With every playoff game, Poly coach Roger Wrenn is getting closer to the end of his coaching career.
Wrenn is retiring after 40 years of coaching in Baltimore City, but the No. 5 Engineers extended his lengthy run another week by routing visiting No. 12 Perry Hall, 50-21, in a Class 4A North Region semifinal Friday night.
"I know the end is near," Wrenn said. "But I am just trying to enjoy it, and it has been such a magic season."
Poly (11-0) advances to play Catonsville in the regional final Friday night.
Against Perry Hall (8-3), Wrenn faced a team coached by Keith Robinson, a former assistant of his at Patterson.
The two hugged after the game as Wrenn teared up.
"He is like a father to me," Robinson said. "I coached at Overlea, too. So I was always around him. I took in as much as I could from him."
Poly didn't take it easy on Robinson's team. rolling up a season-high 433 yards of total offense (303 in the first half), including 361 yards rushing.
Senior running back Jamal Chappell sparked Poly in the first half, rushing for three touchdowns and 161 yards on 15 carries (he finished with 173 yards on 17 carries).
Engineers quarterback Darrell Milburn passed for a touchdown and rushed for one, and Brandon Owens contributed 72 yards on six carries.
Defensive back Jordan Garrison led Poly's defense with three interceptions. He also caught a touchdown pass.
Perry Hall turned the ball over three times in the first half and four overall, and the Engineers limited the Gators to 43 yards of offense in the first half.
Poly needed only five plays to score. Chappell's 46-yard run set up Priestly Shuler's 2-yard touchdown scamper up the middle 2:37 into play.
Chappell ran in the two-point conversion to put the Engineers ahead, 8-0.
After Perry Hall went three-and-out on its first series, Poly scored again after only two plays, increasing its lead to 14-0 on Chappell's 50-yard run off tackle.
On Perry Hall's second play of its third series, Garrison picked off Mike DeBaugh's pass and returned it 38 yards for a score to boost the Engineers' lead to 22-0.
Perry Hall's third series also ended in disaster when Garrison intercepted DeBaugh again.
Chappell capped a 10-play, 53-yard drive with a 1-yard run on fourth down to give his team a 30-0 lead.
Poly finished its first-half scoring when Milburn teamed up with Garrison for a 30-yard score.
"We came out flat," Robinson said, "and you can't come out flat in the playoffs."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun