Gaithersburg Coach Kreg Kephart was awakened at 3 a.m. yesterday by nightmares of Sherwood's multi-talented offense moving the ball up and down the field against his defense.
But Kephart could not have dreamed of a better result in a meeting of Montgomery County's top teams as Trojans senior Brian Porter rushed for two touchdowns and a career-high 215 yards to lead No. 8 Gaithersburg past No. 11 Sherwood, 13-10, in Ashton.
Sherwood (7-1, 6-1 Montgomery 4A) and Gaithersburg (7-1, 6-1) entered last night's game ranked first and second, respectively, in the Maryland 4A playoff standings. A victory over Quince Orchard on Friday will ensure the Trojans the region championship -- and home field in the playoffs. The Warriors need a win against Blair to solidify their playoff position.
Porter carried the ball 34 times -- including 18 for 78 yards in the second half as Gaithersburg held possession of the ball for all but six minutes of the final two quarters.
"I was scared to death over coming [to Sherwood]," said Kephart, whose Trojans have now won five straight over Sherwood by a combined 23 points. "They knew exactly what play was coming, but Brian held on to the ball and got the tough yards."
Porter missed the first three games of the season after suffering an ankle sprain on the second play of Gaithersburg's first preseason scrimmage against Urbana. Without Porter and several key starters, Gaithersburg lost its season-opener to Magruder and needed overtime to defeat Whitman the following week. Porter, who rushed for 1,000 yards in an injury-shortened season last year, has 850 yards and 11 touchdowns on 131 carries this season.
"I was mad sitting on the sidelines," Porter said. "I knew that I could make a huge difference to the offense if I'm on the field. I think when I got back out on the field it gave our offensive line more confidence."
That offensive line, anchored by senior linemen Josh Raysor (6 foot 4, 315 pounds) and Andrew Michael (6-3, 305), provided plenty of running room for Porter last night.