Although Einstein senior Delonte Gordon's performance on Friday certainly put Montgomery County 3A opponents on notice, it should be not be considered a breakout game.
Gordon rushed for 215 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in the Titans' 37-0 win over Kennedy -- a remarkable accomplishment, but hardly a surprise to anyone he's faced before.
On a team that won only three games in the past two seasons, Gordon has flourished in relative anonymity. He rushed for 1,092 yards last season and broke loose for a career-high 240 yards against 3A champion Northwest. It was a strong enough showing that even before this season kicked off, Gordon was garnering interest from a number of top Division I-AA programs, including Hofstra and Delaware.
"I don't think a lot of people in the county know about me because of the school I go to, and we're trying to change that," Gordon said. "We're trying to put behind our past, even though that's what everyone likes to talk about. This is the year to shine and no one will remember the past."
Already benefiting from his superior vision, Gordon has evolved into an even bigger threat after adding an extra 15 pounds this offseason. Now weighing 170, he can throw his weight around a bit for an extra burst at the end of his runs.
"I'm noticing that I'm breaking a lot more arm tackles this season," said Gordon, who scored on runs of 55, 50, 3 and 18 yards. "In the past, people could take me down with their arms."
Gordon's performance Friday was aided by left tackle Chris Fuentes, who led the way for three of his scores. At one point, just before Gordon's second touchdown, Fuentes pleaded with Coach John Mangrum to call a run to his side after spotting an opening in Kennedy's defensive front.
"One thing we all know is we definitely have a good running back," Mangrum said. "But we also know that sometimes a good running back is half him and half the offensive line."
Great in Defeat
Gaithersburg Coach Kreg Kephart was exhausted but relieved in the postgame locker room Friday, grateful that his team managed to survive its tussle with Whitman junior Pat Lazear in a 19-7 victory.
Lazear wreaked havoc at linebacker, racking up 23 tackles and bottling up the Trojans' run game for the first three quarters. At fullback, he pounded away on short-yardage runs before finally busting out for 48 yards in the fourth quarter, with the score tied at 7.
"He is one of the outstanding guys, not just in the county but in the area," Kephart said of Lazear. "He's not one of the fastest guys, but he's a devastating, punishing player. It didn't matter where he was on the field, I was trying to figure out where's Lazear and then call my play."
The Vikings have a tough road ahead, as they face No. 2 Damascus, Quince Orchard and Northwest in three of their next four games.
In the Running
Damascus running back Kyle Hogan ran for 143 yards on 26 carries in a 28-6 win over Watkins Mill on Friday. It was the second-ranked Swarmin' Hornets' first game without graduated All-Met Matt Reidy, who carried the ball a state-record 374 times last season. . . .
Poolesville senior running back Jared Christman is well on his way to topping his rushing total from a year ago after he gained 293 yards on 26 carries in a 28-3 win over Brunswick. Christman ran for 678 yards last season, when the Falcons reached the 1A title game.