Hylton senior Carlos Segarra played behind Deon Butler last season in both football and basketball, biding his time and learning a thing or two in the process.
Butler, now a walk-on football player at Penn State, would have been proud of his successor Friday night. Segarra caught two touchdown passes in a 24-7 win over Stonewall Jackson, and junior Marshall Dill caught another, to emerge as leading contenders to replace the graduated Butler and Dominique Mitchell, who combined for 79 catches and 22 touchdown receptions a year ago.
"Me and Deon have a real good relationship and he showed me a lot in practice, like different techniques and how to get open," said Segarra, whose second touchdown last week was a diving grab on a fade pattern. "I learned a lot playing against him in practice, too."
The 5-foot-10, 155-pound Segarra has neither Butler's speed nor Mitchell's size, but has good speed and reliable hands and runs crisp routes.
"We've had these before, guys who waited their turn and play special teams and who aren't in leading roles until their senior year," Hylton Coach Lou Sorrentino said. "You feel happy for a guy like that because he worked hard and paid his dues. . . . Too many times guys give up on that because they're not patient and willing to wait."
Senior quarterback Tristen Simmons completed eight of 14 passes for 137 yards and showed his polish by finding open receivers even when the intended target was covered.
"He had an excellent first game," Sorrentino said. "He's got that knack or that ability . . . Offensively, we're so much further ahead. That kind of evolved last year, but this year we're picking up with a quarterback who has experience. It's amazing how much better he threw the ball this year than in last year's opener."
Ready for Rain
With possible rainy weather looming, Prince William County schools looked into moving their football games to Thursday from Friday night this week but were denied because of the Rosh Hashanah holiday.
As of Tuesday night, the Potomac at Gar-Field game was still scheduled for Saturday night, even though all other county teams are scheduled to play Friday night.
How that happened: Initially, all Prince William teams were going to play Saturday this week because of the Jewish holiday. When they found out that it was all right to play Friday, most schools switched from Saturday to Friday.
Gar-Field Activities Director Rudy Zimmermann said he did not get word of this, and by the time he tried to reschedule the game, there were no officials available for Friday.
On Tuesday afternoon he was working the phones searching for an officiating crew from outside the area to work the game Friday to avoid the foul weather projected for Saturday.
Gar-Field ended up kicking off to start both halves in its 24-7 win at Osbourn. Osbourn won the toss and deferred to the second half. The Gar-Field captains, not fully grasping their instructions from first-year coach Joe Mangano, chose to kick off. So Osbourn, having deferred, got the ball to start the second half, as well.
"That was my fault," said Mangano, who has a space picked out in his home office for the game ball the Indians presented him Friday. "I didn't make it clear enough to the captains that we wanted to defer [if we won the toss]. I won't make that mistake ever again."
Osbourn, which should have been the kicking team since it deferred to the second half, scored on a 74-yard touchdown run the first play of the game.
Speaking of kicking, Mangano was not too surprised when senior Jamar Enalls blocked an Osbourn punt. Mangano had stood in for the team's absent punter at a practice last week when the Indians were going over the play.
"They snapped the ball to me and I look over and Jamar is flying at me," Mangano said, crediting special teams coach Tom Parisi. "The punter wouldn't have time to make a decision because he was on me real quick."
In addition to the punt block, on special teams the Indians recovered a fumbled punt, junior John Painter kicked a 27-yard field goal and Painter had a punt roll dead at the 2-yard line.
Coming Up Short
Potomac scored on its opening drive against Woodbridge but could do little else right in its 31-7 season-opening loss.
Coach Ben Stutler rattled off the shortcomings, including 14 penalties, like a grocery list -- a receiver stopping short on what would have been a wide-open touchdown pass that would have given his team a 14-0 lead, a pass play to the 3-yard line called back for an ineligible man downfield, a touchdown called back on an offensive facemask call, missed tackles on two long touchdown runs by Woodbridge senior Andre Bratton, two lost fumbles, pass interference on third-and-22 giving the Vikings an automatic first down, giving up another first down on third-and-16, a long touchdown run on third-and-15 and a dropped touchdown pass in the end zone.
"Any one of those plays made can make a difference in a game," said Stutler, who was pleased for the most part with the Panthers' performance on special teams. "It changes your whole attitude as a team. . . . When you keep shooting yourself in the foot again and again and again it's demoralizing."
A Lack of Focus
Manassas Park has outscored its first two opponents -- William Monroe and Luray -- 49-0 in the first halves. But the Cougars are up just 21-20 in the second halves.
"It's not necessarily conditioning; I think it's a lack of focus," said Cougars Coach Jeff Lloyd, whose team outscored the opposition 416-84 last season. "The kids have gotten up on people early and tried to coast, but we're not good enough to do that this year. Right now, we have to become a four-quarter football team."
In two games, Manassas Park senior quarterback Zach Terrell has rushed for 344 yards and six touchdowns and thrown for 385 yards and three scores.
Of his 11 new defensive starters who shut down Stonewall on Friday, Hylton's Sorrentino was particularly impressed with junior linebacker Aaron Adusei, who led the team in tackles and keyed a goal-line stand, and 5-foot-6, 220-pound senior defensive lineman Jamar Jackson, who had three tackles for losses. "If you had told me before the game [Stonewall would] only get seven, I think I would have taken it," Sorrentino said. . . .
The Osbourn-Woodbridge game this week will feature two of the better place kickers in the area. Woodbridge junior Eric Buckenmeyer connected on a 34-yard field goal last week; Osbourn senior Jay Graham came up just a few yards short on a 50-yard attempt against Gar-Field. Graham beat Woodbridge last year with a 35-yarder as time expired. . . .
Gar-Field's Mangano has two former head coaches on his staff -- Mike Madison (Brentsville), who handles the outside linebackers, and Joe Clark (Edison, Lake Braddock), who coaches running backs. "The times when I get stressed they give me words of wisdom or advice," Mangano said. Madison's son, Steve, coaches tight ends. . . .
Osbourn Park Coach Brian Beaty said it was no big deal that his team did not employ its single-wing offense in the season-opening, 27-10 loss to Forest Park. "We've been trying a lot of different things, so there's really nothing behind that," said Beaty, whose team lost 16 players who earned some sort of all-Cedar Run District recognition last season. . . .
The Cardinal District swept the Cedar Run teams by a combined score of 106-31 in Week 1. . . .
Gar-Field cheerleaders' sign for the game against Osbourn's Eagles: "We're the reason you're an endangered species!"