Tears streamed down some of the faces of Eleanor Roosevelt’s players following the Raiders’ 13-8 4A South Region semifinal loss to Charles H. Flowers on Saturday in Greenbelt.
The loss marked the end of the high school career of Eleanor Roosevelt quarterback Shawn Petty who reflected on a senior campaign that saw his team go unbeaten during the regular season but ultimately come up short in its quest for a state championship.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Petty, who has verbally committed to play college football at the University of Maryland. “We’ve been working hard for this season trying to get the state championship. We came out here and didn’t play too well. Flowers is a great team. They got the win.”
Flowers took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a two-yard run from Daequan Davis and the Jaguars defense held the Raiders scoreless until the third quarter when Petty found the end zone on a 13-yard run.
Chris McDowney added the two-point conversion to give the Raiders an 8-7 advantage with 9:32 remaining in the third quarter.
However, Flowers retook the lead early in the fourth quarter when quarterback Johnathan Holland found Keith Payne on a 10-yard touchdown pass that was wrestled away from Raiders’ defender James Warren.
The Flowers defense was stout for the remainder of the period and prevented the Raiders from making any serious scoring threat.
Flowers defensive backs Shawn Elliot and James Brown were outstanding in pass coverage and defensive linemen Larry Smith and Monte Taylor helped lead a ferocious pass rush that harassed Petty for four quarters.
When the two teams met last month in Greenbelt, Eleanor Roosevelt escaped with a 20-12 victory over the Jaguars. However, Flowers emerged victorious in the rematch and advanced to the region final against Suitland.
“Our goal still has not been met,” Flowers senior Edwin Walker told his teammates in the postgame huddle. “We still got three more to go.”
Meanwhile, Eleanor Roosevelt can only look back on a season that ended prematurely.
“We had a great regular season but it didn’t mean anything,” said Petty, who has accepted an invitation to play in the Chesapeake Bowl next month. “10-0 is great but it didn’t mean anything coming into the playoffs.”