Sherwood Coach Al Thomas is pleased that his team was able to beat Gaithersburg, 30-21, last Friday, especially since the Trojans shut out the Warriors, 40-0, last season.
But the victory was costly. Sherwood junior running back Brian Gunderman broke a foot and likely will miss the rest of the season; sophomore fullback Matt Lopsonzski suffered a concussion and will miss tomorrow night's game against Watkins Mill; and lineman Charlie Byrne suffered a season-ending knee injury.
"We're 4-1, but we're struggling," Thomas said.
The loss of Gunderman, who rushed for 332 yards the last two weeks, will be particularly difficult to overcome as the Warriors do not have an experienced backup.
"Montgomery County's got some good running backs, but Gunderman, he's got to be the best unknown running back," Thomas said. "He's a tough little sucker. He's got great vision. Losing him is a blow."
Thomas said Gunderman's foot will be in a cast for four to five weeks, and while a lineman might be able to play immediately thereafter, it would be difficult for a running back.
Without Gunderman, Sherwood will have to rely even more on its passing attack, which, luckily for the Warriors, has been outstanding. Sophomore quarterback Deontay Twyman has been poised and impressive.
Through five games he has completed 50 of his 83 passes (60 percent) for 861 yards, 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Against Gaithersburg he had touchdown strikes of 68 and 53 yards to wide receivers Chris Sheahin and Ben Everett, respectively.
Sheahin, who started at Sherwood two seasons ago when the Warriors reached the Maryland 4A championship game, played at Good Counsel last year and transferred back to Sherwood for his senior year. He has become Tywman's favorite target, hauling in 23 passes for 513 yards and three touchdowns.
"Chris Sheahin is as good a receiver as I've coached," said Thomas, a coaching legend who is in the Maryland High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. "He's got great hands, and people don't know how fast he is."
Everett is the Warriors' second-leading receiver with 16 catches for 247 yards and three touchdowns.
Wait Until Next Year
Gaithersburg's streak of seven consecutive trips to the postseason almost certainly will end this year, even if the Trojans manage to go unbeaten in the second half of the season.
But there is reason to be optimistic about the future.
Gaithersburg, now 1-4, has lost two games by one point, one game by nine and played Seneca Valley tough in a 31-15 loss. More importantly, Gaithersburg will return the bulk of its roster next season.
"Their top eight linemen are juniors," Thomas said. "They'll be a team to beat next year."
The county's longest winning and losing streaks ended last Friday night.
Damascus, which had won a county-high nine consecutive games dating from last season's run to the Maryland 4A championship, lost to Northwest, 27-24.
Quince Orchard, which defeated Whitman, 14-7, to improve to 5-0 this season, now owns the county's longest winning streak. The Cougars have won seven consecutive games, including the last two games of the 2003 season. Northwest and Poolesville are second with five consecutive victories apiece.
Watkins Mill, meanwhile, snapped its county-long 14-game losing streak -- which included an 0-10 record last season -- with a 20-14 victory over Walter Johnson.
Kennedy's 10 straight losses are now the county high. The Cavaliers, who ended the last season with five straight losses, are 0-5 this season and have been outscored 180-25.
Salim Koroma, Northwest
The Jaguars' diminutive but dangerous playmaker contributed 219 all-purpose yards in Northwest's 27-24 victory over then-No. 2 Damascus. He also made the play of the game, taking the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown.
"It was nice to open up with that kickoff return," Northwest Coach Randy Trivers said.
Trivers had designed a return to go up the middle after watching film of Damascus and seeing a vulnerability in the center of the Swarmin' Hornets' kickoff coverage. Sure enough, Koroma gathered the ball at the 4-yard line and burst through a hole in the middle of the field. Around the 50-yard line, he broke right and outran two players to the end zone.
"It was just a big hole," Koroma said. "The blockers just opened it up for me. All I had to do was run."
On the ensuing point-after attempt, Koroma scooped up a low snap, scrambled right and lofted a pass to Terrence Peete, who hauled it in for a two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead the Jaguars would not relinquish.
Koroma also raced 22 yards to pick up a first down on a fake punt, caught four passes for 69 yards and returned two punts for 18 and 14 yards, the second of which set up the Jaguars' second touchdown.