Potomac High School defensive end Ian McDonald followed his directions to the letter on a key defensive play, and Panthers quarterback John Dominguez did not follow orders on a crucial offensive play.
But both worked out just fine for the Panthers in a 13-7 win at Woodbridge last night in the schools' Cardinal District openers.
McDonald's gem came on Woodbridge's final down, when the Vikings faced fourth and seven on the Potomac 20-yard line with about two minutes left. During a timeout, Panthers Coach Keith King told defensive end McDonald that quarterback Abey Malave would roll to McDonald's right and that he would have to contain him.
Lo and behold, Malave did just that, and McDonald tripped him up for no gain to all but clinch the win.
"[King] told me to not let anybody get outside of me," McDonald said. "We were rushing the whole game, and that time he told me to keep it outside."
"Ian is a 155-pound defensive end who plays like he's 200 pounds," King said. "He gets a little overzealous sometimes and goes inside, and I told him he had to stay outside. It's nice to see a kid do what you tell him to do."
Dominguez's miscommunicated play came midway through the second quarter when, facing second and one at his 44, King wanted his quarterback to run a keeper to pick up a sure first down. Dominguez either did not hear or did not heed the order, and instead ran an option toward the right sideline. He pitched to senior Rico Lloyd, who appeared to bobble the ball momentarily before racing downfield untouched for a 56-yard touchdown to tie the game.
"The only time [Dominguez] doesn't listen to us, and he runs a great option," King said with a shrug.
Lloyd, who rushed for more than 200 yards last week, sat out the first quarter for disciplinary reasons. The Panthers had run 18 plays before the senior speedster got his hands on the ball.
"I'm giving all the props to the offensive line this week," Lloyd said, motioning toward his teammates downfield. "I told them if I talk to the papers it's all about you all.
"It's not all about me anymore. Everybody knows about me. Let me get you all out there."
It was the defense that deserved as much of the credit as anyone last night, coming up with several crucial stops and not yielding a first down until the second quarter.
The offense had prime field position almost every possession, but could not capitalize.
* SOUTH LAKES 34, YORKTOWN 7: Junior quarterback Chris Royal and senior wide receiver Dustin Hellenga proved to be too much for the Patriots at Yorktown as the Seahawks (4-0) continued to be the surprise of the Northern Region.
Royal completed 12 of 19 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to Hellenga.
Hellenga finished with eight catches for 146 yards.
"[Royal] and Dustin were just clicking out there and their guys could not stop them," South Lakes assistant coach John Ellenberger said.
"[Hellenga] is one of the best athletes in the [Northern] region."
Anthony McGhee rushed for 110 yards on 20 carries in a balanced attack for undefeated South Lakes (4-0).
The last time the Seahawks started a season 3-0 was in 1991.