It would be no surprise if West Potomac Coach Danny Meier were to resort to creating a worst-case scenario in an effort to motivate his football team for Friday's Northern Region Division 5 semifinal against Edison. After all, some hype may be needed since his Wolverines trounced the Eagles, 53-0, only four weeks ago.

And Meier could be excused if he were to borrow a trick from his former coach, for at North Carolina State he played for Lou Holtz -- the master of the doom-and-gloom prognostication. But it's doubtful even the current Notre Dame coach could come up with anything too frightening about this one. Meier won't even try.

"This is different than any playoff game that I've ever prepared for before {because of the result in the first meeting}. But I'd certainly rather be in our shoes preparing for it than in Edison's shoes," said Meier. "I feel confident going into the game, but I'm cautiously confident. And I don't think there's any question that we're the better football team."

In fact, after beginning the season inauspiciously, West Potomac is enjoying an eight-game winning streak in which it has outscored opponents by 314-31. And since being reclassified Division 5, the Wolverines have their sights set on becoming the first team to win state titles in different divisions since the Virginia High School League created the format in 1986.

It's quite a turnaround in a season that began without 19 graduated starters from last year's Division 6 state championship team. Then 7-0 losses to Gar-Field and T.C. Williams in the Wolverines' first two games caused unusual concern at the Alexandria school.

When starting quarterback Matt Lambert, who led the Wolverines to a 14-0 mark a year ago, was injured in practice a couple days after the T.C. Williams game, concern turned to worry. But not for Meier.

"I told everybody right after the T.C. game that we would be playing in the playoffs," said Meier, who has led West Potomac to four district championships since the school opened six years ago as a consolidation of Fort Hunt and Groveton highs. "I told everybody that they'd be talking to me in November."

And they may still be talking to him in December, around state championship time. With Matt Browne, a junior varsity quarterback a year ago, stepping in for Lambert, the normally defense-oriented Wolverines have become one of the most prolific scoring teams in the region.

Browne directs an option offense that has rushed for 2,465 yards in 10 games and features five running backs with more than 250 yards, led by Shawn Freeman with 676. And receiver Chris Everette has become a solid threat in a once run-only attack.

Not to be outdone, the defense has been exceptional in allowing only 45 points, the fewest in the Northern Region. Anchored by end Jon King, who for the second straight year led the team in tackles, and costarring linemen Kevin Yates and Marlon Tillerson and linebackers Lamont Gooding, Jason Ziegler, Jay Hutton and Carl Jones, this may be the best West Potomac defense ever.

"Jon King is just a devastating defensive player. He should be all-state this year," said Meier of the 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior. "This guy takes no prisoners. He just shuts down one side of the line."

Edison Coach Dennis Randolph is hoping a three-game winning streak since the West Potomac debacle has given his 5-5 team confidence. He and his staff have taken a positive approach, assuring the Eagles that with the VHSL's complex rating system, they have earned the right and belong in the playoffs. But he knows Edison will need a virtually flawless performance in the 7:30 p.m. game at West Potomac, where the Wolverines have won 20 straight.

Whatever, West Potomac will be ready, and not just looking ahead to the winner of the other semifinal, Hayfield (7-3) at Yorktown (9-1), also at 7:30 Friday.

"We can't afford whatsoever to be complacent," Meier said. "Edison can take advantage of the fact that they have something to prove."