C.H. Flowers 27, Suitland 7
As No. 16 C.H. Flowers began its pregame warmup, running back Rapheal Johnson had a stomachache. Whether it was from a pregame meal that consisted of a fast-food steak-and-bacon biscuit, as Johnson suspected, or nerves before a big game as Coach Mike Mayo wondered, there was no better remedy than a few trips to the end zone.
Johnson rushed 24 times for 210 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Jaguars to a 27-7 victory over visiting Suitland in a Prince George's 4A game yesterday in Springdale.
It was the sixth time in seven games that Johnson rushed for at least 100 yards and the victory put Flowers (6-1, 6-1) in excellent position to make its third consecutive playoff appearance.
Suitland (4-3, 4-2), which continues to play without All-Met linebacker Navorro Bowman (injured shoulder), likely needs to win its three remaining games to return to the postseason.
Suitland briefly held the lead yesterday after Monty Clayton's nine-yard touchdown run on the game's initial possession. Thereafter, it was all Flowers. Johnson scored on a 66-yard run on the Jaguars' second offensive play and, one series later, scored on a two-yard run for a 14-7 lead. By that time, Johnson's pain had subsided.
"At first [my stomach] was real bad," Johnson said. "But as time went on, it slowly went away and eased off."
Getting additional carries after teammate Antoine Cuff left in the first quarter with a hip pointer, Johnson was especially effective running up the middle in the Jaguars' no-frills wing-T offense. He carried nine times on a 15-play, eight-minute drive to start the second half, scoring on a five-yard run.
"We know teams are gearing up to stop him," Mayo said. "But our offensive line is opening holes for him and he runs hard. We had some other guys make plays to keep them honest, but when it came down to making the big play he did a heck of a job."