“We have to finish our drives,” Victor said. “We get a couple first downs and sometimes we halt. We have to keep going and get some points every time we touch the ball.”
Whether he dreams about it or not, Victor knows much of that responsibility lies on his shoulders. . . .
Through three weeks, the perennial powers in Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A have taken turns beating up on each other, and the trend will continue on Saturday when Douglass hosts Potomac (Md.). With each team coming in with 2-1 records, the loser’s chances of making the state playoffs will take a serious hit, especially if it’s Douglass, which is classified in the competitive Maryland 2A South.
Douglass (2-1, 1-1) struggled on both sides of the ball in last week’s 39-16 loss at rival Gwynn Park. The defending Maryland 2A runner-up Eagles have made nine consecutive playoff appearances.
Potomac (2-1, 1-1) has bounced back from a disappointing season-opening loss to Gwynn Park with wins against Ballou and Friendly. Last season the Wolverines lost their first two games and then won eight straight to close the regular season and earn a spot in the 3A South playoff field.
“Just because we play those heavy hitters first, doesn’t mean much to me,” Potomac Coach Ronnie Crump said. “I just try to take the one game at a time approach to trying to make the playoffs. It was a tough stretch last year, and we got through.” . . .
Crossland — an unlikely entry at the top of the league standings with three wins to the start the season — will get its toughest test this week, traveling to Gwynn Park (2-1). Forestville — the league’s other unbeaten team — visits Largo (1-2).
Around Howard County
has scored in bunches this season. The 11th-ranked Hawks have scored 49 points or more in all three of their games this season, but it’s not the amount of points they’re scoring that’s impressive — it’s how.
The defending Maryland 3A champion has already thrown for more touchdowns this season (seven) than it did all of last season (six). The traditionally run-first Hawks (3-0) have opened their playbook this fall for senior quarterback Austin Altman, mixing in an occasional pass play to great success thus far.
“We’re not going from one extreme to another. We’re not throwing the ball 30 times a game,” River Hill Coach Brian Van Deusen said. “We’re still talking usually 30-40 runs and 10 passes a game. So it’s not a big change, but last year it might have been 4-5 passes a game. When we are throwing, we’re getting some big plays out of it. One out of every three passes right now has been a touchdown. So we’re making big plays in the pass game that maybe we didn’t do as much last year.”
The Hawks’ newfound aerial attack has paid dividends in the ground game as well. Senior running back Justin Arn has five rushing touchdowns through the Hawks’ first three games this season, while fellow seniors Evan Griffin and Stephan Osong each have three. River Hill’s typical offensive formation, which features all three backs in the backfield at the start of each play, has become that much harder to defend now.
“If we’re able to throw the ball, then the defense has got to soften up their coverage a little bit,” Van Deusen said. “We’ve always been pretty much a run-oriented team and teams will try to sneak another guy in the box and get eight or nine guys up there at the line of scrimmage to stop us. Well you know, if we’re throwing the ball well, that’s tougher to do or else we’re going to get some big plays in the pass game.”
River Hill hosts Hammond (1-2) on Friday night.