WILLIAMS AND THE RUN GAME PUSHED LAUREL FOOTBALL TO COMMANDING WIN

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LAUREL – The Laurel High School football team ran all over High Point, literally with their ground game, on Oct. 20.

Laurel’s offense scored six rushing touchdowns’ on their way to a dominant 47-0 victory for their second straight win, led on offense by junior running back and wide receiver Jaheem Williams.

The first quarter was the Williams show as he made a case of offensive performance of the year with four first quarter touchdowns. Williams broke off a 25-yard touchdown early in the first period for the first score of the game. After a forced fumble and recovery by Laurel’s defense, Williams ran for a 32-yard touchdown on the very next play.

Following a failed offensive drive by High Point, they decided to punt to Williams, which was also a bad idea. Williams returned the punt 55 yards for his third touchdown of the quarter.  The junior then ended the period with a 23-yard run for his fourth score and gave his team a 33-0 lead as they headed into the second quarter. Williams finished the game with 8 carries for 113 yards, three rushing touchdowns and a punt return for a touchdown.

“Honestly I have to give it all to my teammates,” Williams said of his first quarter success.  “Without them, nothing would be possible.  We knew that this was a big game so it was a lot of pressure for us but I think we handled it really good.  Overall, we are predominantly a running team and when we run, we do that we have to do, which is execute.

“When we execute we do big things.  I’m always giving my teammates advice.  If we’re fallen down, I try to pick them up and help them as much as I can.  I know that my team feeds off of me and I know that they look up to me in a way, so I have to fulfill that position and always keep them up.”

Another player who was part of that first quarter run game was junior starting quarterback and running back Roy Wesley.  Wesley, who only threw one pass the entire game, had a seven-yard touchdown run in the first period as well.  Wesley finished the game with six carries for 44 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion.

“I have to give credit to the offensive line,” Wesley said.  “The line wasn’t really getting and understanding it throughout the season, but today they really played with their hearts and did their job.  I think we was so effective because we wanted to win. This past season, was just lollygagging and taking this lightly, but this week, we wanted to come out and show out for the seniors. We have to come to practice at 2:30 every day and grind it on the field. We weren’t doing that at first, but we doing it now.”

In the second quarter, senior running back and slot wide receiver Neko Grant got in on the Laurel rushing attack.  Grant got good blocks on the line and down the field as he ran for a 42-yard touchdown that pushed their lead to 39-0 as they went into halftime.  He closed the game with four carries for 79 yards and a touchdown.

“First, all credit goes to the o-line,” Grant said.  “These running backs wouldn’t be nothing without the o-line.  I think it was 50-50 with play calling and execution on the offensive end.  Coach (Micheal) Mayo made the right plays and we just executed.  Execution is big for Coach Mayo.  We always stick to hard work before talent.  Practice has to be 110 percent every day.”

In the second half, senior running back Jawad Singleton took over the ground game for Laurel.  Singleton scored his only touchdown of the game with 12 seconds left. Singleton had 10 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon.

“I do what I what I always do which is use my strength and speed at the same time and getting down the field every time I get the ball,” Singleton said.  “Practicing the same plays over and over again gets into our heads.  We just have to come to practice every day ready to work and we should be straight.  Everything could be done better.

Although Laurel’s offensive run game was the headline of the day, their defense was also effective.  The defense allowed zero points, forced three turnovers and held High Point’s entire offense to a total of 47 yards.

“I got back into my coverage, seen the ball in the air and I just went up and got it,” junior cornerback Markus Smith said of his first half interception.  “We just trusted our coaching, came out and played like how we normally played and came out with the W. There’s always room to improve but we are just going to enjoy this win and come out better next week.”

After they started their season 1-5, Laurel has outscored their opponents 68-0 over the last two games and have turned their season.

“We just have to keep our heads,” Head Coach Michael Mayo said.  “We been through a lot this year. We should have won more games and we lost close games. We had a lot of opportunities in games like this and it didn’t happen.

“We were playing down to the level, but I think it be senior day and they wanted to send the seniors out in a good way.  I saw some leadership today where players stepped up and they said ‘we going to get this done today.’ You stop lowering yourself to the competition and you look up, and you’re in a game. They had a little bounce in their step today which is good.”

As for High Point, they have now lost two straight games and have been outscored 82-7 over the last two games.

“It just comes down to effort,” High Point Head Coach Wilbert Brinson, Sr. said.  “The X’s and O’s are overrated. You just have to want to make a play. At the end of the day it came down to just effort.  I’m still proud of the boys. They came out and played, they suited up and they just have to take it as a life experience at this point. We stick together in the good and bad and that’s what I told them. We got to strap it up and come back because we got two games remaining, so it’s all going to start on Monday.”

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PUMAS FOOTBALL MAUL CLIPPERS

PG County Football: Wise vs Oxon Hill

Saturday, October 13, 2018: Running back Brandon Bell (21) of Wise drives into the end zone for a second quarter touchdown during a high school football game between Oxon Hill and Wise played at Clipper Stadium in Oxon Hill, MD. Photo by Michael R. Smith/The Prince George’s Sentinel.

OXON HILL – The potent rushing attack of the Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School’s football team was on full display during a matchup against Oxon Hill on Oct. 13, leading to six rushing touchdowns combined by two seniors, quarterback Quinton Williams and running back Brandon Bell.

Bell rushed for 124 yards and three touchdowns on only nine carries while  Williams rushed for two touchdowns and accumulated 209 total yards.  These two studs used their legs to lead Wise to a dominant 55-0 shutout victory over Oxon Hill.

“Today I took pride and putting the offense and the team on my back,” said Williams, who finished the game with three touchdowns. “The coaches told me we’re a better team when I’m aggressive and to do well with my feet.

“It puts more pressure on the defense when I run the ball, so I try to do that a lot more now.  I feel we had a really good game on all sides of the ball. I feel like we took control of the game, especially up front. The receivers made good plays, and our running backs made big plays and me. We just came together and helped each other out.  I think our offense kick-started the game off well.”

The Wise offense fired off quickly on all cylinders. In just under three minutes in the first quarter, Williams broke off for a 24-yard run for the first  score of the game.  Moments later, Williams also showed his throwing ability as he tossed a 23-yard strike to junior wide receiver Anthony Morales to out to put Wise up 14-0.  To add insult to injury, as time winded down in the first, senior wide receiver Isaiah Hazel scored on a 29-yard rush to make the score 21-0.

The second quarter did not get better for Oxon Hill as Wise continued with their aggressive offense.

Bell scored two rushing touchdowns in less than four minutes that increased the lead to 35-0 midway through the second quarter.  Williams got back in the action as he finished his stat-filled first half with a 52-yard touchdown run, which gave Wise a 41-0 as they went into halftime.

“I basically used my vision and also the O-line played a big part today,” Bell said of his running success.

“Honestly, I feel like I’m an all-around back. We came together as a group, and I broke a few off.  We made big-time plays and Williams did what he had to do, which was stay in the pocket, stay poised and throw the ball downfield.”

On very first play of the second half, Bell broke off for a 64-yard touchdown that gave them a 48-0 lead. That big play sealed the deal for Wise as they cruised to their fourth consecutive win. Although the offense was the story of the game, the defense held the Clippers scoreless and stopped Oxon Hill on multiple big fourth-down plays.

“The defense stayed focus, and we played as a team,” said senior cornerback Tamar Campbell, who had the only turnover of the entire game with a late fourth quarter interception. “We rallied to the football and everything that we did throughout practice showed today to win this game.  We just have to keep playing as a whole, keep rallying to the football, keep maintaining focus and practicing hard and playing hard.”

With this dominating win over Oxon Hill, Wise will go to 5-1 on the season and will look for their fifth-straight victory against Eleanor Roosevelt on the road next week.

“I think we executed well today,” Wise Head Coach DaLawn Parrish said.  “We’re doing a good job of getting better week-by-week. We moved some people around, and people are practicing very hard. They are paying attention to detail because of that, and we were able to execute today.

“I thought we did a great job at cleaning up the flags. That’s something that’s been stopping us all year long.  That’s been drive killers or extending other team’s drives.

“Every game is a championship game for us. It could be your last game because we play a violent game with violent people.  You could be out the next day, so play every game like it’s your last, make it your championship and you’ll always go out there and do the best you can.”

HIGH POINT’S DEFENSE LEADS EAGLES TO SHUTOUT VICTORY OVER HORNETS

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October 6, 2018: High Point High School quarterback Keshaun Griffin celebrates with teammate Thomas Owens during a high school football game against Surrattsville High School in Clinton. Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr./The Prince George’s Sentinel

 

CLINTON – After giving up a total of 75 points over the past two weeks, High Point High School’s football team turned over a new leaf defensively with a dominant performance against Surrattsville High School on the road.

The Eagles defense had two safeties, two interceptions, a forced fumble and fumble recovery that led them to a 24-0 victory on Oct. 6.

The first big play from High Point’s defense came in the second quarter by junior safety Daron Walker. As Walker was trotting deep back in coverage, he stepped in front of the Hornets wide receiver to make an interception for his team.

“Pretty much, I was in the backfield, so I was watching the whole play,” Walker said. “I am also looking at the quarterback and his waist.

“So, I trailed the quarterback and wherever his waist went and wherever his eyes went, that’s where I was.  I did my job and came to the ball and got the interception. We did good as a team talking to each other and taking responsibility for each job, not getting mad at each other and just kept pushing forward.”

After Walker’s interception, High Point sophomore quarterback Keshaun Griffin broke off for a 57-yard run.  On the very next play, Griffin ran in for his second rushing touchdown from three yards out.That gave High Point a 13-0 late in the second quarter.

“I was using my offensive skills by basically using my speed and my God-giving ability to make plays, get first downs and win the game,” Griffin said.

“I mostly use my feet over passing for the most part, but I do try to pass. After I use my feet, I try to get out of the pocket but sometimes I can’t, so that’s when I use my arm. We made a lot of big plays when blocking, especially when I would run.”

Walker and his fellow teammates got into the Surrattsville backfield and forced a safety, which gave them a 15-0 lead as they went into halftime.

The second half started off like the first half ended as High Point’s defense picked up right where they left off.

On Surrattsville’s opening drive of the third quarter, High Point senior safety Thomas Owens earned the team’s second safety of the game via an early tackle, increasing the Eagles’ lead to 17.

“On that safety, I was just reading because they weren’t really running the ball that powerful,” Owens said.  “So, I said I’m going just to sit back, saw the player run our the pocket and I got him.

The rest of the game ended with more plays by High Point’s defense as they closed the game out with a forced fumble, fumble recovery and interception in the fourth quarter.

“I think our defense could have done better” Owens said. “We kept giving away a lot of plays. We did get to the line of scrimmage well, and we played pretty good pass coverage.”

The vital game was High Point’s second win of the season but the blowout victory could have been the breakthrough that the Eagles needed.

“We compete and we been competing all season,” High Point Head Coach Wilbert Brinson said.  “We just have to eliminate the minimal mistakes and the drive-killing penalties. “We’re a young team, and overall, we compete, but we really got to lock in and focus on everybody individually doing their job. I’m satisfied with the win and to score 24. I would think that’s an accomplishment for them as well. We still have a lot of work to do.

“They have to stay focused, and they have to continue to want to get better.  What hurt us is that we lost some possessions and opportunities, so I tell them to stay focus. We didn’t play up to our potential today. We competed and played, but we missed a lot of opportunities because of the penalties and minimal mistakes.”

POTOMAC’S DEFENSE STIFLES DOUGLASS, 6-0

Brandywine, Maryland, September 15, 2018: Mi’Jean Hill of Potomac breaks away from a Douglass defender during a Prince George’s County 3A/2A/1A football game played at Gwynn Park High School in Brandywine, MD. (Michael R. Smith/The Prince George’s Sentinel).

 

BRANDYWINE – A high school football showdown between the Frederick Douglass Eagles and Potomac Wolverines was a tale of two defenses. However, it was Potomac’s defense that stood tall at the end as they handed Douglass their first loss of the season with a 6-0 victory on Sept. 15.

The entire first half was a defensive standstill by both sides, which left the score knotted at zero at halftime.

“I thought we could have capitalized,” Douglass Head Coach Julius Pinkney said. “We had some opportunities, but they did pressure us. They just played a little grittier then our guys played.

“We just couldn’t get some things off.  We misconnected on a few things. We fumbled the ball, we dropped the ball and we had some momentum killers that we kind of did ourselves. They played hard so I can’t take anything away from them. That’s how it is when you play against a really good program like Potomac; you know it’s going to be a 50/50 game.”

In the second half, Potomac switched up their game plan and relied on their rushing attack as they only went to the air one time the entire second half.  The duo of senior running backs, Mi’Jean Hill and Kevin Hayward Jr., led the way by combining for 131 yards in just the second half on 20 carries.

“We did a good job of pushing, and the line did a good job of blocking,” Hayward said.  “We just stuck with the game plan and executed really good. We could have done more play action, selling our fakes and catching the ball better.  We need to improve on our passing games, wide receivers doing their cuts and routes. We just got to keep working hard every day after practice and before practice.”


Brandywine, Maryland, September 15, 2018: Quarterback Dominque Anthony of Potomac launches a pass against Douglass during a Prince George’s County 3A/2A/1A football game played at Gwynn Park High School in Brandywine, MD. (Michael R. Smith/The Prince George’s Sentinel).

 

 

With 3:44 remaining in the third quarter, Potomac junior quarterback Dominique Anthony used his legs to make things happen. Anthony ran in for the first and only touchdown of the game with a 10-yard run.

“On that play, I was looking to pass, but the receiver didn’t get the call,” Anthony said about his touchdown run. “I tried to drop back and rolled to the left to see if anybody was open and I just decided to run. I had to break a couple of tackles, but I got in the end zone.

“I felt like we ran the ball pretty good and the O-line was blocking really hard.  We could have passed the ball a whole lot better and it was a lot of miscommunication.  We just have to work harder in practice and practice like we playing in the game to keep this momentum going.”

Following the score by Potomac, Douglass drove down the field and looked to score their first points of the game. However, with 58 seconds left in the third, senior free safety Jaquan Riddick forced a fumble and recovered it to give Potomac possession to close out the quarter.

“In practice, we set a game plan out,” Riddick said. “We wanted to shut them out and not let them score. We wanted to help the offense out.  They got a lot of big plays in the passing game. We just have to practice, keep the intensity up, full pace, full speed and get to moving to keep it up after this win.”

At the beginning of the final quarter, Potomac fumbled the ball on the very first snap of the quarter and gave the ball to Douglass in good field position. Despite that turnover, the Wolverines defense was nearly impenetrable and got the ball back in their offense’s hands and that was all she wrote for the Eagles.

Potomac is now 2-1, which is their best start since 2015. They will look to continue their success as they take on Fairmont Heights High School on Sept. 21.

Douglass shares the same record, but Pinkney is not worried about his team losing its first game of the season in this fashion.

“It’s a learning thing,” Pinkney said. “You can learn a lot from a loss. We don’t like to lose a lot, but when you lose, it’s a reason why you lost. As a coach, I have to go back and take a look.

“We have to fix some things and come out better. Our kids understand that we don’t point fingers around here. It’s a team effort whether we win or lose.  We know what we have to do as a club. It’s a lot of fight in our team, and we know we got a good team. All we got to do is fix the mistakes and that what my job is as a coach to do.  We’ll have our guys ready to play next week.”

Douglass’ next game to get back in the win column will be on the road against Largo High School on Sept 21.

LATE INTERCEPTION GIVES GWYNN PARK FIRST VICTORY OF THE SEASON

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September 8, 2018 – Lanham, Maryland – Gwynn Park running back Wynton Townsend (2) runs past Duval defenders during their high school football game on Sept. 8. (Credit Image: Chris Thompkins/ The Prince George’s Sentinel)

LANHAM – An intense football match between Gwynn Park High School and DuVal High School on Sept. 8 started off gloomy and wet due to a rainy afternoon in Lanham.

However, it ended with excitement as the game came down to one play in the final minutes.  It was sophomore cornerback Omarion Wood that sealed the deal late in the final period with an interception for Gwynn Park, which gave them a 12-10 road win for their first victory of the season.

“It was late in the game, and I just had the mindset that I have to make this play,” Wood said about his interception. “I saw the ball coming my way and went and got it.We all have confidence, and we kept that going throughout the game.  We adjusted well to what they were doing.”

In the first quarter, DuVal senior defensive back Aljareek Malry corralled an interception with 4:54 left in the first quarter. Although they forced a turnover, they could not get anything going on the offensive end which caused them to punt the ball.

On the ensuing punt, Gwynn Park special teams blocked DuVal’s punt and recovered it in the endzone for the first score of the game. Toward the end of the first, Gwynn Park senior quarterback Kamari Brown scored on a 26-yard run to give them a 12-0 lead to end the first quarter.

September 8, 2018 – Lanham, Maryland, – Gwynn Park quarterback Kamari Brown (3) passes the ball during a high school football football game against the DuVal Tigers. (Credit Image: Chris Thompkins/ The Prince George’s Sentinel)

 

 

 

 

The second quarter was a defensive stand for both teams as both sides went scoreless.

“I feel like we executed really well,” said Brown, who had the team’s only offensive touchdown to go along with 53 total yards. “It was sloppy, but we still executed and got the job done. I could have done better by putting the ball in better spots, or I could have changed plays.

“Even though the coach calls the plays, sometimes I have to take control and change the plays on my own.”

At the start of the second half, things started to look up for DuVal.  As Gwynn Park was set to receive the kickoff to begin the third quarter, they fumbled the ball on their own five-yard line, which gave DuVal excellent field position.

DuVal had an opportunity to convert that turnover into some points on the board, but they came up short. The Tigers ran the ball four times, but the Gwynn Park defense stopped them as they had done all game.

“The fumble on the kickoff that gave them the ball in our own territory was the difference between the two halves,” Gwynn Park Head Coach Danny Hayes said.

“We are a very young team and only have one player back from last year.  We stayed together, stayed tight as a team and made sure we did the right things. We need just to take this win, put it away and go for the next game.  Just concentrate on one team at a time.  Once we can do that, get things going, get ourselves well-prepared and just have to keep moving.  Just limiting our mistakes is the biggest problem.”

After Gwynn Park could not score on their offensive possession, DuVal’s special teams blocked a punt that put them on their opponent’s five-yard line again for the second time this game.

Last time the Tigers had four attempts to get in and failed, but this time they would not be denied.

Senior quarterback Akil Woods Jr. performed a quarterback sneak on the goal line that gave DuVal their first score of the game. He then threw a short pass to senior running back Corey Ewing Jr. for the two-point conversion to make the score 12-8 halfway through the third with Gwynn Park still leading. Woods finished the game with the team’s only touchdown to go along with 88 total yards.

The fourth quarter came down a significant turnover in the final seconds of the game. After Hayes designed a play that gave Gwynn Park a safety, which made the score 12-10 with 2:10 left in the game, DuVal had more shot to get into the endzone.

They drove halfway down the field, but that is when Wood saved the day for Gwynn Park with his game-winning interception with just over a minute left in the game. DuVal got the ball back with seconds left on the clock, but they missed on two hail mary attempts which ended the game.

Even though DuVal lost their first game of the season, Head Coach Carlos Lockwood believes that his team is in good shape and should not be worried.

“I had one message for my team,” Lockwood said.  “All this means is that we are going to go undefeated after this game. We are going to be right back at it tomorrow with a coaches meeting and get back on the drawing board. We got Urbana week three, and we have to close out. Now let’s go 1-0 week three and then we’ll finish out week-by-week.”