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The 135th Football Classic

By: Kira Ryon and Anne-Louise Goldrick

On October 29th, at Morgan State’s Hughes Memorial Stadium, was Baltimore’s infamous City Vs. Poly football game. Baltimore City College and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute have a long-lasting rivalry, and the City-Poly game has become emblematic of which school is “on top”. Since 1889, the iconic football game has occurred annually, with City leading the series 61-54-6. City has a prolonged history of winning these games, having had ten consecutive wins leading up to this year. Continuing the streak, the 2023 game was nothing short of a blowout, with a score of 30-0 at halftime and a final score of 44-6. 

The annual rivalry brings fans from all around the city and is a consistently sold-out match. This year the stands were crowded with vibrant and spirited fans. Teachers and students alike rallied to cheer on their players, with many alumni making the trip back to Charm City to proudly wear the colors of their alma mater. 

Junior at Baltimore City College, Imogen Brown, described the atmosphere in the stands as “electric”, as she detailed her experience watching the incredible performances of the cheer and dance teams. The City College band also impressed the crowd with their pitch-perfect rendition of City’s fight song, “City Forever”.

The first half of the matchup was explosive in terms of offense. Star quarterback Nick Cyrus found 4 different receivers in the first half of the game, putting the Black Knights up by 30 points at halftime. The Knights also proved to be resilient on defense, with Jerome Gibson Jr. recovering a fumble as the Engineers neared City’s endzone in the first quarter. 

The second half of the game was no different for the Black Knights regarding intensity, resilience, and passion. Similar to the first half, Poly continued to struggle to complete passes and work the ball up the field. The Polytechnic defense was at a loss against the Black Knights, with City wide receivers combining for a total of 6 touchdowns scored. 

The win concluded with senior wide receiver and UMD commit, Jahmari Powell-Wonson, making 6 catches, 186 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Powell has been an absolute force for the Black Knights these past three years, starting for the Varsity team since his Sophomore year. In regards to his extreme success and dedication to the team, Powell-Wonson said, “Stars are always shining, you just have to be the one that stands out!”. Wide receiver Romero Ison also proved resilient, scoring 2 touchdowns, and earning 213 yards. 

Not only did the Black Knights put on a show this year, they also made history. Junior quarterback Nick Cyrus shattered the Maryland State record for passing yards in a single game with 667 yards, and 6 touchdowns. When asked to describe how he felt upon hearing he broke the Maryland record, Cyrus said “I was really surprised and I felt really proud of myself and the team”. As Nick described, The Knights are a tight-knit and confident team. When Asst. Coach Bush was asked if the team and coaching staff were confident going into the game he replied with only one word, “Yes!”.

Baltimore City’s favorite rivalry has once again exhibited the extent to which dedication and hard work pay off, with Baltimore City College taking home yet another win. City College prides itself on its tradition, history, and community, all of which are displayed annually at this event. The historic and competitive nature of the 134th iconic rivalry game did not disappoint, with the Black Knights continuing their 11-year streak and concluding homecoming week by bringing triumph to the castle. City forever! 

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