With just under 10 minutes to play in yesterday's season opener at Poly, Patterson's Dwayne Simmons -- his white uniform covered with dirt -- jogged to the sidelines and ripped off his
tattered No. 25 in favor of the pristine No. 46.
On this day, it would take more than one jersey to contain the Clippers' superback.
Simmons rushed 21 times for a career-high 257 yards, including a 90-yard touchdown run on his team's second play from scrimmage, as No. 8 Patterson defeated the fifth-ranked Engineers, 20-6, in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game.
For the senior, who spent most of last season as a backup, the day couldn't have been much sweeter.
"It's the perfect way to start the season," said Simmons, who gave credit to his offensive line -- including guards Terry Otto (6 feet 2, 262 pounds) and Patrick Stafford (6-2, 278) and center George Hill 6-0, 246) -- for opening gaping holes all afternoon. "They really helped open things up for me."
Patterson coach Roger Wrenn was especially pleased with the ease at which the Clippers moved the ball.
NTC "Our offensive line cleared some great holes, and we have guys who can run it through," said Wrenn. "Last year [Simmons] alternated at tailback and started at linebacker, but this was his first chance to really run the ball. I thought he ran it hard all day long."
Simmons began quickly, taking his first handoff of the season, bursting through a hole in the middle and racing 90 yards down the left sideline to give Patterson a 6-0 lead with 3:32 left in the first quarter.
Two possessions later, the Clippers showed they also could score on a sustained drive.
Starting at their own 4, they went 55 yards on 11 straight running plays, then used a little bit of trickery to score their second touchdown as running back Devin Jones threw an option pass to a wide-open Mike Jaski for a 38-yard touchdown to make it 12-0 minutes before halftime.
While getting out-gained, 203-57, in the first half, the Engineers also hurt their own cause by fumbling away its first two kickoff returns.
They scored their only points on a 28-yard drive late in the third quarter, capped by Karlton Dunn's 8-yard counter left for a touchdown to make it 12-6.
But with 9:07 to play, Simmons added a 14-yard touchdown to make it 20-6, and the Engineers found that their run-oriented offense wasn't made for comebacks.
"They controlled the line of scrimmage and controlled the ball," said Poly coach Augie Waibel. "Once we fell behind, we just couldn't throw the ball and we couldn't catch the ball."
For Patterson, however, the mood was more upbeat.
"It's an outstanding way for us to start," said Wrenn. "Augie Waibel and [assistant coach] Bucky Kimmett are absolute legends in Baltimore. To beat them and that storied program is really something special."