Jefferson needs a win against the Seahawks and a McLean loss to guarantee its spot in the postseason. The play of Patrick O’Connor, who missed two games with an injury, has been critical of late. The senior has totaled 358 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the last two games.
His continued big-play ability will be needed to counter a South Lakes’ offense that exploded last week in a 53-0 win against Marshall. Rashaan Jones recorded seven touchdowns from the quarterback and defensive back positions to lead the Seahawks, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
“Containing their speed and ability to make big plays will be key for us come Friday,” Jefferson Coach Ken Kincaid said. “And doing that doesn’t just fall on the defense; we also have to keep moving the ball and put it in the end zone on offense, too.”
Oakton hopes for turnaround
Kyle Downer can’t exactly pinpoint when Oakton’s season turned south, but the senior quarterback can identify the major culprit – turnovers.
The Cougars (6-3) have turned the ball over five times during their current three-game losing streak, with the most recent defeat ending with a missed extra-point attempt in overtime against Robinson. Reversing this trend won’t be easy with Concorde District rival Centreville (6-3) on tap for the regular-season finale, but according to Downer, it’s a must if the Cougars want to keep their season alive.
“It’s hard to lose four straight games and then go into the playoffs and expect to go anywhere,” said Downer, who has totaled 1,874 yards and 25 touchdowns. “Our attitude going in is to try to gain some momentum back and set ourselves up to meet our goals going forward.”
Rowlett steps up for Robinson
Robinson’s strategy remains the same as it’s been all season – get tailback Joe Wilson the ball early and often – but during the Rams’ two-game win streak, a few new offensive looks have brought welcome success.
Since stepping in under center midway through a loss to Lake Braddock, sophomore quarterback Jack Rowlett has added a passing threat to the Rams’ run-heavy offense. In his last two games, Rowlett has gone 15-for-23 with 200 yards and three touchdowns through the air, helping the Rams (5-4) average 40 points in that span. On the receiving end of many of those passes has been Turner Peterson, a speedy athlete who excels at wideout and on special teams.
“It’s pretty obvious that everybody focuses on Joe, so when we can excel in other areas on offense, it helps keep the defense off balance,” Rowlett said. “Coach [Trey] Taylor has done a good job of putting the right pieces around me to make sure I can excel in this new role.”
Rotary Bowl moves to Saturday
The rivalry game between McLean (4-5) and Langley (5-4) has been moved to Saturday at 4 p.m., adding more intrigue to a contest that already possessed plenty of hype. McLean is in contention with three other teams for the final two Division 5 playoff spots while a Langley victory will punch its ticket into the postseason.