Big week at Quantico: The Marine Corps is marking its 230th birthday today and Veterans Day is tomorrow. And at 7 p.m. tomorrow, the base high school's football team will host two-time defending state champion Blessed Sacrament Huguenot in a Virginia independent schools Division III semifinal.
"I think if anything, [the other events] are only going to enhance the big picture for both teams," said Quantico Coach Ken Woodie, whose team has won six straight.
Roanoke Catholic will host Isle of Wight in the other state semi.
Woodie did not forecast an 8-1 regular season record for the Warriors and has been pleasantly surprised by the improvement of the returning players and the talents of the new ones, among them senior Martin Noziglia, a rugby player from Argentina, who has stood out in a variety of positions. He leads the team in tackles, sacks and fumble recoveries.
Senior Jarrett Turner, who transferred in from Brooke Point last year, has 22 receptions and six interceptions. The only game the Warriors lost -- 36-21 to Fishburne -- is the game that senior running back Terry Alexander (926 yards, 11 touchdowns) missed with a hip injury.
"We do what we always do at Quantico," Woodie said. "We take the hand that's dealt us and try to put forth the best team we can."
State College Star
Hylton Coach Lou Sorrentino has family and friends in Pennsylvania, and this fall has relished hearing them rave about Penn State receiver Deon Butler, a 2004 Hylton grad who spurned Division I-AA offers to walk on with the Nittany Lions.
On Saturday, Sorrentino got to see for himself what has the locals so excited. He went up to State College and watched Butler catch 43- and 47-yard touchdown passes in a 35-14 home win over Wisconsin in front of 109,865, and later went out to dinner with Butler.
"Our guy Deon is like a rock star up there," Sorrentino said. "We went to leave and he must have signed autographs for an hour-and-a-half before we got out of there. One of my most fun days of coaching so far was that whole afternoon, a big game watching a guy do great and seeing him be humble and a good teammate and do all the right things.
"There are a lot of people [there] into Deon Butler, and it's been real fun for us. They've been hungry for success because they've not been doing so well and now there's a buzz and excitement, and our guy is right in the middle of it."
The 5-foot-10, 163-pound Butler, who redshirted last year and entered spring practice as a defensive back, is the leading receiver for the Nittany Lions (9-1) with 32 catches for 632 yards and eight touchdowns, a school record for freshmen.
Bruins Fight Back
Forest Park scored 20 unanswered points in the final nine-and-a-half minutes in knocking off Gar-Field, 34-24, in a game featuring two win-hungry teams looking for positives in the waning weeks of the season.
"I was just really proud of our kids," Bruins Coach Jerry Williams said. "We had a tough season and we were down 14, then we tie it, then go down 10, and come back. That showed a lot of character on our players' part. I was most proud of that. They just kept playing."
Senior running back Ryan Lee ran for two of his three touchdowns during the late rally, including a 65-yarder, and finished with 206 yards on 21 carries. An interception by junior John Wyatt set up a score.