Poolesville's opponent in Saturday's 1A South Region final is hardly a surprise -- or unfamiliar -- for the Falcons. For the third straight year, Poolesville faces Baltimore power Dunbar in the 1A South Region final.
The Falcons are hoping for better results this weekend. Poolesville (10-1) was undefeated before falling to the eventual champions, 34-14, in last year's playoffs. In 2003, Dunbar knocked off the Falcons, 30-22.
This time around, there are two underlying differences in Poolesville's favor: Dunbar (10-1) no longer has running back Nathaniel Irby, who ran for 354 yards in that game, and Poolesville has a vastly improved Jared Christman as its primary offensive option.
Christman has rushed for 1,638 yards this season, which includes a 230-yard performance in a semifinal win over Forest Park (Md.) Friday.
"He was a great football player last year, but I didn't give him the ball until the end of the season," Hurd said of Christman. "It isn't about him becoming such a great football player. Now he's just taken it to another level. But obviously we're going to have to do a lot more than give it to Jared to be competitive against a team as loaded as Dunbar."