Last fall, C.H. Flowers hosted Wise in a game that, despite a close final score, was a nightmare for the Jaguars.
On Saturday, the celebratory ice bath that doused Powell couldn’t have felt any sweeter after the Jaguars beat their usual tormentors, 20-13, in the state semifinals.
On Thursday at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Flowers will make its 4A state championship debut against Quince Orchard, which beat Broadneck, 42-9, on Friday night.
“Between me stretching before going through that damn tunnel and our staff coming up with the perfect game plan, this win was all about preparation,” Powell said. “Hats off to [Wise Coach] DaLawn Parrish — he’s been doing it at a high level for a long time — but this is our time now.”
In October, the Jaguars (13-0), beat Wise, 16-13 in overtime, for the first time since 2009, giving them confidence heading into the playoff rematch. A large green banner announcing them as Prince George’s County 4A champions covered a railing in the home stands, and Flowers warmed up with undeniable bravado.
By the Jaguars’ second drive of the game, it was clear they were the better team this year. They imposed their will on Wise (11-2), with a nine-play, 61-yard drive, capped by a one-yard touchdown run from Daquan Young; the possession took more than six minutes off the clock.
“All the banners and dancing wasn’t us being cocky or nothing,” junior wide receiver Matthew Ogunniyi said. “Since the offseason, we knew we was the better team. So today we were really out there feeling free.”
Wise responded in the second quarter with a 64-yard touchdown pass from running back DeCarlo Young to Joseph Towler.
After Flowers blocked the extra-point, quarterback Sean Johnson led the Jaguars on another clock-eating drive. Johnson’s six-yard touchdown strike to Ogunniyi gave Flowers a 13-6 lead, and the Jaguars never looked back.
“We felt like we had a huge advantage in the trenches so really just wanted to impose our will on those guys,” Powell said. “As long we were either leading or tied, we felt the best strategy for us was to slow things down and just keep pounding away at them.”
Looking to even things up coming out of the half, Wise quarterback Cortney Davis came out firing. But after completing his first attempt for a short gain, Davis’s second was intercepted.
Johnson, who accounted for 228 of the Jaguars’ 271 total yards, scored from 24 yards out moments later for a 20-6 lead.
“I just tried to be whatever my team needed,” Johnson said. “Feels so good to finally be headed to states.”