Since losing to Douglass on Oct. 15, Eleanor Roosevelt has shut out two opponents, giving the Raiders four shutouts in their past five games and putting the Greenbelt school in position for its sixth playoff appearance in seven years.
And while there are two regular season games remaining, beginning Saturday at Bowie, Coach Rick Houchens said Roosevelt is playing as if the postseason starts now. By winning their final two games -- including Nov. 12 at C.H. Flowers -- the Raiders likely would earn the second seed in the Maryland 4A South Region playoffs, giving them a first-round home game and avoiding undefeated Douglass until the regional final.
Two losses and the Raiders (7-1, 6-0 Prince George's 4A) could slip to the fourth seed and a semifinal trip to Douglass.
"We didn't come this far to let up now or take a step backwards," Houchens said. "When you're dealing with kids, that's always easier said than done. What you see on paper is not always what you see on the field. I like our opportunity if we play to our potential. Personnel-wise, we match up well with our [potential] opponents."
Bowie (6-2, 5-2) had won six consecutive games until a 44-3 loss to Douglass on Saturday. The Bulldogs promise to be hungry -- this also is like a playoff game for them. Bowie likely needs to win this week or next week against Suitland to earn its first playoff berth since 2001. A key matchup: Roosevelt cornerback Travon Bellamy going against the Bulldogs' passing offense.
Since firing its coach Oct. 3, Largo has gone 2-2 under interim coach Daryl Hamilton. Now the Lions (3-5, 3-5) will try to play the role of spoiler, playing Saturday at C.H. Flowers. Led by running back Raphael Johnson, the Jaguars (7-1, 7-1) are on track for their third consecutive playoff berth. . . .
Meantime, the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference has its regular season Game of the Year on Saturday, when DeMatha hosts Good Counsel at Parkdale. Although the matchup lost some heat when both teams lost early-season games, preventing a meeting of undefeated teams, both teams are perfect in WCAC play.
Keep an eye on DeMatha running back Patrick Mealy and Good Counsel All-Met linebacker Akeem Hebron, who gets to the football as quickly as anyone.
-- JOSH BARR