Potomac's James Nickens has started only six games, but Coach Eric Knight already has nicknamed the junior quarterback "Big Game James."
Nickens lived up to the moniker Saturday, completing 7 of 14 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns to lead 19th-ranked Potomac to a 21-6 home victory over No. 17 Douglass in a key Prince George's County 3A/2A game.
But nothing was more impressive than what Nickens pulled off with his team leading 8-0 with less than three minutes left in the first half for Potomac (6-0 overall and league).
Facing a third-and-8 from the Potomac 45-yard line, the pocket collapsed as Nickens dropped back to pass. He ran toward the sideline and, after eluding one defender and breaking two tackles, threw a pass over three defenders to Korey Coles at the 2-yard line. Coles crossed the goal line to extend the Wolverines' advantage to 15-0.
"That was the biggest play I've seen James make all year," Knight said. "He should have been sacked, but instead he turned it into a touchdown."
Nickens said he knew as long as he could avoid the rush, Coles -- one of the area's top receivers -- would find the hole in defense. Nickens said he spends time every day in practice working with Coles to perfect the duo's timing on deep routes.
"Korey and I work on reading defenses every day and I know where he is at all times, so as soon as I started scrambling, I saw Korey wide-open in the middle of the field," said Nickens, who has completed 39 of 62 passes for 813 yards and 11 touchdowns -- with just one interception. "It was all about being able to find the open receiver and then throw the ball where it needs to be, and let Korey do the rest."
-- JON GALLO