With less than two minutes remaining in their 42-8 blowout of Riverdale, MD’s Parkdale Panthers, the Eleanor Roosevelt Raiders of Greenbelt, MD were still on the attack. Facing upcoming games against two tough teams with a combined 15-1 record, Roosevelt needed the extra practice time and their coach, Tom Green, knew it was the perfect opportunity to get some in the waning minutes of the Oct. 23 game.

“We’re working on things,” Green said about his team’s aggressive mindset in the waning minutes. “We’re trying to look at the big picture as far as playoffs. We weren’t really trying to score but we wanted to work on pass plays and things we may need down the road in the playoffs. I don’t want to wait to try to use . I’m trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Just trying to get better.”

After demolishing Parkdale, there isn’t much room for improvement for Roosevelt (7-1). Alternating two quarterbacks after losing starter Shawn Petty to injury, Roosevelt put it to Parkdale in front of a group of cheering fans at Roosevelt’s homecoming. Fill-in signal-callers Jarius Cook and B.J. Antione accounted for five touchdowns, including three rushing from Cook and two passing for Antione, as Roosevelt did whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted on the field.

Roosevelt jumped to a 28-0 halftime lead and, at one point in the second half, led 42-0, which prompted the clock to continuously run per Maryland State rules. With the way they were being outplayed, Parkdale (4-4) couldn’t have gotten out of the game any quicker. Parkdale was held to eight passing yards while they watched Roosevelt cruise up and down the field with relative ease.

Green said he expects Petty to return for the last game of the season, but with a grueling two-game stretch ahead, the coach would probably love to have him available as soon as possible. Roosevelt will take on Upper Marlboro’s Charles H. Flowers (7-1) next weekend before closing the year against District Height’s, Suitland (8-0). With the Prince George’s County 4A League playoff race now in full swing, Roosevelt needs all the help it can get. But even without their starting quarterback, Roosevelt showed that they’re still a force to be reckoned with.

“We’re playing as a group, so hopefully if we continue to do that we’ll go deep in the playoffs,” Green said.

 

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO