Mergenthaler Vo-Tech High School junior quarterback Garvin Nicholas tossed a game-tying touchdown pass and senior running-back/outside linebacker/kicker Donte Ramseur nailed a rare extra point kick to lead Mervo to a shocking 9-8 upset over Edmondson-Westside on Nov. 7 at Mervo Stadium in East Baltimore. The win handed Mervo the Baltimore City Division I title.
Though both teams were undefeated entering the matchup, the expectancy was that Edmondson-Westside would win the battle of the unbeaten, claiming their perfect 10-0 season. It was Edmondson, after all, that had come off a huge win over the Baltimore City powerhouse Dunbar Poets. But Mervo reminded the city that they had also beaten Dunbar earlier in the season and wasn’t to be taken lightly, giving Edmondson its hardest challenge of the season before stealing the perfect season away.
It didn’t take Mervo long to prove this was going to be a grueling battle from start to finish. Mervo took the first lead, 2-0, just minutes into the game, after tackling Edmondson running back Jae’Quan Hill in his own end zone for a safety.
Edmondson eventually took its own lead with what looked liked to be a 90-yard touchdown bomb thrown by sophomore quarterback Michael Taylor in the second quarter; they ran in for the two-point conversion to make it a 8-2 lead for Edmondson.
Edmondson held their lead the rest of the way until the final minutes of the fourth quarter, when Mervo quickly drove the field and scored on a long touchdown pass from Nicholas to tie the game, 8-8. Many high school football teams choose to go for the two-point conversion because of how difficult it is to kick field goals. But Mervo head coach Patrick Nixon had faith in Ramseur, who went on to nail the game-deciding extra-point kick, lifting his team to a perfect 9-0 record in the season finale.
Mervo and Edmondson-Westside (9-1 overall) both advanced to the Maryland regional playoffs, scheduled to start Nov. 14.