Anacostia Coach Willie Stewart's game plan for Saturday's 11 a.m. Interhigh East Division showdown at Cardozo against unbeaten and fourth-ranked H.D. Woodson High is a simple one.
"We won't run up the middle; that's for sure," said Stewart, whose team won the league championship last year and finished 10-0. "A lot of sweeps. We've got to tire out those big guys."
Woodson (8-0, 5-0) starts offensive and defensive lines that compare in bulk with the Redskins. With 435-pound Raymond Smith, 300-pound Kevin Robbins and 285-pound Ron Ferguson, the Warriors have averaged 26 points per game while allowing only 20 points all year.
Theodore Roosevelt High (7-2, 4-0) won the West Division title and will meet the winner of the Anacostia-Woodson game for the league title Thanksgiving morning at 11 a.m.
Model's coach, Bob Westerman, means it when he says he had no idea his team would be 7-0-1 going into Saturday's Tri-State League championship game against Pallotti (9-0).
"We were real concerned about our defensive and offensive lines," said Westerman, in his eighth year as head coach. "We thought earlier we would be weak up front, but they turned out to be pretty good. They are a big reason we're where we are."
Two other reasons the defending league champions are unbeaten are linebacker/fullback Robert Wilkins (575 yards, seven touchdowns) and linebacker/tailback Sean Markal (900 yards, 12 touchdowns, 14 two-point conversions for 100 points).
"We still run the ball a lot and they've been our big players," Westerman said. "But our defense has given up only 13 points. Toselli Silvestri leads the team in tackles and James Gardner is our big horse."
Westerman said Pallotti is a good team and will be tough to beat. "We beat them last year (24-7) but they are a far better team," he said.
"This year we got our skill players back and no linemen. Next year, it'll be just the opposite. Oh, we do have one good tailback coming back, Anthony Peterson. We might be pretty good next year, too."
When Gonzaga and St. John's meet in the first game of a Metro Conference tripleheader Saturday at Byrd Stadium, it will mark the 54th time the two private schools have played. The two teams actually began playing in the early 1920s but didn't begin keeping records until 1929. St. John's leads the series, 29-21-3.
After the St. John's-Gonzaga game at 10 a.m., McNamara will play Good Counsel at noon and DeMatha will play Carroll at 2. The Carroll-DeMatha game had been expected to decide the conference title but the Stags clinched it by beating Good Counsel, 35-6, last week.
Wilson High, which got off to a terrible start (0-7), has played impressively its last two games. Reserve quarterback Ola Ogunfiditimi has scored the winning touchdowns in both games to help the Tigers improve their record to 2-7 going into the final game of the regular season. Wilson has defeated Cardozo, 25-9, and Wilson, 14-6.
Theodore Roosevelt High is also playing well. Since losing two of its first three games, it has won six straight, including a 12-0 decision over McKinley to win the Interhigh West Division. It was the Rough Riders' second straight shutout.
Roosevelt will end the regular season against visiting Coolidge Friday at 2:45. The Colts forfeited two games last week after it was discovered they had two ineligible players, but the school has appealed the decision and is awaiting the results of a hearing. Should Coolidge win the appeal, its record would be 3-1 and it could force a playoff by beating Roosevelt.