Nesmith said he also needs junior quarterback Gaston Cooper to be more sharp in his second varsity start this week against Magruder. Cooper was 11 for 20 with 207 yards and three touchdowns last week against Rockville, but he also threw two interceptions and missed on some throws. “He has the ability to be a special player,” said Nesmith. “We’re pleased with his progression, but we need more from him if we’re going to be the team we want to be.”
Around Prince George’s
After scrambling to fill a last-minute hole in their schedule, Surrattsville will host D.C. charter school Maya Angelou on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Hornets had hoped to play at Wilson on Friday, but the game had to be cancelled because of a scheduling mix-up.
Coach Robert Harris said Surrattsville (1-0) expected to play Wilson (1-1) in the second week of the season like it did last fall, but the Tigers — who are set to host No. 17 St. John’s on Saturday — asked for the game to be on Sept. 21 when the Hornets were already contracted to play Colonel Richardson High of Federalsburg, Md.
Harris said plans to play Maya Angelou were just finalized last week, and his team heads into the game without the benefit of any film preparation or prior knowledge about Maya Angelou.
“It’s a little different,” Harris said. “We’re trying to prepare our offensive line for all the different defenses they might see. Defensively, we’ll just keep sending people at them and hope to control the game that way.”
Last fall, Surrattsville lost to Wilson, 14-12, and Harris said he hopes to get the game back on his team’s schedule next year. A 1991 Carroll graduate, Harris enjoyed the matchup because last season’s Tigers featured the children of some of his former classmates. . . . After its season-opening 35-19 win at Potomac (Md.), Gwynn Park has another league matchup on the road when it travels to Friendly on Friday night. The Patriots beat defending Maryland 3A runner-up Thomas Johnson, 20-13, in their opener, taking the lead for good on a 75-yard touchdown run by junior Ravon Davis in the third quarter.
Around the SMAC
If Week 1 was any indication, Huntingtown is doing fine after losing the only head coach it ever had during the offseason.
Veteran assistant Brendan Galligan stepped in to replace his mentor Jerry Franks, who left after three straight state tournament appearances to coach St. Mary’s Ryken, and the Hurricanes (1-0) rolled to a 42-0 win over Great Mills (0-1) in Galligan’s head coaching debut.
“I was surprisingly calm,” Galligan said. “Our job as a coaching staff is to get our guys as prepared to play as we possibly can. No coach has ever made a catch or made a tackle on a Friday night.”
Under Galligan, who played for Franks at Calvert and was an assistant on his staff since Huntingtown opened in 2004, the Hurricanes stress the same grinding ground attack on offense and a hawkish defense that emphasizes forcing turnovers.
Senior running back Carl Riffe ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, while linebackers Chris Lobas and Bobby Milie and lineman Dalonte Holland all recovered fumbles and linebacker Josh Woodburn grabbed an interception.
This Friday, Huntingtown faces Chopticon (0-1), whom they beat in the Maryland 3A South semifinal last season.
The Braves return only four starters from that 7-4 playoff squad, but maintain a physical style that could give Huntingtown trouble.
“They’re still a dangerous team,” Galligan said. “We know that whenever you play them you’re going to get bruised up.