by Michelle Clark
The pregame prediction by both teams indicated a high scoring game as the Baltimore City College Black Knights (7-2) and the No. 11 Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Engineers (8-1) had been posting impressive offensive number throughout the 2009 season. However, the 121st installment of the City-Poly annual matchup was more about turnovers, defense, and the exhilaration of a well-fought overtime victory.
The first three minutes of the game were sloppy with three separate turnovers, but Poly settled down and sustained the first drive of the game that resulted in a touchdown late in the first quarter. Following the 25-yard touchdown run by quarterback Antoine Goodson and two-point conversion by the Engineers, the Black Knights of City College responded with a touchdown and a two-point conversion of their own to tie the score 8-8 at the end of the first quarter.
At halftime the score was Poly 14 (following their second touchdown the Engineers missed the attempted two-point conversion) and City 8. During an extended halftime, the 8,168 energetic and rowdy fans were entertained by impressive and lively productions by both high school marching bands.
The City defense stiffened in the second half as Poly was only able to post one additional score – a 14-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter by sophomore quarterback Darrell Milburn, who came in after Goodson dislocated his right shoulder. This gave Poly the lead 20-14 with a little over three minutes remaining in the game, but it didn’t last long.
City came back in a flash as quarterback Adrian Coxson made a breathtaking scramble and 92-yard scamper to the end zone, tying the game at 20-20. The Black Knights had a chance to pull ahead, but Coxson (doubling as the kicker) missed the extra point with a wide left attempt.
Regulation ended with the score knotted at 20-20 and the captains met at midfield to determine who would have the ball first in overtime. The City Black Knights won the coin toss, gaining first possession. On the very first play from the 10-yard line City halfback Deandre Harris fumbled the ball and Poly defensive back Jermaine Boone recovered it.
The ball was then placed at the 10-yard line for the Poly Engineers, needing just one score to win. On the second play from scrimmage, Poly junior running back and Great American Rivalry Series Most Valuable Player Gabriel Ali-El crossed the goal line for the win, giving the Engineers a thrilling 26-20 victory over archrival City on an unforgettable afternoon. In an emotional post-game ceremony at midfield, Lt Col John Feather publicly congratulated Head Coach Roger Wrenn and the elated players as he presented them with their second consecutive Great American Rivalry Series Championship Trophy. For the Poly Engineers, this will certainly be a game to remember.
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- Baltimore City vs. Baltimore Poly – 2009