By: Tadi Abedje
The Maret Frogs (3-3) and the Potomac Panthers (5-1) locked horns on Friday. The Frogs battled until the end, but the Panthers did just enough to capture a 26-22 victory.
During the Frogs’ opening possession, they committed an interception on the second play of the game. On the Panthers’ first opportunity to touch the ball, they would drive down the field. However, they didn’t convert it into points because they failed to convert on a fourth down in the red zone.
However, Maret would score the first touchdown of the game on a long run by quarterback Satchel Parker on a read-option. Also, they converted on a two-point conversion to make it 8-0. But the Panthers answered back on the next possession with a Brown Anglin touchdown run to reduce the score to 8-7.
In the second quarter, the Panthers blocked the Frogs’ punt attempt, which gave them good field position. However, Potomac threw an interception, and Maret returned it to midfield.
The Frogs benefited on their next possession, though. Potomac was flagged for a huge pass interference call on third down, which extended the Frogs’ drive. But once again, Maret committed another back-breaking interception.
Furthermore, the Panthers capitalized on that turnover with a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jaylen Tyson. The Panthers failed on the two-point conversion attempt, leaving them with a 13-8 lead heading into halftime.
Potomac got off to a rough start in the second half by committing an interception. Maret capped off its first possession of the second half with a nine-yard touchdown by Parker, giving the Frogs a 15-13 lead.
In the final quarter, the Panthers received the ball inside Frogs territory due to a bad punt. With that, Potomac took the lead on a-one yard touchdown run by Anglin to give the Panthers the 19-15. But the Frogs weren’t done punching the ball into the end zone. On Maret’s next possession, Parker scored his third rushing touchdown to give his team the 22-19 lead.
With over 1:09 left in the game, the Panthers had one last chance to put this game to bed. And guess what? They did just that. Tyson threw a touchdown pass to tight end Thomas Ferris on the left sideline, giving Potomac the 26-22 lead. Unfortunately for the Frogs, they couldn’t pick up a first down on their final drive of the game.
Head coach Mike Engelberg felt heartbroken about the close result. “I mean, it’s tough. We definitely helped them out with some costly penalties and turnovers collectively through the whole game and then to come up to take the lead with a minute left,” he said.
“They made a great play, and they beat us. It’s hard to watch the kids suffer like this, but it comes with sports. We got to take the good and move on.”
“On the turnovers, I made a poor read on one of them,” Parker said. “I anticipated something I shouldn’t have, and I threw the ball. I tried to throw a pass in between some linebackers. The number one jumped up and took it from me. The second one, I was trying to throw to the ground, but the [defensive end] came and scooped it.”
“You can’t play like that to win. I take this loss on me because without those turnovers, we probably could’ve scored on those possessions. I need to, as the quarterback, to step up and make better decisions so we can win football games,” Parker said. Maret will travel to play against Sidwell Friends School on October 20.