Eastern Tech accomplished nearly everything it could have hoped for last night. The Mavericks shut down the high-octane Potomac passing attack, stopping the Wolverines from completing a pass and holding them without a first down for the final three quarters.
However, the top-ranked Mavericks had to deal with a bigger problem - the rain and a muddy field at CCBC-Essex. Yesterday's rain turned the field into a quagmire last night, stopping both teams from accomplishing much on offense. But Korey Coles scored on a 74-yard punt return in the second quarter and let Potomac pull away for an 8-0 victory over Eastern Tech in a Class 2A state semifinal game.
Potomac (12-1) advanced to next week's state championship game against Aberdeen at M&T; Bank Stadium, only the second time in school history it has reached the title game. Eastern Tech, which had won 18 in a row, finished the season at 12-1.
Both teams had potent offenses this season, but the muddy field slowed down everyone. Potomac quarterback Harold Dorman came into the game having thrown for 2,162 yards and 23 touchdowns, and running for 569 yards and eight more touchdowns. Eastern Tech running back Dietrich Wright had piled up 1,728 yards rushing plus 27 touchdowns this season.
But neither team could do anything last night. The high-powered Wolverines finished with only 68 yards of total offense, 37 of which came on Titan Trabue's run on the game's first play. Dorman couldn't complete one pass in three attempts - they didn't even try after the first period - and Potomac couldn't make a first down after the final minute of the first quarter.
The Mavericks experienced the same problems, gaining only 108 total yards and not completing a pass all night. They run the wing-T and couldn't get good blocking or chances to cut on the swampy field. Wright finished with only 51 yards rushing.
"It was a mud bowl," Eastern Tech quarterback Josh Hager said. "It was a tough night. We had the mind-set to get to the state championship game."
Still, Eastern Tech coach Marc Mesaros was proud of how his team hung in through the tough conditions.
"Prince George's County has very good football," Mesaros said. "Most of the people in the state thought they'd blow us out by 40."
Potomac made just one play in the game and it proved to be enough. Coles raced up to field a punt, took off down the left sideline and raced virtually untouched for the 74-yard touchdown with 7:54 left in the first half. Trabue then ran for the two-point conversion.
"[There was] one thing that was going through my mind, and that was touchdown," Coles said. "My eyes got big. I couldn't believe it when [seeing the hole]."
Potomac coach Eric Knight went conservative after the Wolverines took the 8-0 lead.
The Wolverines basically just ran the ball up the middle and tried not to fumble or give Eastern Tech any chances.
"We were doing everything we could just to eat up clock," Knight said. "We felt all along that we could win the game, but we didn't know what the weather was going to be. We figured we'd have to run the ball."
Potomac 0 8 0 0 - 8
Eastern Tech 0 0 0 0 - 0
P-Coles 74 punt return (Trabue run)