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For the second straight season, the New Town football team fell one game short of the state title game.

The Titans lost 16-6 to host Potomac in the Class 2A state semifinals on Friday night. The loss comes a year after the team lost to Glenelg in the state semis.

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“I’m super proud of them,” said New Town coach Mike Savage. “No one thought we’d be here tonight. We were the last team standing in Baltimore County. We had a couple of upsets to get here, and our kids fought hard.”

Potomac (12-1) was led by senior quarterback Dominique Anthony, who ran for two touchdowns, and a stout defense, which allowed only 66 yards of offense to New Town in the second half.

“He’s not a kid who wants to run; he wants to throw the ball from the pocket,” said Potomac coach Ronnie Crump. “I told him he’s got to do what he’s got to do to win the game, and that’s keep the chains moving. He’s been my starter for three years, and I believe in him and he did what he had to do to get in that end zone.”

The No. 5-seeded Wolverines will play the winner of the Middletown-Elkton semifinal game in the state title game Dec. 7 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.

New Town, which upset top-seeded Douglass (P.G.) last week, opened the game at Potomac with a 14-play drive. The Titans, led by running back Zavion Woodard and quarterback Brian Williams, drove 74 yards before getting stopped on third down and settling for a 34-yard field goal by senior Samuel Okezie-Imo.

After the Titans defense forced a three-and-out on Potomac’s first drive, Williams drove the offense downfield again and Okezie-Imo put New Town up 6-0 with a 38-yard field goal.

Anthony then put the Wolverines ahead 7-6 early in the second quarter with an 11-yard run. Anthony, an Old Dominion commit, scrambled on third-and-10 and barreled into the end zone for the Wolverines’ first score.

“He’s a big, tough kid,” Savage said of Anthony. “We knew that coming into the game. I didn’t think he’d run the ball that much, but he tucked it away and got some yards for his team.”

The Wolverines defense kept the momentum with a takeaway on New Town’s next drive when linebacker Gregory Washington picked off Williams around midfield to set up the Wolverines’ offense. However, New Town’s defense responded and forced a turnover on downs. Potomac faced a fourth-and-1 on New Town’s 19-yard line, but the Titans pressured Anthony and his throw was off the mark.

After Potomac went into halftime up 7-6, the Wolverines were stalled just outside the red zone and sophomore kicker Xavier Gwinn missed a 38-yard field goal. Potomac head coach Ronnie Crump kept trust in his kicker on the Wolverines’ next drive, though, and Gwinn squeaked a 38-yard field goal right over the crossbar to put Potomac up 10-6 early in the fourth quarter.

“I had all the confidence in the world in him,” Crump said. “He hits them in practice every day. Special teams takes up a large portion of our practice. … For a kid to hit a (38)-yarder. … He’s a weapon. That’s something you need when you get to this level in the playoffs. I believe in him.”

Anthony then put the Wolverines up two scores later in the quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run. The score was set up by a 33-yard pass-and-catch from Anthony to University of Maryland commit Cory Dyches.

Potomac’s defense remained stout for the remainder of the game, holding New Town’s offense to 66 yards of offense in the second half. The Wolverines defense forced two New Town punts, a turnover on downs and a fumble in the half. Dyches recovered a fumble with about a minute left to seal the victory for Potomac.

“The defense played well,” Crump said. “We didn’t give up a touchdown all day. We got out of that man-to-man (defense) and switched to zone. We knew their quarterback could play, but we didn’t think they could hurt us in zone.”

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Savage credited his 19-player senior class with leading the Titans to the state semifinals for the second straight season.

“Our guys fought hard,” Savage said. “The seniors picked it up in the summer and carried the team. We had a successful year. We didn’t get the ultimate goal, but it was still a successful season.”

“This is my home,” said Williams, the Titans’ senior quarterback. “I love these guys and the coaches.”

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