Prince George's football

Friendly defense blanks Crossland, 36-0

By Matt Wilson
For The Gazette
Friday, September 17, 2010; 9:18 PM

On Crossland's first possession of the second half, the Cavaliers moved into Friendly territory. But after a bad handoff in the backfield, Friendly defensive lineman Chris Williams fell on the ball and the Patriots took possession.

That was the story of the game for the Friendly defense, which was the key component in the Patriots' 36-0 victory Friday afternoon in Temple Hills. Friendly improved to 3-0 by forcing five turnovers, abruptly halting several drives when Crossland (1-2) was threatening to score.

"It was a good game, our kids played hard," Friendly coach Peter Quaweay said. "I think Crossland did a good job. We made some mistakes, but it's a work in progress. Our kids played well and I'm happy with the performance for the most part."

After allowing only 14 points in its first two games, the Friendly defense stepped it up another notch against Friendly, constantly getting into the backfield and hassling Crossland junior quarterback Cornell Duncan. Friendly recorded six sacks and made it difficult for the Cavaliers to move the ball.

"The defense is playing well," Quaweay said. "We have a lot of aggressive kids on defense and they are starting to come into their own. It's finally jelling for them ... they are playing pretty good football."

Friendly senior quarterback Sherrod Baltimore and senior wide receiver Taylor Matthews connected for several big plays early that put the game nearly out of reach before halftime. On Friendly's second possession, Baltimore hit Matthews on a 25-yard pass that took the offense to the Crossland 2-yard-line. Baltimore scored on the next play on a run up the middle.

"Throwing the ball helped the offense a lot, but I would like to give the credit to the o-line because without their blocking we couldn't have made it happen," Matthews said.

On the Patriots' next possession, Baltimore again found Matthews, but this time it was in the back of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Baltimore ran for a two-point conversion extending Friendly's lead to 14-0.

But Baltimore and Matthews weren't finished. On the first play following an interception at Crossland's 20-yard line, Baltimore again hit Matthews in the back of the end zone for another 20-yard touchdown pass, giving the Patriots a 20-0 lead they would take into halftime.

"I think Crossland was a really good team, but we played well and executed well," Baltimore said. "They blitzed a lot so we had to pass a lot, and I think those touchdowns really helped the team."

Crossland coach Brian Goodall was disappointed with the number of turnovers his team committed, but was still happy with some of the improvements the Cavaliers were able to make on special teams. Frederick Douglass returned three punts for touchdowns last week in a 48-0 victory against Crossland.

"Turnovers hurt us because we were in scoring position, and when the turnovers came, it stopped our drive, which led to no points on the board," Goodall said. "But we made some improvements and our special teams looked pretty good. We worked on our special teams real hard this week so we gotta keep going forward and we gotta keep practicing hard."

This story is from The Gazette group of community newspapers published by Post-Newsweek Media, a unit of The Washington Post Co.

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