MATTER OF TIME:

Falls Church Athletic Director Fran Bedont knew exactly what second-year football coach Greg Hamilton was going through. Bedont ended his coaching career at Hayfield with 17 straight losses. "I reminded Greg his streak had reached 12 and he was catching me," Bedont said.

Bedont's record remained intact when Falls Church upset Marshall, 21-14, to break Hamilton's streak and the school's mark of 17 consecutive losses.

"We have some talent and we planned to win soon," said Hamilton. "This win means a lot to the kids. They have taken a lot of grief. . . .

"We had been close. We lost to McLean, 14-12, because we fumbled five times, three times inside their 20. We returned the opening kickoff for a 99-yard TD against Centreville but it was called back because of a penalty. We knew things would get better. I don't know how many we'll win, but we have a one-game winning streak."

COMING ON:

Neil Callohan, who had winning programs at Glenelg (three Howard County titles in five years) and at Marshall (two Northern Region and two Great Falls District crowns in six seasons), has watched his young Centreville squad improve drastically. But he is not quite ready to proclaim he has a contender for the Northern District title.

The 3-year-old school handed struggling Wakefield its 14th straight loss, 17-16, Friday night and raised its record to 3-0. Callohan's team opened its season with an emotional 21-14 triumph over Chantilly before more than 6,000. The following week, Centreville shut out Falls Church, 20-0.

"We aren't fooling ourselves. We know what is in front of us. I'm not putting anyone down but the level of competition gets better," Callohan said. "The wins have built confidence and enthusiasm. The community is behind us and we're starting to believe in ourselves. I'm not shocked and I think we can be pretty good. . . .

"Realistically, we want to have a winning record and make the Division 5 playoffs. We will probably need six wins and we're halfway there."

FEELING GUILTY:

Unfortunately for Herndon and Coach Tom Meier, the team had the misfortune of facing fast-improving West Potomac, which is still miffed after opening the season with back-to-back shutout losses to Gar-Field and T.C. Williams. West Potomac beat up on Stuart, 38-0, and was just as impressive in whipping Herndon, 49-6. While the Wolverines were enjoying their success on the field, Coach Danny Meier was having a tough time.

"There was never a point that I could eliminate from my mind that {my brother} Tommy was on the other sideline," Danny Meier said after the game. "I thought about it all night. Tonight was something I'd just as soon never have to go through again."

SHORT WORK:

Maret had no problem besting Spaulding, 48-12, but both teams had to be surprised at the way it was done. Maret's Cornell Parker returned the opening kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown to start the rout. Parker carried the ball three times from scrimmage, scoring on runs of 13, 15 and 57 yards. The Fighting Frogs also scored on punt returns of 90 and 68 yards. Maret ran only 14 plays in the game, netting 167 yards, but had 254 yards in return yardage.

UNEXPECTED LOSS:

Gaithersburg, which dropped a 9-3 decision to visiting Wootton in a battle of field goal kickers, started the week off on a bad note. Late Monday night, a homeless man, using the Trojans' press box for shelter, lit a fire to keep warm. The press box caught on fire and burned to the ground before fire trucks arrived. According to school booster club president Bob Woodward, it will cost about $19,000 to replace, and it is expected to be rebuilt by next season.

The press box visitor apparently escaped unharmed.