The 5-foot-6, 165-pound Hayman also starts at cornerback and returns kicks. He hopes to play college football and said he has significant interest from New Hampshire, Georgetown and North Carolina Central.
Bronson (632 yards) is bigger at 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, but he also can line up in the slot and he leads the team with 12 catches. Gross — a McNamara transfer — can play fullback and has taken on an increased role in the offense late in the season.
Coach Danny Hayes said the group has found the perfect balance in the backfield with plenty of friendly competition and few complaints about playing time.
“It’s the same thing as any job,” Hayes said. “You don’t ever let your guard down because you can be replaced. Everybody’s coming to work and doing what they need to get done.”
Maryland 2A South semifinal: Patuxent at No. 18 Douglass, Saturday, 1 p.m.
They don’t play in the same league, but the Douglass and Patuxent football programs know each other well.
Three times they have met in the Maryland 2A South playoffs since 2006 – including a 26-20 Douglass win in a region semifinal last year – and they will clash again Saturday in Upper Marlboro in what should be one of the area’s most-watched region semifinals.
“Any time you play [Douglass Coach J.C. Pinkney] and those guys, you just have so much respect for that staff,” Patuxent Coach Steve Crounse said. “Those guys do it right. They’re excellent playoff coaches and they’ll take advantage of whatever you’re not doing well.”
Pinkney’s Eagles have qualified for the postseason every year since 2003, an impressive feat in any region, and one that seems nearly impossible in the brutally-tough 2A South.
This year, Douglass (9-1) has been powered by its defense, which has recorded seven shutouts and allowed only six points total in its last seven games.
That unit, led by defensive end D’Sean Cummings and linebackers Matthew Paul and Rodney Boyd, will be tasked Saturday with slowing down a Patuxent offense that has averaged more than 41 points per game behind dual-threat quarterback Trey Lee and running back Rafiq Douglas.
“Those two kids they have touching the ball the most are two of the most dynamic kids you’re going to see in high school football,” Pinkney said. “We’re going to have to play our assignments and not get caught up in the misdirection and other stuff that they do.”
Elsewhere this weekend, Huntingtown (9-1) will look to take a step closer to its fourth consecutive region title when the top-seeded Hurricanes host Friendly (6-4) in a 3A South semifinal Friday.
Those teams last met in the 3A South final in 2010, when Huntingtown earned a 52-16 win.
Westlake (7-3) will host Potomac (8-2) in the other Maryland 3A South semifinal Friday, looking to reach the region final for the third time in four years.
The Wolverines’ six-game winning streak was snapped last week in a 34-19 loss to North Point.
Maryland 2A West semifinal: Poolesville at Walkersville, Friday, 7 p.m.
After winning five games total from 2008-2010, Poolesville has quickly reversed its fortunes since Coach Will Gant took over last fall. The team lost its first five games in 2011 but have won 11 of its past 15 games since then.
The turnaround takes another step when the Falcons (7-3) make their first playoff appearance in seven years on Friday, visiting Walkersville (9-1) for a 2A West semifinal on Friday night.
Gant has done his best to keep the team focused on the game through a busy week of preparation, but the former Clarksburg defensive coordinator also wants the Falcons to take some pride in reaching their top goal heading into the season.
“I’ve had to tell a lot of my coaches and kids to take some time to enjoy it,” said Gant, who last coached a postseason game in 2008. Making the playoffs “is always the goal, but it doesn’t happen every year. I was part of some good football teams at Clarksburg that didn’t make the playoffs.”
On Friday, Poolesville will have to contend with senior running back Avery Ezell, who averaged nearly 180 rushing yards per game during the regular season.
Gant called Ezell “the most talented running back we’ve faced.” The Lions were undefeated until falling to defending state champ Middletown, 31-6, in their regular season finale.
The Falcons counter with senior running back Nikolay Henze, who rushed for 217 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s 28-7 win over Rockville.