Sideline Report Game of the Week: Wise at Oxon Hill, Saturday, 2 p.m.

Sideline Report Game of the Week: Wise at Oxon Hill, Saturday, 2 p.m.

Wise running back Anthony Wright, shown catching the ball under pressure from Largo's Robert Moore, has scored 18 touchdowns this season.
Wise running back Anthony Wright, shown catching the ball under pressure from Largo's Robert Moore, has scored 18 touchdowns this season. (2006 Photo By Mark Gail -- The Washington Post)
  Enlarge Photo     Buy Photo

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Thursday, November 6, 2008

It doesn't get simpler than this: Win and you're in, lose and you're done.

The winner gets the final berth in the Maryland 4A South Region playoffs and a likely first-round game at top-seeded Eleanor Roosevelt. Although that might sound daunting, consider that Wise led Roosevelt 22-0 before losing 24-22 on Oct. 3. Running back Anthony Wright caught two touchdown passes and rushed for another score in that game; he has rushed for 1,192 yards and scored 18 touchdowns this season.

Since losing to Roosevelt, though, Wise has run off four consecutive lopsided victories, outscoring their opponents by a combined 148 to 18, including last week's 28-6 victory over DuVal that set up Saturday's winner-take-all contest. Both teams are 6-3.

"It's going to be a physical game, Wise is a very physical team," Oxon Hill interim coach Walter Cross said. "We both lost to the same people [Roosevelt, C.H. Flowers, Suitland]. Some of their margins were a little bit closer than ours. They run the ball real well. That's their strong part. They have a real good running back who has great vision and great speed."

Cross knows of what he speaks. The former All-Met Offensive Player of the Year was a standout at Oxon Hill and went on to play at Michigan. He had been the Clippers' offensive coordinator until two weeks ago, when former coach Kevin Wolfolk quit, citing differences with the school principal. Cross, whose younger brothers are two of Oxon Hill's top players, was elevated to oversee the remainder of the season.

As a player, Cross always wanted the ball in his hands, but as a coach, he has a different philosophy.

"We like to pass," Cross said. "Our offense is a strong point right now. I like the big plays. It's just how I've always been. I don't like to run the ball, run the ball. That's boring to me. If it's not going to be a 40- or 50-yard run, I don't want to see that."

As for how Cross the player would see Coach Cross, he said: "He'd be angry like, 'Man, just give me the ball.' "

Best of the Rest

Douglass at Gwynn Park, Saturday, 2 p.m.: The rivalry between the county's southern teams has an added twist this season: Douglass (7-2, 6-1 Prince George's 3A/2A/1A) must win to make the Maryland 2A South Region playoffs.

Gwynn Park (8-1, 7-0) has secured its playoff berth. The running game led quarterback Lavaughn Hughes and running backs Khalek Shepherd and Nygee Carmichael to form an impressive offensive unit. Hughes rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns in last week's impressive 29-0 victory over Friendly, and Shepherd rushed for two touchdowns.

The key matchup will be up front. Gwynn Park has dominated the line of scrimmage in most of its games this season.

Bishop McNamara vs. DeMatha, tomorrow at Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex, 7 p.m.: The county's top two private school teams conclude their regular seasons with McNamara hanging precariously on the edge as it chases a playoff berth.

DeMatha (7-2, 4-2 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) pulled away from St. John's for a 34-6 victory last weekend. Running back Marcus Coker rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns as the Stags secured the second seed in the WCAC playoffs. At the same time, McNamara (5-4, 3-3) was rallying for a thrilling 36-35 victory over O'Connell as wide receiver Jerome Couplin had three of his four touchdown catches in the fourth quarter. But even with that victory, McNamara will need to either upset DeMatha or have St. John's beat Gonzaga to make the playoffs and advance to a first-round game against top-ranked Good Counsel.

-- JOSH BARR


© 2008 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity