Forestville hung tough against league co-leader Douglass last week before the Eagles punched in two fourth-quarter scores for an 18-0 win. In that game, the Knights battled injuries, especially at quarterback. Sophomore Quenton Boston started the game, left with a back injury and then had to return when his replacement, senior Andre Dalton, got banged up.
Coach Charles Harley said his team had just 16 players suited up for practice on Wednesday with seven starters, including seniors Jourdan Ginyard (six interceptions) and Marcel Joly (624 rushing yards), sidelined by injury.
The coach isn’t certain how many players he’ll have available on Saturday, but he spent part of Wednesday’s session walking through the game plan with those injured to at least get them mental reps.
“It’s not a good recipe going into a big game,” Harley said, “but it’s something we’re used to.”
Around Howard County
It’s been a roller coaster of a season for Glenelg, but Gladiators Coach Butch Schaffer said that his team’s up and down fall is simply the cost of doing business in Howard County.
At 4-3, Glenelg finds itself firmly planted in a four-way tie for fourth place in Howard County, essentially the middle of the pack. Traditional powers like No. 9 River Hill (7-0) and Atholton (6-1) sit atop the county standings, but below them sits 5-2 Mount Hebron and a jumble of three and four-loss teams that have spent the season beating up on one another.
“Our league is extremely tough. Every week, all the teams are so balanced for the most part. You can win or lose every week. If you don’t play your best you’re going to lose. It’s real simple,” Schaffer said. “The county is a tough county. It doesn’t get as much credit as it should, because we play some real quality football. There’s not any weeks off. It’s much like the NFL. There’s a lot of parity. You can only have one team up top, and a lot of the other teams are pretty darn equal.”
For the Gladiators, the difference between winning and losing has been dramatic, with wins coming as a result of impressive defensive performances. Glenelg has held opponents to eight points or fewer in each of its four wins so far this season, including back-to-back road wins the last two weeks against Marriotts Ridge and Oakland Mills. In their losses, the Gladiators have been far less stingy on defense, allowing just over 26 points per game while scoring just nine.
Schaffer said the difference for his team has been its ability to control the ball and avoid the turnovers that have been so costly in its three losses. Injuries up front have also caused depth-chart issues for Glenelg, one of three 2A schools playing in predominantly 3A Howard County.
“Our league is just tough week in, week out. If you make mistakes, you’re going to lose regardless of how you play,” he said. “That’s just how our league is. It’s not that we did anything different. The games we lost, we deserved to lose. The games we won, we deserved to win.”