Last night's matchup between Friendly and No. 5 Edmondson was supposed to be a slugfest between last year's state champions from Prince George's County and Baltimore.
However, it was the Patriots, ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press' state poll, who threw most of the punches in a 50-12 victory. The Red Storm was no match for Friendly's high-powered rushing attack, which totaled 371 yards on 21 carries, including scores on 50-, 58-, 62- and 80- yard runs.
"They have a good team, and the better team won today," Edmondson coach Dante Jones said. "We just did not do a good job tackling tonight. Football is about tackling and blocking, and we did not do that tonight. This is football. You win some, you lose some."
The loss also ended Edmondson's 11-game winning streak dating to last season.
Friendly, last season's Class 3A state champion, wasted little time getting its ground game revved up. The Patriots rushed eight consecutive times for 62 yards on the game's opening drive, ending with Lamaar Thomas' 18-yard touchdown with 8:30 left in the first quarter.
Braxton Shelton then broke a 50-yard run four minutes to give Friendly a 14-0 lead. A 20-yard score by Devon Taylor and Josh Haden's 80-yard scamper gave Friendly a 28-0 lead with 4:51 left in the first half.
However, the Patriots' attack was not limited to the ground game. Quarterback Thomas Jenkins found James Flowers streaking down the sideline with one-on-one coverage for a 70-yard score and a 34-0 lead at halftime.
Not only did Friendly (1-0) dominate on offense, the Patriots defense also delivered several bone-crushing hits that drew gasps from the crowd.
One of the bright spots for Edmondson, the Class 2A state champion last season, was running back Terrence Wilson, who carried the ball 12 times for 111 yards. Wilson's 77-yard run on the opening drive of the second half set up Edmondson's first score on a 1-yard sneak by Carroll Washington Jr. to make the score 34-6.
"We just have to get back to practice and work hard," Wilson said. "This is the first game. We'll keep it moving."
Washington, an All-Baltimore City pick last season, was able to put together several nice drives for Edmondson (0-1). He also was effective moving around in the pocket and threw his first touchdown pass of the season with nine minutes left in the game when he found Darrius Douglas in the middle of the field for a 45-yard touchdown.
Friendly, however, was just too deep at running back, and Haden, who will play at Boston College next season, ran for a couple of 62-yard scores in the second half.
"We have a lot of people who should get scholarships that people don't know about," said Haden, who had 13 carries for 179 yards with three touchdowns. "We have a lot of athletes."