Recalling how his team lost last year's outing by four after having a two-touchdown lead, Woodlawn coach Brian Scriven predicted last night's rematch with county 3A-4A league rival Randallstown would be "a war."
And although his Warriors (4-3, 4-2) proved worthy of their namesake, again holding the lead until late in the game, they allowed history to repeat itself in the rain at Catonsville Community College.
The No. 13 Rams (6-1, 5-1) won their sixth straight game, 8-6, to remain in second place in the Baltimore County 3A-4A League.
The game turned when Rams' quarterback-defensive back Randall Isabelle intercepted Tavon Mason with 6:59 left at Woodlawn's 46. Six plays later, Lance Jackson (118 yards, 16 carries) went over from the 9, then dove over for the conversion run and the winning margin with 4:23 remaining.
"We pulled it out didn't we? Yes, we did," said the Rams' first-year coach James Carpenter, who watched Marvin Beasley recover a Woodlawn fumble on their final drive of the night. "I had a positive sensation once Randall got the interception."
Woodlawn's Maurice Walker, coming off last week's 188-yard, three-touchdown effort against Perry Hall, had 100 of his 132 yards in the first half, and the Warriors amassed 214 total yards. Backfield mate Brandon Savoy rushed for 53 yards.
Randallstown's Devin Johnson (823 yards, 13 touchdowns entering the game) faced a line averaging 235 pounds, and had 68 of his 88 yards in the second half. Woodlawn held Rams receiver Felix Buchanan, who had 17 receptions for 371 yards and five touchdowns before last night, to one reception for minus 3 yards.
"They were playing tough, bump and run, against Felix, and my quarterback was slipping a lot," Carter said. "But we knew we wanted to stay with the run, and Lance was the key."
In a scoreless first quarter, Woodlawn drove nine plays to the Randallstown 13, only to allow two penalties and a 12-yard sack by Ross Lusco -- his first of two totaling minus 21 -- to end the march three plays later.
Woodlawn also thwarted a Rams' drive when Lance Jackson fumbled into the hands of Mason after a 16-yard gain to the Warriors' 37.
That, coupled with Mason's 17-yard pass to Jelani Fair, set up Walker's 48-yard touchdown for a 6-0 lead early in the second period. Fair (6-3, 190) also had a 13-yard sack to end a promising Randallstown drive in the third period.
Woodlawn threatened again, driving to the Rams' 30, but Mason fumbled and Randallstown's Ben Thomas recovered at the 44.
On the next play, Johnson covered 31 yards before Mason dragged him down at the Warriors 31 for his first of two touchdown-preventing tackles. But two plays later, the Warriors' Wayne Barbour (255 pounds) sacked Isabelle for minus 12 yards, and Fair dropped Johnson for a 4-yard loss as Woodlawn took over on downs 52 seconds before the half.
Randallstown entered the game ranked third in its North Region and 11th overall in its quest for a spot in the eight-team 3A state playoff field.
Randallstown, a 24-6 loser to No. 2 Dunbar in its season opener, still must play No. 15 Dulaney and Perry Hall -- a team ranked as high as No. 9 before suffering a loss to Dulaney.