Of 22 football teams in Prince George’s county, only one — eventual state champions Wise — endured the injuries, flukes, and surprises of a high school season to finish undefeated in 2012.
In fact, thanks to the rigors of the Prince George’s gauntlet, only three teams made it through the season’s halfway point unscathed: Wise, DuVal, and Suitland.
So far this season, five Prince George’s teams have yet to lose a game. A few of them have never even come close. Some, No. 16 Gwynn Park (5-0, 3-0 Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A), No. 7 Suitland (5-0, 4-0 Prince George’s 4A), and C.H. Flowers (5-0, 4-o PG 4A), are perennial threats for perfection. Others, like Forestville (5-0, 3-0 PG 3A/2A/1A) and Surrattsville (5-0, 3-0 PG 3A/2A/1A) emerged as elite teams in 2013.
Suitland, a 54-6 victor over Laurel this week, does it with consistent grit, a bruising, multi-back running attack and a punishing defense whose size doesn’t beget its power. The Rams saw two players rush for over 100 yards in their win over the Spartans. They might have kept Laurel off the board if not for one big play from talented Laurel quarterback Mason Duckett, who found Justin Williams for a 66-yard touchdown score.
Flowers, as yet untested by a back-heavy schedule, outmuscles its opponents in the trenches with a stellar offensive line that cleared the way for nine different runners to combine for 348 yards in the Jaguars’ 48-0 win over Oxon Hill Saturday. Gwynn Park, always a threat to make a run through the state tournament, is growing around new offensive and defensive coordinators that Coach Danny Hayes says are building a more relaxed environment. The Yellow Jackets had fun Saturday, downing Crossland 66-7 with seven different players scoring touchdowns.
Forestville’s growth from good to great has accompanied the evolution of its defense. Led by Iowa-bound defensive back Marcel Joly, who Coach Charles Harley calls “the best player every time he steps on the field,” the Knights posted their third straight shutout with a 38-0 win over Central Saturday.
Surrattsville has found ways to win. Behind a strong offensive line and tailback Amaru Major, who’s rushed for 891 yards and 10 touchdowns in five games, the Hornets have passed each challenge presented them, including a 54-6 win over Fairmont Heights this weekend. Either the Hornets or Forestville will not escape week six without a loss, as the teams face off Saturday.