Sherwood has been strong on defense with two shutouts in the past three weeks. In their season-opener, the Warriors hung with Quince Orchard into the fourth quarter before falling 28-12.
“I don’t think they’re scared of anybody,” Coach Mike Bonavia said of his players. “We’ve got the kids believing that if we can defend Q.O.’s offense, which is pretty powerful and fast, then we have a shot against Damascus.”
Most of the coaches involved in the game are plenty familiar with each other, stemming from the coaching tree of Al Thomas — the legendary Montgomery County coach who won state titles at both schools and Seneca Valley.
Bonavia was an assistant under Thomas at Damascus when Wallich played for the Hornets. Thomas — who retired at Sherwood after winning the Maryland 4A title in 2008 — is in his second season as Wallich’s defensive coordinator, while Sherwood’s first-year offensive coordinator Chuck Oswald was also a long-time assistant under Thomas.
Damascus and Sherwood combined on one of the more peculiar Montgomery County games last season with Sherwood winning, 14-3, despite managing just four first downs on offense. Quarterback Jordan Larsen — now a second-year starter for the Warriors — accounted for one of the touchdowns with a pass to himself when he caught a batted attempt near the goal line.
Quince Orchard and Churchill (3-1) lead the Maryland 4A West standings, but plenty of teams remain in solid playoff position with seven of the region’s 13 squads currently at 2-2. A pair of them meet on Saturday afternoon in Bethesda when Whitman hosts Bethesda-Chevy Chase. The Barons (2-2) had been shut out two straight games before putting up 39 points in last week’s win over Kennedy, while the Vikings (2-2) have not allowed a point in their last nine quarters. . . .
Gaithersburg starting quarterback Nick Decarlo is still suffering from an injured foot and is uncertain to start Friday night against Churchill. Decarlo, a junior, was replaced last week by senior backup Steven Funk, who completed 5-of-7 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown. Gaithersburg Coach Kreg Kephart said that despite the quarterback situation, junior running back Solomon Vault will continue to get the lion’s share of offensive touches against Churchill. Vault rushed 18 times for 155 yards last week, and has scored eight rushing touchdowns through four games this season. . . .
After being outscored 62-7 in its first two games, Blake has allowed just 22 points in two straight wins over Watkins Mill and Paint Branch, the latter of which came in a 7-3 victory last week over the Panthers. Blake held Paint Branch to just 133 yards of total offense in the victory. The Bengals will face Wheaton (1-3) on Friday. . . .
Creating offense is a top priority for Magruder (1-3) this week against Einstein (1-3). In the past three weeks, the Colonels have lost 42-0 to Paint Branch, 55-0 to Northwest and 31-0 to Gaithersburg, and have scored just one offensive touchdown all season. Tyrii Jackson, who plays linebacker, wide receiver and running back for Magruder, was installed as the quarterback against Gaithersburg, throwing for 31 yards on a night when the Colonels compiled just 132 yards of total offense.