Eastern High School, awarded the Interhigh League East Division football title after H.D. Woodson had to forfeit 10 games because of an ineligible player, made the most of its second chance yesterday.

Arnold Morton, primarily a blocker, scored on an eight-yard run and defensive tackle Henry Lancaster came up with a key interception in the final period as the Ramblers defeated No. 20 Wilson, 12-6, to win the league championship before 11,446 at Howard University's Greene Stadium.

In a game that featured only one punt attempt -- which ended in disaster -- Eastern's ball-control offense proved the difference, particularly in the second half. Running backs Harold Brown (70 yards on 15 carries) and Dion Jolley (39 on 10) helped Eastern maintain control as they made steady gains behind the blocking of Morton and the offensive line led by 6-foot-4, 325-pound John Scott.

"Control the clock -- that was all we wanted to do," said Eastern Coach James Fields. "We felt our running game would come around and we played for that one good drive."

With the score tied at 6, the Ramblers (9-2) got that drive late in the third period. Brown, Jolley and Morton alternated carries and quarterback Kelvin Trimmer had a 16-yard completion to Eugene Jenifer in the 10-play, 65-yard march. On a third and one from the Wilson 8, Morton barreled up the middle for what proved to be the winning points with 10:38 remaining.

"Morton is a true fullback; he really can block," Fields said. "On short yardage, we give him the ball."

Two-time defending West Division champion Wilson (8-2-1) had more than enough time to score again. One drive ended as Wilson failed on a fourth-and-five play at its 40.

Wilson quickly got the ball back when a fourth-down gamble by Eastern at the Tigers 37 failed. But on third and 10 at the Eastern 46, Wilson quarterback Quincy Randolph was hit by Broadus Smith as he released a pass. The ball fluttered in the air and Lancaster intercepted with less than four minutes to play.

"I just reached up and grabbed it," Lancaster said. "There was nowhere to run so I just fell down."

On its ensuing drive, Eastern, faced with a third and 15, gambled once more. Trimmer completed a 36-yard pass to Robert Brown to the Wilson 25. It gave the Ramblers a first down, and more important, an opportunity to run down the clock.

That long pass also meant that the Tigers, who haven't won a league football championship since the integration of the District school system in 1955, would go away empty again.

"We didn't come here to be conservative," Fields said. "Every time we had to gamble, we gambled."

Wilson scored on its second possession, driving 59 yards on seven plays. Randolph's 36-yard pass play to Van Johnson set up Kenny Coleman's one-yard scoring run on the first play of the second period. Wilson missed the extra point.

Eastern got a big break in the half's waning seconds. Forced to punt from his 42, Wilson's Eric Granton couldn't handle Brooke Cawley's low snap and the ball rolled all the way inside his 20 before he could grab it.

But Eastern's George Stewart tackled Granton and the ball popped loose. Smith was right there to scoop it up and run 14 yards for the tying score with just 33 seconds on the clock.

"When George got to {Granton}, I saw the ball on the ground and I picked it up and took off," said Smith, who made several other key defensive plays. "I didn't get blocked and I was able to get in."

Fields said the block was on but there was not a designated rusher. Fleming said the play could not have come at a worst time.

"That really zapped us," said Wilson Coach Horace Fleming, "and we never recovered."