So close yet so far for Shaw, Ballou

H.D. Woodson defeated Ballou 30-26 for its second straight win in the Turkey Bowl at Eastern High School on Saturday, November 26, 2009.
By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 27, 2009

Eric Shaw wanted one final carry in his high school career. The Ballou senior running back already had rushed for three touchdowns in Thursday's Turkey Bowl. In the final minutes of the fourth quarter, the Knights had first and goal from the 1, and Shaw could envision himself scoring the tying touchdown.

He had rushed 17 times for 63 yards and caught four passes for 39 yards, but he never got the chance for the decisive score. A run and two quarterback sneaks left the ball at the 1, then a penalty for delay of game moved the ball back to the 6 before a pass was batted down.

Instead of collecting the D.C. public school championship trophy for the second time in four years, many of Ballou's players sat on the artificial turf in stunned disbelief after a 30-26 loss to H.D. Woodson.

"We were too close not to score," Shaw said. "I believe if I would have got it, I would have scored. But it didn't go that way. It's okay, though.

"This means a lot to me. I wanted to get my first ring. But everything doesn't always go your way. It is what it is. One day I'll receive a ring."

Shaw attended Coolidge for his first three years of high school and started in the backfield for the Colts last season. He transferred to Ballou before this school year because he wanted to play a larger role offensively.

Coolidge "wouldn't give me the carries I needed to shine," Shaw said.

"So I decided to come to Ballou so I could show what I could do and show my talent."

Shaw certainly showed it Thursday. He opened the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and his 10-yard touchdown run to the left midway through the third quarter helped the Knights (9-2) take a 16-14 lead.

After Woodson retook the lead, Shaw's second effort on a run up the middle resulted in a one-yard touchdown, and Larry Pinkard's catch on the two-point conversion put Ballou ahead 24-22 early in the fourth quarter.

Later, after Woodson took a 30-24 lead, Ballou quarterback Delonte Edwards led the Knights down the field. Helped by a pair of penalties on Woodson and two passes to Daray Crawford, the Knights had first down on the 1 with two and a half minutes left. Woodson Coach Greg Fuller said he was expecting Shaw to get the ball, but his defense did a nice job bottling up the middle.

After three plays left Ballou with fourth down at the 1, Coach Moe Ware said he considered several plays before sending in the call, failing to leave enough time for the snap before the Knights were whistled for delay.

"Oh man, the coach has got to take that one," Ware said.

"I probably should have used a timeout right there, collect ourselves and go for the win."

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