Throughout the season, Edward Garnes and Larry McClain have provided the big plays for Forestville. Yesterday, with the Knights facing the prospect of seeing their playoff hopes take a drastic step backward, the junior running backs delivered once again.
Garnes's 47-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter gave the Knights the lead and they scored on their next four possessions to rout No. 18 Potomac, 48-12, in a Prince George's 2A/1A game at Forestville.
Garnes finished with 166 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 20 carries. After Garnes's go-ahead touchdown, McClain scored on runs of 14 and 43 yards. McClain finished with 107 yards rushing on eight carries; he also caught a 63-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Steve Crudup in the second quarter.
The victory puts Forestville (7-2, 3-1) in position to win the Maryland 1A South Region and home-field advantage in the opening round of the playoffs by beating Surrattsville next week.
"We just want to get in" the playoffs, Forestville Coach Michael Mayo said. "We felt this was the weekend to do it. . . . We said our playoffs started this weekend."
Potomac (7-2, 3-1) entered the game leading the Maryland 2A South Region. Yesterday's loss puts the Braves in the position of needing to beat Fairmont Heights -- which is tied with Potomac and Forestville for the Prince George's 2A/1A lead -- and then get help from other teams to make the playoffs.
For a short moment, though, it appeared Potomac would take care of business yesterday as it tries to earn its first playoff berth since 1996. After falling behind 12-0 on McClain's touchdown catch, the Braves answered as Anthony McLeod caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from DuJuan Crockett and Anthony Kirby scored on a four-yard touchdown run. A pair of two-point conversions failed, leaving the game tied at 12.
Sensing his team was falling apart, McClain called a brief team meeting and told his teammates to settle down. "Our heads were getting out of the game," said McClain, who also made his eighth interception of the season. "We slacked up and they brought us back to reality [by tying the game]. We had to step it up and get everybody organized."
That was when Forestville took over. Garnes scored on a 47-yard run, starting up the middle, bouncing left, then eluding three tacklers and weaving into the end zone. McClain ran in the two-point conversion to make it 20-12. After Arthur West recovered a fumble by Potomac, McClain swept left for a 14-yard touchdown run to make it 26-12.
Forestville then stopped Potomac on downs and, two plays later, McClain swept left, then cut back across the field for a 43-yard touchdown. Garnes's two-point conversion run gave the Knights a 34-12 lead.