With All-Met senior running back Matt Reidy nursing a sprained knee, Damascus planned to alternate sophomore Tom Cosgrove and junior Kyle Hogan at tailback in its season opener against Blake last Friday.
The plan worked to perfection on the Swarmin' Hornets first drive of the season. With both players carrying the ball, Damascus drove for a score and an early 6-0 lead.
But by late in the third quarter, Damascus had not added to its lead. So Coach Dan Makosy approached Reidy, who was the Hornets' workhorse during last season's title run.
"I came up to him and said, 'Matt, can you go?' " Makosy said. "And he said he could, so we put him in. And it was like night and day."
Damascus handed to Reidy 13 straight times on its first drive with him in the backfield, and Reidy gained 80 yards. He yielded to Cosgrove at that point, who plunged in from a yard out to give Damascus a cushion. The Hornets won, 20-0.
Hogan finished with 67 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, while Cosgrove had 72 yards on 15 carries. But in crunch time, it was Reidy who delivered.
"It was unbelievable," Makosy said. "You don't realize what you've got until it's not there."
Nana Becoming Threat
Bethesda-Chevy Chase senior receiver/kick returner Richard Nana showed flashes of his ability as a play-maker late last season. In the last two games last year, Nana had five touchdowns -- pass receptions of 12, 55, 61 and 65 yards, and an 88-yard kickoff return.
He continued to wreak havoc in the Barons' season-opening 48-13 victory over Kennedy last Friday. Nana had five receptions for 103 yards and two touchdowns (41- and 22-yard from senior quarterback Patrick Genova) and an 84-yard kickoff return for a score. Nana finished with 230 all-purpose yards.
"Since late last season, he's been a very dangerous player for us," said B-CC Coach John Zehner. "He's really fast and skilled at finding a way to get open."
Genova, a returning starter, also performed well. He completed six of his seven pass attempts for 132 yards, two touchdowns.
An Uneven Debut
There were immediate highs and lows for Dave Mencarini in his debut as head coach of Quince Orchard last Friday against Wootton. The Cougars scored on their first possession, courtesy of a 39-yard run by senior running back Cameron George, but then gave up approximately 45 yards in penalties to aid a Wootton drive that ended with a field goal. On the ensuing kickoff, however, Darryll Bibb went 92 yards for a touchdown.
"It was an emotional roller coaster for a while," Mencarini said.
Though the game ended with a 42-9 victory, Mencarini said his team made too many mistakes.
"First-game stupid errors," he said. "We had an interception return for a touchdown called back because we blocked in the back 30 yards behind the play. We roughed the punter unnecessarily . . . We had a lot of mental errors."
Deontay Twyman, Sherwood
In his first varsity start, a 15-12 overtime victory over Springbrook, the sophomore made his share of rookie mistakes. He threw one interception and several other passes into traffic, he lost two fumbles and he pulled away from center too quickly on one play to pick up a false start penalty for his team.
But Twyman also displayed why Sherwood Coach Al Thomas and offensive coordinator Terry Changuris are so excited about him. And with the Warriors trailing, 12-6, in the fourth quarter, he came up with two big plays. First, he hit receiver Chris Sheahin, who had run a post-corner route, with a perfectly placed pass, good for 54 yards. On the next play he rolled right and heaved a pass on the run that Cory Estrain hauled in for a 32-yard touchdown.
For the game, Twyman completed 11 of 22 passes for 208 yards, one touchdown and one interception.