Eleventh-ranked Woodlawn got two big surprises yesterday.
Host Eastern Vocational Tech marched 72 yards for a touchdown on the game's opening series and broke a big play in the second period for a 12-0 lead.
"That second touchdown was like an alarm clock -- it woke us up," said Woodlawn's 6-foot, 220-pound linebacker Kamar Brooks, who had 11 tackles, including a sack and two assists.
The Warriors (7-1, 6-1) rallied with four touchdowns, including 20 points in the final period, for a 27-12 Baltimore County 4A-3A League victory.
"That was the first time anyone has moved the ball on us like that," said Woodlawn coach George Goudy. "They [EVT] were a good team."
EVT's Ira McCullough capped the game-opening, 16-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run with 3:03 left in the period.
The Mustangs made it 12-0 after sophomore Dwan Jones sprinted 69 yards on the second play of the second quarter.
Jones, McCullough, who scored his fifth touchdown, and fullback Brian Reese combined for 176 yards on 32 carries.
The Warriors, led by option quarterback Rodney Pettit and helped by two second-half turnovers, kept their state Class 4A playoff hopes alive.
"We knew the playoffs were on the line," said fullback Omar Johnson, who rushed 17 times for two touchdowns and a conversion.
Johnson had 113 of the Warriors' 198 total yards -- all on the ground -- raising his season total to 650 yards and nine touchdowns. Pettit (45 yards, nine carries) and halfback Troy Sheppard (40, 13) scored a touchdown each.
With nine penalties for 45 yards, including one that negated Johnson's 69-yard touchdown run late in the first period, Woodlawn often was its own worst enemy.
"Our first bus broke down, so we were late and we just weren't ready to play," Johnson said. "We knew we had to do something to get our heads back in the game."
The Warriors scored with 2:48 left in the first half, when Pettit rolled right and leaped over from two yards away, ending a 14-play, 61-yard drive. Johnson kept the drive going by diving for two yards on a fourth-and-one at the EVT 36.
Pettit's extra-point kick cut the deficit to 12-7 at the half. His recovery of an EVT punt return at the Mavericks' 45 led to Sheppard's 4-yard touchdown run 14 plays later for a 13-12 lead with 8:53 left in the game.
Pettit had intended to run the ball in, but he was met at the line by three Mavericks defenders. He was in their grasp when he pitched the ball to Sheppard on the right before being dragged down.
"If they didn't have you, they would have been in trouble," Mavericks coach Jim Salters told Pettit after the game, "because you're the one who beat us."
With seven minutes left in the game, EVT (5-3, 5-2) was driving from its 28 when the Warriors' Chris Flenoy recovered an errant pitch by quarterback Eric Messercola at the 18. Johnson got the call, running down the left side for his first touchdown and then making the conversion run to put the Warriors up 21-12 with 5:10 remaining.
After getting the ball back on the Mavericks' 35 with a little more than two minutes left, Johnson ran for 8 and then 22 yards before going over from 5 yards to close the scoring.
Woodlawn 0 7 0 20 -- 27
EVT .. ..6 6 0 0 -- 12
-- McCullough 4 run (kick failed)
E -- Jones 69 run (run failed)
W -- Pettit 2 run (Pettit kick)
W -- Sheppard 4 run (kick failed)
W -- Johnson 18 run (Johnson run)
W -- Johnson 5 run (kick failed)