T.C. Williams 12,
West Potomac 6
T.C. Williams Coach Greg Sullivan finally got through to his team that it was in desperate need of a big play -- and a winning streak.
Brian Lemon heard his coach loud and clear as the senior linebacker broke through for a blocked punt that set up the only score of the second half in the visiting Titans' 12-6 victory over Alexandria area rival West Potomac last night.
Josh Nesbitt recovered the loose ball and returned it to the 7, where Mike Hughes scored two plays later on a five-yard run with 4 minutes 42 seconds to go. The win is the second straight for T.C. Williams (2-1), its first such streak since September 2002.
"The kids kept saying they could get [a blocked punt], but not everybody was getting the message that we're going after this," Sullivan said. "I made sure on the one that we did when I said 'Go in and make sure everybody understands we're going after this thing.' That was the turning point in the game."
West Potomac (0-3) has gotten used to plays going against it in the opening weeks of the season. The Wolverines have lost their games by a combined 14 points -- something that Sullivan said he's seen his team go through in his two years as well.
"These kids believe they're only this far from being 3-0," said Sullivan, whose team lost by a point to Fairfax in the first week of the season. "These are the games we didn't win last year.
"We lost 7-6. We lost 13-8 and didn't give up a defensive touchdown. We had opportunities to be in games. Our mistakes, kind of like West Potomac, self-destructed. That's what killed us" last year.
The Wolverines were going to make the Titans, who fumbled 10 times but lost none, earn that first winning streak and their first victory over West Potomac since 1996 by using four- and five-receiver sets.
West Potomac's Darnell Williams completed 7 of 16 passes for 111 yards in the first half and led a 71-yard scoring drive in the final 27 seconds that was capped by a 10-yard toss to Derrick Baker on the final play before intermission. That made the score 6-6.
However, the Wolverines' passing success waned in the second half. Williams completed just one throw after the break and had his last two attempts intercepted.
Opposite to West Potomac's free-flinging offense was the pounding style of Hughes, who carried 24 times for 117 yards and the winning touchdown.
"Coach told us to turn it up, so we turned it up and scored," Hughes said. "It felt good."
The Titans scored the first touchdown of the game 8:49 before halftime on quarterback Ken Benedetti's four-yard run.
The touchdown was set up by Benedetti's only completion of the game, a 21-yarder to tight end Casey Muhtadi.