It did not take long for Trevor Bacon to make an impression on Langley Coach John Howerton last year.
It was Howerton's first season with the Saxons after 17 at West Potomac -- the first 14 as an assistant, the last three as the Wolverines' head coach. And Howerton was trying to figure out if he had a back he could fit into the system he was accustomed to at West Potomac.
"We always had a big-yardage tailback every year," Howerton said. "I don't think we ever had [a featured running back] under 1,000 yards, except for maybe one year, and that kid had 900-something in four games."
In Langley's first scrimmage last season, against an Oakton team that had reached the Virginia AAA championship game in 2002, Howerton and his staff tried out several players at tailback. On Bacon's first play at the position, however, he took a handoff and went 60 yards for a touchdown. On the very next series, Bacon caught a seam pass for another long touchdown.
"That was pretty much the icing on the cake," Howerton said. "Here was the big-play guy we were looking for."
Bacon had played wide receiver on Langley's junior varsity the year before, but he immediately took to running back. Last season he rushed for 1,045 yards and six touchdowns on 247 carries and caught seven passes for 244 yards and another score.
But Bacon wanted to make sure he improved those numbers.
"In the offseason, the kid just worked his tail off in the weight room," Howerton said. "And he got faster -- he runs in the low 4.6s and he was a 4.8 guy before that."
This season, after five games, Bacon -- who stands 5 feet 11 and weighs 195 pounds -- has almost equaled his rushing stats from last year. He has compiled 976 yards and 11 touchdowns on 143 rushes. He has rushed for more than 200 yards in each of the Saxons' last four games.
"He's an extremely tough kid, very durable," Howerton said. "There are other kids that are faster, but he's right with most of them. He runs extremely hard -- he's not someone you're going to bring down with a shirt pull -- and he has gained a knack for running our system."
Bacon has rushed 20 or more times in every game this season, and in last Friday's 23-14 victory over Fairfax, he carried the ball 39 times.
Wong Leads Jefferson
Jefferson has won two straight games to improve to 4-1 and remain in the thick of the playoff hunt.
At the center of Jefferson's success has been junior quarterback Matt Wong. In five games, he has completed 54 of 105 passes for 867 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions, and he has rushed for 333 yards and five scores on 93 carries.
"He's a really tough kid, and he's a competitor," Jefferson Coach Tim O'Reilly said. "He plays hard the whole time. There's no ease-up in him."
Wong has been successful in large part because he is a double threat. He has rushed for at least 60 yards in all five Jefferson games and has passed for more than 140 in four of them.
Wong entered Jefferson's starting lineup midway through last year because of an injury. Only a sophomore, he completed 68 of 176 passes for 961 yards, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and rushed for 418 yards and four touchdowns.