With a defense that smothered Gunston District rival Hayfield, 10th-ranked West Potomac defeated the 19th-ranked Hawks, 21-0, to win Virginia's Northern Region Division 5 championship yesterday afternoon at Washington-Lee.

The Wolverines will play next week's state semifinal game against Warwick, which won the Eastern Region with a 22-21 upset of 1989 state champion Woodrow Wilson.

The game provided an abrupt ending to Hayfield's first playoff appearance in the school's 21-year history.

West Potomac (10-2) held Hayfield to 15 yards in the second half and posted its sixth shutout. The Wolverines have won 10 straight, outscoring opponents 387-31 during the streak. Included is a 14-7 regular season victory over the Hawks.

"We match up well with a team like Hayfield that likes to pound you," said West Potomac Coach Danny Meier, whose team has allowed only 45 points all season. "The fact that {the defense} only gave up 32 points all year, they may be our best defense ever." (The offense has given up two touchdowns on turnovers.)

Certainly, there will be no argument from Hayfield (8-4). Led by defensive ends Derone Brown and Jon King and linebacker Carl Jones, the Wolverines limited the Hawks to 96 total yards and five first downs. West Potomac scored the only points it would need on an aborted field goal attempt that turned into a touchdown with only 20 seconds remaining in the first half.

Following a Hayfield punt, the Wolverines began from their 40-yard line. On first down, quarterback Matt Browne hit tight end Chris Siggs, who caught three passes, for 40 yards to the Hayfield 20.

Lamont Gooding (14 rushes for 64 yards) carried twice to the 6, but the drive stalled and Matt Lambert entered to attempt a 20-yard field goal.

However, holder Shawn Freeman had trouble with the snap, picked up the ball, shook off defender Marco White and skirted to the outside. Brown broke free in the left flat and Freeman hit him with a short pass for a 6-0 lead.

West Potomac's extra point try failed.

"If I don't think I can get the ball down for the kick I'm supposed to yell 'fire.' Then I can either run or pass," said Freeman. "I wanted to run it, but I saw Derone come open in front of me, so I threw it."

Interceptions by Richard Crosby and Gooding began two second-half scoring drives.

West Potomac took a 14-0 lead with 5:56 left in the third quarter, Freeman catching a two-yard pass seven plays after Crosby's leaping interception of a Scott Arbogast pass. Browne ran in for the two-point conversion.

Of the interception, Crosby said: "They ran a fade {pattern} earlier that beat me deep so I figured they'd come back with it. I just jumped up above him and got it."

Gooding, a 6-foot-2, 255-pound linebacker-running back, picked off a pass to set up a nine-play, 62-yard drive that ended with a one-yard keeper by Browne and a 21-0 lead.

Browne hit Siggs, this time for 24 yards, to highlight the drive. For the game, the junior completed nine of 13 passes for 113 yards.

West Potomac, last year's Division 6 state champion, will try to become the first team to win state titles in two divisions since the Virginia High School League created the format in 1986.