for us, and it pretty much sealed the game for us.”
After the 2-point conversion failed, Poly led 6-0. With 3:47 left in the game, the Ducks were backed up to their 8 when a snap went over quarterback Antwon Frederick’s head and into the end zone. Frederick had no choice but to fall on the ball, and the Engineers forced a safety.
The Ducks (2-3, 1-2) had one last drive to try to tie the game. Even beginning on Douglass’ 20, Frederick’s big arm made a comeback possible. His first-down pass was incomplete. On second down, Poly’s pass coverage was so good that Frederick couldn’t find an open receiver and scrambled out for a couple of yards. On third down, he let it fly, and Poly’s Quron Winder intercepted the pass.
That was the fifth turnover of the game for the Ducks. The Engineers’ Eric Wilson had two picks, while lineman Brian Dunstan and linebacker Tariq Griffin each recovered first-quarter fumbles.
Douglass “played a great game, and we pride ourself on being a great defense and no-fly zone … and that’s what we did today. We came out, executed and we did our jobs,” said Wilson, whose second interception came after he grabbed a pass that had popped off a receiver’s hands.
The Ducks played well defensively, too, forcing three Poly turnovers, including interceptions by Andrew Owens and Rashidi Scott. Offensively, however, Douglass’ drives frequently were interrupted by penalties, and they never made it into the red zone.
“It seemed like every long play we had was a penalty,” Douglass coach Alonzo Lee said. “That’s something that was peculiar to me more so than anything. Them flags were very one-sided today, but we made our share of mistakes. We ran the football well, we did some good things, and then we opened it up and started passing. We threw a few key interceptions, which hurt us. Overall, we’re just inconsistent moving the football. That’s the biggest thing.”
Poly 8, Douglass 0
D 0 0 0 0 — 0
P 0 6 0 2 — 8
P—Chambers 26 pass from Harvey (run failed)