Oxon Hill's Mark McCain dedicated his performance in yesterday's Prince George's 4A regular season finale against rival Friendly to his brother, Mike, who is en route to Saudi Arabia with other American soldiers.
His brother should be proud of him, as the senior running back gained 61 yards and was one of many catalysts for the third-ranked Clippers in their 32-3 landslide victory over the 15th-ranked Patriots in raw weather at Friendly.
Oxon Hill (10-0) entered the game guaranteed a state playoff berth, but the victory gave the Clippers their second straight county championship under Coach Cliff Haskins and assured them of hosting a quarterfinal matchup next week. Friendly (8-2) has a slim chance of qualifying for the playoffs.
"It was a very emotional game for me because my brother couldn't be here," said McCain. "It's been my dream since I was in the boys club to win a state championship."
Friendly got the game's first big break after defensive end Elijah Walker recovered Oxon Hill quarterback Russell Thomas's fumble at the Patriots 23. But Friendly had to settle for a 3-0 lead off Robert Zurowski's 23-yard field goal as Oxon Hill's defense stiffened.
It was a brief Friendly advantage, as Dante Buggs took the ensuing kickoff at the 12 and dashed 88 yards through a gaping hole for a score. Victor Poole's extra point attempt sailed left, leaving the Clippers with a 6-3 lead.
Friendly did not get any more breaks, as Oxon Hill overwhelmed the Patriots with rushing, led by McCain (12 carries for 61 yards), and limited them to 86 total yards behind a defense, anchored by tackles David Carrington and Landon Lewis. Oxon Hill also scored touchdowns off two Friendly fumbles inside the 30.
"They did things to help create turnovers," said Friendly Coach Dick Knode. "I think we tried our best and our defense played pretty well, but you just can't give a good team the ball in the field position that we gave them."
Oxon Hill did not take long to score off turnovers. Thomas, running the quarterback option sleekly, pitched to Randy Carter (nine carries for 40 yards), who ran 19 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter. McCain took the option pitch and sprinted for an 18-yard touchdown in the third quarter that put the Clippers up, 26-3.
"We've just been working hard all year and we just put things together," said Carter, who scored the final touchdown on a 17-yard pass from Thomas. "We were fortunate to get this win today, but we're going to keep working hard. The show is definitely not over."