Wise defense impressive in win over Eleanor Roosevelt
By Steve Yanda,
Anyone doubting the legitimacy of the Wise defense would do well to take note of Saturday’s 39-0 win over Eleanor Roosevelt. According to Wise Coach DaLawn Parrish, that applies another area high school coach in particular.
Saturday’s rout at No. 14 Wise (3-0, 2-0 Prince George’s 4A) was the largest margin of victory since the first year of the the schools met. In 2006, Wise’s inaugural football season, Roosevelt pummeled the Pumas, 47-0.
Since then, only two of the eight games in this series leading up to Saturday’s contest had been decided by more than eight points. Last year, Roosevelt needed a last-second field goal to win by one.
But Saturday, led by a trio of linebackers in its third year as a starting unit, Wise ensured no thrilling finish was necessary. Roosevelt (2-1, 1-1) fumbled the ball on the first play from scrimmage, and the Pumas capitalized one play later with a five-yard touchdown run by senior tailback Franklin Porter.
“We felt like if we could jump on them and just keep going, keep grinding, maybe it could turn into this,” Parrish said. “We had no idea that they wouldn’t score. We preach playing good defense and creating turnovers, and fortunately for us the field position battle was on our side.”
The remaining 47 minutes 38 seconds of the game was an exercise in repetition. Roosevelt turned the ball over five times and crossed midfield once.
“We go into every game with the bottom line of play hard and don’t turn the ball over,” Roosevelt Coach Tom Green said. “And we didn’t play hard, and we turned the ball over.”
Midway through the second quarter, Wise senior linebacker Benjamin Robinson jumped a route and returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown. “An easy pick,” he called it.
Wise has yet to allow a point this season and has not been challenged in any of its three contests. The Pumas gave up 125 total yards Saturday.
When asked how long the shutout streak could last, Wise senior linebacker D’Angelo Niler said: “If we come out 100 percent and fly around like we did this game, we can get all shutouts this season. I really believe that. We’ve got all the pieces to the puzzle on defense this year.”
And Parrish believes it’s time his team start getting due credit for its early season production. He said he took particular issue with Forestville Coach Charles Harley ranking Wise No. 20-A in last week’s All-Met Sports coaches’ poll and commenting that Green “lives in Wise’s boundary and his kids say he will be the new king of Marlboro after” Saturday’s game.
“You can tell [Harley] now he can rank us higher,” Parrish said.