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Damascus spreads the ball around to its playmakers; Sherwood, Quince Orchard cope with injuries

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Damascus Coach Eric Wallich keeps a chart with him on the sideline during games to track touches by his team’s top playmakers. The coach enters every contest hoping to get each a certain number of opportunities, and especially with the group at his disposal this season, he doesn’t want anybody lost in the shuffle.

So far, the 16th-ranked Hornets have been hitting on all cylinders, outscoring their opponents 113-14 through three games. They continued the trend with Friday’s 37-8 win over previously unbeaten Wootton.

“We knew we should be pretty good this year, but you just never know,” Wallich said. “Obviously, it’s only going to get tougher for us, but I feel like we’re getting better each week.”

Senior Zach Bradshaw — a second-team All-Met wide receiver last season — is the team’s most high-profile threat with a touchdown each on offense, defense and special teams, but the Virginia recruit has plenty of help. Sophomore Jalen Christian already holds five Division I BCS scholarship offers and starts on both sides of the ball. He had a 61-yard punt return score against Wootton.

Damascus (3-0) also spreads carries among three capable senior running backs in Trevor Patton, John Hanley and Caleb Baisden.

Patton finished second in the county with 1,320 rushing yards last fall but has struggled with a shoulder injury early this season and missed Friday’s game. Wallich said he’ll likely need surgery after the season but will not do further damage if he can tolerate the pain until then. Hanley — who missed much of last season with a broken collarbone — and Baisden have combined for 258 rushing yards and eight touchdowns so far.

Wallich said junior quarterback Chase Williams played the best game of his career against the Patriots. He finished 13 of 23 passing for 132 yards with no turnovers. Wallich said several dropped passes kept Williams from a more impressive statistical game.

“I think he’s just going to gain confidence each week,” Wallich said of Williams, who began last season as the starter before losing the job. “There’s going to be games he’ll have to win for us, and I think we’re getting to the point where he can do that.”

On defense, Damascus has allowed just two touchdowns thanks a particularly strong start from the two players anchoring the middle of the unit. Senior linebacker George Vinson — a Buffalo commit — has a team-high 21 tackles, including five for loss, with an interception and a forced fumble. Wallich called 6-foot-3, 285-pound nose guard Rashard Budd “a wrecking ball.” The senior has 19 tackles with a team-high two sacks among his five tackles for loss. . . .

Walter Johnson wins with defense

A former linebacker at Catholic University, Walter Johnson Coach Jon Kadi relishes his role as defensive playcaller. Through three games, the Wildcats are making him look pretty smart, too.

Walter Johnson’s defense kept Springbrook’s offense off the scoreboard in Friday’s 16-2 victory. The Wildcats (2-1) have allowed just one touchdown in regulation this season.

After starting the season with a penalty-marred 9-7 loss to Magruder, Walter Johnson has cut down its mental mistakes and done just enough offensively the past two weeks to spark a winning streak. Senior Charlie Barry had four sacks on Friday and caught the 22-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Gus Gill that clinched the victory over previously unbeaten Springbrook (2-1).

Sherwood, Quince Orchard with injuries

After beating Gaithersburg 34-14 on Friday night, Sherwood Coach Mike Bonavia said his staff will have to “coach smart” these next few weeks, as the Warriors shuffle around its defensive line due to a number of nagging injuries. Bonavia also moved outside linebacker Fitz Mofor to middle linebacker to shore up the run-support game in preparation for Blair this week. Sherwood’s Moses Vines had his second 100-yard rushing game against Gaithersburg, running for 135 yards and two touchdowns.

Quince Orchard quarterback Mike Murtaugh is likely to be out for awhile after injuring his knee on the first series of the Cougars 34-0 win over Paint Branch. Murtaugh was replaced by junior Tobin Pagley, who ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in the win. Quince Orchard recorded its second consecutive shutout and held Paint Branch to just one first down in the second half. Linebacker Marcus Newby recorded seven tackles, including one for a loss, and an interception, while Kieran Gregory had two forced fumbles from his defensive end post.

Northwest’s Callahan shines

Northwest’s Matty Callahan completed 10-of-11 passes for 215 yards and five touchdowns in the Jaguars’ 55-0 win over Magruder (1-2). Northwest led 48-0 at halftime. . . .

Springbrook’s (2-1) offense was shutout in a 16-2 loss to Walter Johnson, and Blake picked up its first win of the season with a 28-19 victory over Watkins Mill. Stefan Sigwalt threw two touchdown passes in the win, and Blake (1-2) sealed it in the fourth quarter off a 48-yard touchdown run from Marquis Robinson. Blair dropped to 0-3 despite 125 yards rushing from Claude Richardson, and Kennedy’s (0-3) offensive woes continued in a 28-0 loss to Whitman. Kennedy has just one offensive touchdown this season and have been outscored 83-9 through its first three games. Clarksburg (0-3) is also winless after falling 15-8 to Richard Montgomery on Friday night.

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