Ed Shields’s message to his Suitland team after its 27-6 win over C.H. Flowers was “we have to be better.”
Twelve penalties for 95 yards were far too many, according to the coach. A scoreless first half just won’t cut it in the playoffs. Four fumbles and a few crucial drops do not a championship team make.
But even against previously unbeaten Flowers (7-1, 6-1), the Rams found enough body-slamming defense and big-play offense to cruise Saturday night at Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex.
“Don’t delude yourselves,” Shields told his team in the postgame huddle. The Rams (8-0, 7-0) “didn’t show themselves well.”
Overall, maybe not. But sophomore wide receiver Tevin Singleton and senior quarterback Wesley Wolfolk did show well, at least in the second half, and the duo was a big reason the Rams turned “not-their-best” into their eighth straight win.
In the first half, Wolfolk and Singleton each had a few near-misses. In the second half, those close calls turned into points.
Wolfolk hit Singleton streaking down the sideline with a perfectly thrown ball for a 79-yard score that gave the Rams a 7-0 lead.
Four minutes later, Wolfolk broke loose for an 84-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0.
Rams penalties delayed the second-half onslaught by putting Flowers in the red zone and setting up a touchdown, but by game’s end, Wolfolk had thrown for 214 yards and three touchdowns — two to Singleton.
“We came out slow in the first half. Like Coach said, we needed a perfect 24 minutes in the second half. We did. We came together,” Singleton said.
The Suitland defense made sure all those things the Rams could have done better became merely teachable moments on film rather than the causes of a first loss. The Rams held Flowers to 223 yards of total offense, 175 on the ground, and picked off two passes. One third-quarter blow knocked Jaguars quarterback Malik White from the game, gone with 37 yards passing and 28 rushing yards in the course of his shortened evening.
“We didn’t play very well tonight. We were fortunate to be able to do some things,” Shields said. “We did play some tough defense tonight despite some bad situations from penalties. I’m hoping we’ll get better.”