It’s hard to choose the biggest game among SMAC competition this year — Leonardtown’s 27-18 upset of McDonough and Northern’s down-to-the-wire performance against Huntingtown proved there are no sleepers — but to Lackey Coach John Lush, there’s no debate. Thursday’s game against Westlake is the one circled on the calendar.
“The last time we made it to the playoffs — 2008 — was the last time we beat them,” Lush said. “We’ve got to beat a Calvert County playoff team, so this is it.”
Lush is working with a more complete lineup this season, one he calls “annoyingly close” because of its sense of camaraderie and lack of cliques among the players. The offense, defense and special teams all charted at least one touchdown in the Chargers’ 47-0 win against La Plata on Saturday. Three-year starter Delondo Boyd is contributing in all aspects of the offense and junior free safetyCortrelle Simpson had two punt returns for touchdowns (one was called back) and an interception return for a touchdown on Saturday. The Ethington brothers — senior wide receiver Lucas and junior lineman Cameron — transferred this season from McDonough and bring big-game experience to the Chargers.
The opening win shows the team that they are capable of an offensive push, but didn’t give the players a taste of the adversity they will certainly face Thursday against Westlake (1-0), Lush said.
“Not everything is going to go our way,” Lush said. “But execution overcomes emotion every time. This is going to be an emotional game, but emotions aren’t going to win it. We’re going to have our work cut out for us.”
McDonough might not have known to watch out for Leonardtown, but Patuxent Coach Steve Crounse sure did.
“As long as they keep everything intact, they’ve got some kids that can play,” Crounse said before the season started. “They’ve got a lot of developed skills and they’re going to sneak up on a few people.”
McDonough faces a much more touted opponent Week 2 against 2012 3A state finalist Huntingtown. The Rams are led by first-year Coach Ryan Gick who played at McDonough and spent five years as an assistant under Ken Lane at North Point.
Leonardtown and senior quarterback Zach Sparshott (6 for 11 attempts, 113 yards against the Rams) will take on Prince George’s Potomac (Md.) at home this week. Great Mills (0-1) travels to Thomas Stone (1-0), Chopticon (0-1) faces Patuxent (1-0) at home, North Point (0-1) travels to Northern (0-1) and Calvert (1-0) will play at La Plata (0-1).
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