UPPER MARLBORO - Avalon senior Rachid Ibrahim followed up his impressive 324 yard, two score performance last week with a school record 370 yards and six touchdowns this week, guiding the Avalon Black Knights to a 46-45 win over Riverdale Baptist.
Ibrahim had scoring runs of one, two, two, 27, 79, and 89 yards, in addition to accounting for three two-point conversions, as Avalon let Riverdale lead for just three minutes and secured their third straight CAFC Championship game appearance, to be played against rival Perry Street Prep in November. Coach Tad Shields after the game said Ibrahim’s school record- breaking performance was ultimately telling of what the team knew he could always do.
“He’s remarkable, what can I say? All he needs is a little bit of daylight, and he’s gone. Their defense was giving us off-tackle, and we just kept pounding it there. Our O-line was opening up holes, and our fullback was doing a great job of kicking out, so it was 11 guys working together and doing a great job today.”
Although Avalon led for most of the game, it was no easy road to the one point victory, as Avalon’s pass defense was torched for three passing touchdowns, and gave up several big plays throughout the game. Avalon’s issue was that although they were able to apply pressure to Riverdale quarterback Nate Washington, Avalon was unable to sack him except twice. Washington was consistently able to get just enough time to either hit the open receiver or roll out of the pocket and do the same.
“We tried everything on defense. This zone, that zone, hard man, soft man, but it didn’t seem like it mattered,” Coach Shields said. “Their quarterback played quite the game, he’s very elusive, we couldn’t catch him or bottle him up in the backfield, and then he would find someone open and hit him. It drove me nuts.”
Avalon’s defense was able to come up with two crucial turnovers, one off a Jacquille Veii interception in the fourth quarter in the red zone which set up Ibrahim’s 89 yard score, and the other a recovered fumble in the third quarter around midfield which set up Ibrahim’s 27 yard score.
Avalon (5-4, 4-0 CAFC), having wrapped up conference play and secured the number one seed in the conference, will take on St. James next Friday before they face Perry Street Prep in the championship game at home on November 9th.
By Patrick Stoll