West Potomac running back Demornay Pierson-El wanted to remain West Potomac wide receiver Demornay Pierson-El. He told first-year Coach Jeremiah Davis as much last spring, that the team would be better off with him at receiver, where he earned second-team all-Northern Region recognition last year as a sophomore.
But with the Wolverines’ offense transitioning to a more run-based attack, Davis needed Pierson-El in the backfield. The two had some talks.
“He gave me a scenario,” Pierson-El said. As Pierson-El recalls, their conversation went something like this:
Davis: It’s fourth down and two yards to go. Do I give the ball to you, or do I give the ball to somebody else?
Pierson-El: I want you to give the ball to me.
Davis: You’re a playmaker, so I want you to have the ball. I trust you with the ball. You get what I’m saying?
Pierson-El: Oh yeah, I do.
He still considers himself a receiver playing running back instead of just a running back, even though he has surprised himself with his ability to pick up blitzes.
Pierson-El’s stat line through three games: 46 carries, 571 yards, 10 touchdowns; two catches, 16 yards.
Annandale wide receiver Nolan Gilbert played football as a freshman but then did not play the past two seasons. Some of his baseball teammates on the football team helped get him involved in a passing league and back out for football his senior year.
The infielder scooped up balls in the air — nine catches for 196 yards and three touchdowns Friday in a 32-27 comeback win over Stuart — just as he does balls on the ground for the Atoms in the spring. The touchdowns covered 80, 60 and 14 yards.
Junior quarterback Steve Schwartz also plays baseball, as does junior backup quarterback Jackson Trollinger and senior defensive back Matt Stevens, among others. Stevens also did not play football last season.
“We had a good core of leadership within our seniors and they went out and got some other guys,” said Annandale Coach Mike Scott, whose team is 1-2. “We try to encourage our kids to play three sports. It’s a good experience. The majority are not going to get a scholarship, I don’t care how much they pay a speed guy or what combine they go to.
“I have 30 or 40 [college coaches visiting the school] every spring. The two things they ask are: One, grades, and two, what else does he do? They want to know how they compete.”
The football staff includes baseball, wrestling, lacrosse, soccer and track coaches, which means the assistants know most of the male athletes in the school. They might be less territorial than staffs with football-only coaches.
“We see other kids and try to convince them to come out,” said Scott, who coaches track. “We are very much a throwback. But it’s also out of necessity in some ways. We’ve got to share our guys.”
Burns threw for touchdowns of 58 and 40 yards in the first quarter before injuring his ankle early in the second quarter of the second-ranked Bulldogs’ 49-6 win over South Lakes Friday.
“As far as I’m concerned he’s back and good to go,” Thompson said.
Washington-Lee felt it might be on the verge of an offensive breakout after its win over Fairfax on Sept. 7. Instead of a breakout, Edison caused a breakdown, sacking the Generals eight times in a 14-0 win in the National District opener.
“We felt athletically we could match up with them and just tried to get a lot of pressure on their quarterback,” said Eagles Coach Anthony Parker, whose team notched eight sacks in its first shutout since the third game of the 2009 season.
Senior middle linebacker Jarrett Banks led Edison with 15 tackles, giving him 39 for the season. Senior outside linebacker Lonnie Edwards had 12 tackles, three for losses. Junior defensive end Daniel Smith had three sacks.
Junior quarterback Harrison Dandridge had limited mobility with a bruised thigh but completed nine of 16 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns.