DUMFRIES — With all of the well-known offensive stars Gar-Field sports — including running backs Jamar Atkinson, Elihu Smith and Rasheed McClaude and quarterback Ryan Smith –the Indians rode an untouted source to its 20-7 non-district victory at Potomac: its offensive line.
Four rushers plowed out 250 yards at 6.25 per carry behind the youthful line, made up of junior center Shane Thurston, junior guard Mo Steward, senior guard Loren White and junior tackles Flordell Kissee and George Frye.
“Running the ball is the foundation of the game,” said Gar-Field #&039;s first-year head coach Jim Poythress, whose team attempted just one pass. “We were moving the ball, so I didn #&039;t see the need to do anything else.”
The Indians (2-0) gained 158 of their yards in the first half while limiting the defending Cardinal District champions to 47. But the Panthers (1-1) still had a chance to win trailing 14-7 midway through the final period.
Potomac stunted Gar-Field #&039;s offense in the third quarter and drew within a touchdown late in the third period on a Gary Price sneak. On their next possession, which began with 8:49 remaining, they moved quickly down the field with a balanced run-pass mix.
An 18-yard completion from Price to Jesse Williams gave Potomac a first down on Gar-Field #&039;s 37 with the clock nearing six minutes. But an incompletion, a 3-yard gain by Antwan Stewart on a trick play and another incompletion left the Panthers facing fourth-and-seven.
Williams broke open past a Gar-Field cornerback on a deep post and Price floated a pass downfield that if caught, could have tied the game. The Indian defender tugged on Williams #&039; jersey in plain view of the modest-sized home crowd, but no call came from any officials. The pass was overthrown and fell incomplete, effectively ending the Panthers #&039; chances.
McClaude (game-high 89 yards) opened the scoring on Gar-Field #&039;s sixth play of the game with a 29-yard dash off of right tackle.
The 5-11, 185-pound junior ran untouched into the Panther secondary, where he broke an arm tackle and spun into the end zone.
Ryan Smith tacked on another score with a quarterback sneak early in the second period to cap an eight-play, 50-yard drive that put Gar-Field up 14-0. Potomac had a chance to score before the half, but Darren Garrigan intercepted Price in the end zone.
Gar-Field sacked Price six times, including five in the first half. Atkinson had three sacks, White had two and Stephen Parks had one.