"There's not a whole lot of science to what we do, and it ain't pretty," said Patterson coach Roger Wrenn. "We just line up and run it behind our big guys."
Wrenn was explaining last night's 28-12 victory over 14th-ranked City West Division rival Lake Clifton at Utz Twardowicz Park. Tenth-ranked Patterson gained 244 yards on the ground behind those "big guys," senior All-Metro lineman Matt Belcastro and juniors Matt Williams and Domonique Williams, whose average size is 6 feet 4, 310 pounds.
The victory was the regular-season finale for both teams, as the Clippers (9-1, 5-1) clinched a tie with Dunbar for a share of their second straight East Division crown.
Dunbar (8-2, 5-1) ended Patterson's 16-game winning streak, 36-32, three weeks ago, but lost, 6-0, to the Lakers (7-3, 4-2), whose defense had allowed an average of seven points before last night.
Tony Smithson led the Clippers, scoring twice on 143 rushing yards. Eric Myers returned an interception 25 yards for another score, and Rashidi Scott set up his own score, the game's last, with 23 seconds left. Vernard Jones had a sack and caught the game's final conversion pass for Patterson.
After a scoreless first period, Lake Clifton went ahead 6-0 with 7: 20 left in the first half as Ronald Jefferson (10-for-18, 143 yards) found Tyreek Smith on the end of Smith's first of two scoring receptions. This one, a 19-yarder while facing fourth-and-four, ended a nine-play, 95-yard drive.
But the Clippers went up 8-6 after Smithson's 14-yard run, followed by a conversion run by Ronnie Rivers, finished a seven-play, 60-yard march with 3: 50 left in the half.
The Lakers stopped Patterson's next drive at their 9 as Deandre Clark recovered a fumble. But on second-and-10, Myers intercepted Jefferson with no time remaining and returned it 25 yards for a 14-6 halftime lead.
Jefferson found Smith again to make it 14-12 early in the fourth period, finishing an eight-play, 92-yard drive, but the Clippers stretched the lead to 20-12 with 5: 28 to play as Smithson, a 5-6, 145-pounder, ran it in from 9 yards.
"I've had great blocking all year long," Smithson said. "They make it easy, and now we have our second championship."
Lake Clifton's Ricky Burton recovered a fumble and had an interception, Rashawd Barrett had a sack and Clark a fumble recovery. Alan Carr rushed for 73 yards.
Patterson also clinched the North Region title and the No. 2 seed heading into next week's playoffs.
Despite its loss, Lake Clifton earned a playoff berth when Old Mill (eighth) and Magruder (10th) lost to Severna Park and Watkins Mill, respectively.
Should favored Suitland, which is in the sixth spot, beat Northwestern of Prince George's, which is in the ninth spot, today, the possibility exists that Lake Clifton and Patterson will meet again in next week's quarterfinal round.