Forestville's last drive in its 14-6 loss to Fairmont Heights typified yesterday's Prince George's AB League game.
With the 12th-ranked Knights trailing, 12-6, with the ball at their 16-yard line, Forestville reserve quarterback Marquis Harper, who had been sacked the last two plays of the previous drive, threw a pass that was broken up. Then he was sacked again for an eight-yard loss. After that, the apparently frustrated Harper threw the ball hard at a referee, with the resulting penalty pushing the defending league champions back to the 4.
Finally, Harper was sacked once more, this time beyond the end zone, winding up somewhere underneath a mob of maroon Fairmont Heights' jerseys.
It was a physical game, one that was decided on the lines, where the Hornets simply outdueled Forestville. There were no breakaway runs, long passes or big heroes -- just a bunch of hard hits and long drives. Fairmont Heights running back Jeff Turner, who had to scratch and scrape for his 50 yards rushing, said the hitting never died down. "They stood up, and never gave in," he said of Forestville. "They just held up."
But Fairmont Heights assistant coach Skip Hutton said the Hornets might have had a conditioning edge. "We noticed they weren't too lively after a while," he said.
Sure enough, Forestville never looked better than on its first drive of the game. The Knights went 63 yards in 13 plays, scoring on Rico Marshall's eight-yard touchdown run.
Forestville's defense shut down Fairmont Heights on its first drive, but the Knights then gave up two fumbles that wound up costing them the game.
Fairmont Heights took the first fumble from the 50, and drove to the 16 before Butch Wilson, who was among the game's leading rushers with 52 yards, caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Dominic Johnson to make it 6-6 with 8:18 left in the second quarter.
The game didn't stay tied long. On Forestville's first play of the next drive, starting quarterback Vincent McDuffie fumbled after being hit, suffering a shoulder injury that sent him to the hospital at halftime. The Hornets recovered the fumble and drove 23 yards to score the game-winner. Turner ran one yard for the touchdown on the five-play drive. Forestville (2-1) 6
6 Fairmont Heights (3-0) 0
F -- Marshall 8 run (pass failed)
FH -- Wilson 16 pass from Johnson (kick failed)
FH -- Turner 1 run (pass failed)
FH -- Safety (Harper tackled in end zone)