Eight weeks ago West Potomac Coach Dan Meier stared at his 2-2 club that had been beaten soundly, 34-0, by Robinson. After compiling a 16-5 mark in the two years since the Groveton-Fort Hunt merger, the Wolverines were forced to take a hard look at themselves.

Fortunately, the next week was an open date on the schedule, giving West Potomac two weeks to regroup. West Potomac has since recorded six straight shutouts, a streak it carries into tomorrow night's Northern Region, Division 6 playoff game against Annandale.

In the six games since the break, the Wolverines have outscored their opponents, 197-0. End James Pearson (6-foot-3, 245), a three-year starter, spearheads the defensive coordinator Dale Eaton's unit, which has allowed only a last-minute touchdown (against Stuart) in its eight victories. Leading tackler Jimmy Arrington (5-10, 195) and defensive back Robert Jones (5-10, 160) have also drawn raves from Meier, but the coach was quick to point out that all three units have been a big part of the streak.

"To be able to shut out opponents you need to avoid breakdowns on offense, defense and special teams, and maintain good field position, which is quite a feat," Meier said.

"I read in the paper that Annandale was held to 11 offensive plays in the second half (last week)," Meier continued. "That's a tribute to our offense that it controlled the ball so well. They have taken some pressure off the defense too.

"I think this team is not as talented as the last two teams, but they have that little something extra. This team is a great bunch of overachievers. It has done two things we have never done before -- beat Mount Vernon, and win the Gunston District title outright."

That little something extra could have a little to do with Meier's promise to the team at the beginning of the year. The seventh-year head coach (four years at Orange County High School) told the team they would receive winter parkas after their second shutout, and have Monday practices without pads after every shutout. "What has happened," says Meier, "Is that the kids got the parkas by the fifth week, and we haven't had a good practice in six weeks."