Montgomery Nonleague

Clarksburg Defeats Einstein in High School Football

By Jeff Nelson
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, October 25, 2008

After Clarksburg allowed 200 rushing yards to one player last week, a question hovered over the Coyotes' undefeated season: Was that performance an aberration soon to be forgotten, or the first exposure of a serious weakness?

With Einstein and its star running back, Malcolm Crockett, visiting Clarksburg last night, there would be a quick answer. And the sophomore with two straight 300-yard games was shut down, amassing just 39 yards on 24 carries.

Those numbers, coupled with an impressive showing by Clarksburg's own running backs, led to a 34-6 victory for the Coyotes, who have won 18 straight regular season games.

"He's a great running back," Clarksburg Coach Larry Hurd Jr. said of Crockett. "And he didn't have many [yards] tonight, so our defense played pretty darn good."

From the start, Crockett couldn't escape from a sea of powder blue jerseys on nearly every carry.

The Coyotes' constant pursuit and sure tackling provided a stark contrast to last week, when Rockville's Crusoe Gongbay rushed for 200 yards on 25 carries in a game Clarksburg still won, 32-14.

"We spent an entire week working on the fundamentals of football," Hurd said. "Tackle, tackle, tackle. And all we talked about was getting to the ball, 11 defenders to the ballcarrier, and our kids really bought into that and were really excited about the opportunity to go against Malcolm Crockett."

If Clarksburg (8-0) did have a problem with its run defense in the past, Einstein Coach Mike Bonavia doesn't see it anymore.

"They defensed [Crockett] better than any team we've played this year," he said. "I thought they were swarming him and reacting to him very well."

The Coyotes' running backs, meanwhile, found the success Einstein (4-4) couldn't.

Senior Avery Graham caught a 27-yard touchdown to start the scoring in the second quarter, and junior Pat Isaacs (81 yards on six carries, two touchdowns) and senior Mark Small (192 yards on 17 carries, one touchdown) had big performances.

Isaacs's performance was especially encouraging for Clarksburg, as the junior took advantage of doubling his season high for carries.

"I take my opportunities strong," he said. "Once I get the ball, it's just like I'm living the life, living the dream. And once I get a touchdown, I'm just so excited, I don't know what to do with myself."

Clarksburg 34, Einstein 6 Read and React: Clarksburg junior cornerback Jamaal Germany jumped a swing pass on a play Einstein repeatedly ran, tipped the ball backward, picked it up (it was ruled a lateral, and therefore, a fumble) and ran 30 yards for a touchdown. Better Late Than Never: Einstein backup Malik Mahdi scored on a 54-yard run with 15 seconds left to prevent a shutout.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company