It might look easy, but the Patuxent Panthers insist their recent success on offense is the result of grueling work. The key, they say, is superb conditioning. Once they got in shape, they were able to take advantage of their mix of size, talent and experience.
The result has been an explosive and efficient offense that has scored 175 points through four games this season. At 43.75 points per game, the Panthers have the fourth-best scoring offense in the Washington area, behind Eleanor Roosevelt (46.26), Seneca Valley (44.5) and St. Stephen's/St. Agnes (44.3).
Southern Maryland Athletic Conference rivals Calvert, Chopticon, Great Mills, La Plata, Lackey, Leonardtown and McDonough didn't score 175 points in 10 games last season.
"I thought coming into the season that we had an opportunity to score two or three times a game," Patuxent Coach Jim Esposito said. "Did I think we could score 40, 50 or 60 points a game? I never really even thought about that. It seems outrageous."
The Panthers have done most of their damage on the ground. Running behind an offensive line that averages 6 feet, 235 pounds, sophomore tailback Terry Caulley and senior fullback Anthony Baldwin have combined for 987 yards and 16 touchdowns on 98 carries. Caulley's 751 yards rushing on 65 carries ranks second in the state to Thomas Stone All-Met running back Marcus Whalen, who has 776 yards rushing on 15 more carries.
Those numbers come despite the fact the Panthers have played just one "full" game this season. In Maryland high school football, if a team leads by more than 35 points in the second half, the clock does not stop the rest of the game. That has happened in each of Patuxent's last three games.
In Patuxent's 61-14 win over Chopticon on Friday, for example, Caulley carried the ball 16 times for 187 yards and four touchdowns. All but one of those runs were in the first half. The Panthers had two offensive possessions in the shortened second half.
"Terry hasn't played a full game yet, neither have most of our starters," Esposito said. "But when we get into a tougher game, we have no worries about the kids getting tired. I'll make a bet that no one in the conference conditions better than we do."
How Patuxent Has Scored 175 Points in Four Games
Score by Quarters
1st Quarter 66
2nd Quarter 47
3rd Quarter 42
4th Quarter 20
RB Anthony Baldwin
RB Terry Caulley
PK Brendan Connell
RB DeAndre Mitchell
WR Pat Martin
QB Judd Vail
WR Chris Graham
LB Derek Passagno
LB Josh Welborn
Who's Getting Scored On
McDonough (Sept. 3)
Leonardtown (Sept. 9)
Southern (Sept. 18)
Chopticon (Sept. 24)
Special team TDs
The Big Scores
Patuxent's Three Longest Touchdowns (In Yards)
Josh Welborn's fumble return vs. Chopticon
DeAndre Mitchell's run vs. Leonardtown
Terry Caulley's run vs. McDonough
CAPTION: Running back Terry Caulley, who has scored 48 points for the Panthers in four games, is the second-leading scorer on the team this season.