Senior fullback Jared Christman was supposed to carry the bulk of Poolesville's rushing load this season. So far, he's carrying a heap of would-be tacklers with him.
With a 31-carry, 321-yard performance in a win over Smithsburg on Saturday, Christman increased his rushing total through the first two games to 614, placing him second in the Washington area behind Westfield's Evan Royster (663).
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Christman flashed a glimmer of his potential last season when he stepped into the starting lineup in the regular season finale against Bethesda-Chevy Chase and carried the ball 26 times for 147 yards. But to carry the ball 57 times, as Christman has this season, and to continue picking up chunks of yardage on each carry, indicates he is even better this year.
"You don't just get that kind of yardage. You have to be pretty darn good," Poolesville Coach Larry Hurd said. "He's a special player and special kid. He works real hard and he spent an intense amount of time to get his body where it is."
Hurd did caution that, with other talented options in quarterback Matt Ray and running back/receiver Tyler Bierly, games in which Christman exceeds the 30-carry plateau will be more the exception than the norm as the season progresses.
"These things have a tendency of balancing out," Hurd said.
Coe Is Ready to Go
In the spring, Quince Orchard Coach Dave Mencarini privately wondered whether Pepper Coe was ready to take the reins of his offense. Nowadays, he openly wonders where the Cougars would be without him.
In leading Quince Orchard to a 2-0 start, Coe has thrown for six touchdowns and completed 18 of 25 passes without throwing an interception.
It's a significant departure from 7-on-7 drills in the spring, when Coe was l struggling to grasp the offense and Mencarini opened up competition for the quarterback spot heading into two-a-days this summer. It was during summer practice that Coe began to firmly establish himself under center.
"We weren't sure if he was going to get it done," said Mencarini, whose team defeated Paint Branch, 35-0, on Friday. "But he's been so coachable and he continues to get better every day and he's making the tough throws look easy. He's been so consistent. For what we've asked him to do, this kid has far exceeded my expectations."
Coe's early success is a snapshot of the season for Quince Orchard thus far. Louisiana State-bound Bani Gbadyu has rushed for 223 yards on 29 carries, the offense has yet to turn the ball over and the Cougars' newly instituted 4-3 defense has forced eight turnovers.
"I think with this team we have so many guys getting their first big playing time," Mencarini said. "It's not surprising that we're 2-0. I'm surprised by the way we're doing it."
Bullis Rushes Ahead
Opponents have yet to find a way to slow down Bullis this season, and not surprisingly, they can't find a way to keep Joseph Lefeged and Marcus Dorsey out of the end zone.
Lefeged, a junior quarterback, and Dorsey, a senior running back, have led the way as the Bulldogs (2-0) averaged 48.5 points per game in wins over Sidwell Friends and Paul VI-Catholic. Lefeged and Dorsey scored two offensive touchdowns apiece in a 53-37 win over Paul VI on Friday, and Lefeged recovered a fumble for a score and forced a safety.
For the season, they have combined to score eight touchdowns.