Mervo High made it three straight Baltimore City football titles as the 18th-ranked Mustangs defeated Poly, 25-14, in a Division I contest Friday evening on Cold Spring Lane and Falls Road.
Rykim Lemon rushed for two touchdowns for Mervo (7-2 overall, 6-0 Division I), and quarterback Carlos Davis threw for two more scores. Quran Winder had a 47-yard touchdown catch for Poly (5-4, 4-3 Division I).
The Hillen Road school shut down Poly’s offense in the second half, winning for the 25th time in 27 decisions against city league competition.
Lemon scored on a 1-yard run, less than 3 minutes into the game. His second score was a 26-yard run in the 3rd quarter.
“We know if we can run the ball, then we will be able to pass it,” said Lemon. “Once they react to our running, and the can’t stop it, we’ll keep doing it. Once they stop that, we know they can’t stick our receivers, so we opened up the passing game.”
Davis threw a perfectly placed 27-yard pass to wide receiver Terry Jones, putting the Mustangs up 13-0.
“I saw the corner press up” Davis said. “I just told him, ‘hot route’ to the end zone, and it just clicked together.”
He also threw another touchdown early in the fourth quarter, finding Jones once again. This time, Jones ran a slant pattern and Davis found him wide open. Jones spun out of a tackle and laid out, extending the ball into the end zone while a defender was wrapped around his legs.
Mervo led only, 13-12, at halftime after Poly senior defensive linemen Justin Fleming picked up a fumble and ran it back 50 yards for a touchdown. Lemon gave the Mustangs some cushion in the third, breaking free of three Engineer defenders for his 26-yard score.
The victory keeps Mervo’s postseason hopes alive. The Mustangs currently sits 5th in the Class 4A North Region standings behind Parkville, which plays Saturday.
Mervo closes the regular season against Digital Harbor at Latrobe Park’s Banner Field. Poly, which playoff aspirations ended with Friday’s loss, plays rival City College, Saturday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium.
No. 18 Mervo 25, Poly 14
Mervo 7 6 6 6 — 25
Poly 0 12 0 2 — 14
Mervo – Lemon 1 run (Armarni Addison Kick)
Mervo – Jones 27 pass from Davis (kick failed)
Poly – Quran Wilder 27 pass from Devone Stubbs (conversion failed)
Poly – Fleming 50 fumble return (conversion failed)
Mervo – Lemon 26 run (conversion failed)
Mervo – Jones 20 pass from Davis (conversion failed)
Poly – Safety (Davis sacked in end zone)