Glenelg senior running back Trey Crayton spent last week replaying all the little mistakes he made when his team lost its final three games of the season.
"I'd be in class, and I'd think about all the chances for big runs I missed," he said. "I'd lie awake in bed thinking about the blocks I'd missed, too. I just prayed that our team would get a chance to play another game."
Glenelg, which did not have a game last week, made the playoffs when McDonough lost to Lackey. The Gladiators are the third seed in the 2A South Region tournament and play Potomac (8-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday in Oxon Hill.
"The only thing that matters is how we finish," said Crayton, who rushed for a team-high 1,065 yards and 15 touchdowns on 102 carries this season. "I think we learned a lot from the way the season ended. We were too cocky and overconfident, and it hurt us."
This is the Gladiators' sixth consecutive postseason appearance, but they've won just two games during the span. The race for the 2A title is wide open: 12 of the 16 playoff teams have lost at least twice, and none is undefeated. In seven of the past eight years, the 2A champion has finished unbeaten, including Potomac last season.
"The season has been filled with that many ups and downs," Glenelg Coach John Davis said. "With the way the season is going, it would not have surprised me if we didn't make the playoffs or if we end up winning the whole thing."
Crayton's emergence as one of the county's top running backs also was somewhat surprising. As a freshman, he was on the junior varsity team at Howard before moving to Weston, Fla., where he played on the junior varsity team at Cypress Bay High School. He moved to West Friendship with his family as a junior and rushed for 493 yards and seven touchdowns for Glenelg's varsity team last year.
"Trey's got speed, and that's something you can't coach," Davis said. "I'm glad he's on our team rather than playing for anybody else."