While so much attention has been focused on successful T.C. Williams, another Northern Virginia team is quietly working its way into the limelight. West Potomac, which easily shut out Lee, 41-0, to raise its record to 7-2, has five consecutive shutouts. In fact, the last time West Potomac was scored upon was in a 34-0 loss to Robinson.

"Actually, I tell people we've been involved in seven straight shutouts. We were just on the wrong end of one of them," West Potomac Coach Dan Meier said. "After we lost that game, we had a week off and we assessed a few things. One thing we did was make some offensive changes and get more aggressive on defense. Instead of sitting back in sort of an umbrella defense, we started blitzing and sending people.

"On defense, we wanted to control the ball more. We started using more running backs instead of running Reggie Ware all the time. In fact, Ware doesn't start anymore but has turned into a very fine linebacker for us."

West Potomac took a page out of T.C. Williams' book, going through the Gunston District without allowing a point. After tying Mount Vernon for district honors the past two seasons, West Potomac outscored its four district foes, 140-0, to win the title outright and earn a Northern Region playoff berth.

"That was one of out goals, to win the district title," Meier said. "I guess we're kind of on a roll."

After 25 years of watching Maus Collins turn out one great football team after another at Carroll, people have learned not to believe everything the crafty head coach says.

At the beginning of this season, Collins was his usual pessimistic self, trying to invoke sympathy for his small, inexperienced team while pointing to the "big guys" DeMatha, McNamara and Gonzaga had.

Nine weeks later, Carroll is 9-1, ranked fourth in the area and is one game away from winning the Metro Conference crown. Of course, that one game is against rival fifth-ranked DeMatha (8-0-1), which is also enjoying a fine year, to decide the league champion.

Carroll has always been tough defensively, this year being no exception. Even Collins said he was surprised that his team blanked McNamara, 34-0, Saturday. Led by linebacker Richard Johnson and Sean Hill, the Lions have allowed only 62 points and have four shutouts.

Richard Dickens has been the chief offensive threat, rushing for more than 1,300 yards and scoring 10 touchdowns. He gained 220 yards and scored on three runs of 58, 73 and 30 yards against McNamara. Marvin Graves stepped in at quarterback when returning all-league signal-caller Orin Solomon hurt his back and has settled in very comfortable at the position. When Solomon came back, Collins decided to use the talented senior at split end, a move that has worked out very well.

"The kids have played very well," Collins said. "Johnson is out big-play man out there and Sean is always around the ball. That McNamara game was a good effort by them."

Dunbar's girls basketball team is seeking a Christmas tournament to enter. If interested, contact athletic director Clarence Bell at the school...Lackey saw its three-year 23-game winning streak snapped by Southern Maryland Athletic Conference rival Thomas Stone, 17-0. Georgetown Prep defeated St. Stephen's, 24-6, to stretch its winning streak to 21 games...DeMatha is the highest-scoring team in the area, averaging 36.7 points. Courtland is next at 33.9, Pallotti finished at 30.1. Fairmont Heights has allowed the fewest points, 39 for a 3.9 average. Laurel is allowing 4.1 points, T.C. Williams 4.7, Meade 5.3 and Seneca Valley 5.6....

Pallotti defeated Martin Spaulding, 27-14, to win the Tri-County league and finish with a 10-0 record. Quarterback Sean Rivers capped a marvelous season by throwing his 26th touchdown pass. Kevin Hammersmith , his chief receiver, caught 15 of the scoring tosses.