Weekend walk-through: Maryland
Montgomery game to watch: No. 13 Sherwood (4-0) at Gaithersburg (4-0), Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Sherwood has not lost in September since 2005, but in those games the Warriors faced only three teams that eventually made the postseason. Their four September opponents this season have a combined 4-12 record.
But now the Warriors' schedule takes a tougher turn. They visit undefeated Gaithersburg, which is playing with a level of confidence it hasn't had in several years.
"We're not battle-tested yet," first-year Sherwood Coach Marc Thomas said. "The good thing, though, is we've got all these seniors who don't need to be reminded of this. They take it on themselves."
Seniors start at 21 of the 22 spots on the field for Sherwood, but one position was more critical than the rest.
"The whole question mark in the offseason was who would be our running back," Thomas said, after last year's leading rusher, Cyrus Britt, transferred to Seneca Valley.
Senior Dylan Hubbard, who saw limited action last year, picked up a chunk of the load, another example of the kind of depth that has helped Sherwood win a Montgomery County-best 61 games since the start of 2005. His 391 rushing yards and seven touchdowns lead the Warriors.
Two weeks ago, Sherwood got a boost when its best all-around player, senior Jamal Merritt debuted after recovering from an offseason wrist injury. Typically a wide receiver, Merritt moved to the backfield and is alternating offensive series with Hubbard, and scored three touchdowns in his first two games.
Springbrook won its first four games against opponents that are a combined 1-15. A stiff change is coming Friday, when the Blue Devils host No. 4 Damascus. Nevertheless, Springbrook has been terrific defensively, led by senior linebacker Derrick Short. No Blue Devils opponent has scored more than seven points. ...
It's been a tough rebuilding process at Northwest, which is coming off its first losing season (3-7) since the program's debut campaign in 1998. But if the Jaguars drop to 0-5 against Churchill Friday, they will have lost seven straight (dating to last season), matching the program's worst slide since its first seven games of 1998. The Bulldogs, meantime, after getting shut out in their first two games this season, have blanked their last two opponents, with senior Marcus Brown rushing for 216 yards and two touchdowns . ...
Whitman could be building some momentum, with its next two opponents a combined 1-7. The Vikings (3-1) will need it as they close the season against Gaithersburg, Springbrook, Seneca Valley and Churchill. They have allowed only 33 points this season, and their playmakers are coming through. Junior Michael Flack has a team-high 15 receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns, and also has two interceptions. Junior running back Val Djidotor has 265 rushing yards and four touchdowns. ...
Prince George's game to watch: Bowie (3-1, 3-1 Prince George's 4A) at No. 19 Suitland (4-0, 4-0), Saturday, 2
Bowie showed it can compete with the top teams in the Prince George's 4A league two weeks ago, when it controlled most of the game before losing to C.H. Flowers, 13-10 in overtime. Suitland, though, provides a different challenge than Flowers, in that the Rams annually are one of the Washington area's most physical teams.