The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinal between DeMatha and Good Counsel, postponed on Saturday because of soggy field conditions at Parkdale, has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. today at Good Counsel.
The move forced conference officials to push back the final, which had been scheduled for Friday night at Blair, to be played possibly on Sunday. Details will be determined this morning.
Gonzaga defeated St. John's, 3-0, in the other WCAC semifinal on Saturday. But Parkdale's field was deemed by DeMatha and Good Counsel officials to be unplayable. Another concern was that Parkdale's football team is to host a Maryland 4A semifinal game against Damascus on Saturday, and the field might be too damaged.
"Of course I would have liked to play at Parkdale," the site of DeMatha's home games, DeMatha Coach Bill McGregor said. "But the field was under water and we wanted to be good neighbors and not chew it up. We rent the field from Parkdale and we want to keep that relationship forever."
Oakton Squeezes In
The Oakton football team gathered Saturday morning to watch film of its regular season-ending 34-14 victory over Lake Braddock the previous night. When the session ended, Coach Pete Bendorf told his players to plan on practicing this afternoon, not knowing at the time whether there would be reason to.
The Cougars (7-3) needed West Potomac to lose to Annandale later in the day in order to clinch the fourth and final AAA Northern Region Division 6 playoff berth.
"Standing in the crowd watching Annandale take a 14-0 lead at halftime, and then watching West Potomac cut the lead to a touchdown made me sick to my stomach," said Bendorf, who attended the game with many of his players.
But Annandale managed to hold off the Wolverines, 14-7, allowing the Cougars to get into the playoffs as the fourth seed. Oakton has made the playoffs four times in the past seven seasons and in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history. The Cougars will face Westfield next weekend.
Oakton's three losses came against playoff teams Madison, Centreville and Westfield by a total of 12 points. Those teams had a combined record of 27-3.
A Bull Run
Brentsville Bounces Back
Earlier this season, Brentsville Coach Dean Reedy was pleased with how his team handled prosperity after its upset win at Strasburg. Friday night, he was interested to see how the Tigers would bounce back from last week's 14-13 overtime loss at arch rival Manassas Park.
He was not disappointed. Brentsville (8-2, 4-1) rolled up 258 rushing yards in a 38-7 win over Clarke County to finish in a three-way tie for the district title with Strasburg and Manassas Park.
"Teams that come off a tremendous high, it can be hard to get back up, or if you get the rug pulled out from under you, how do come back next week?" Reedy said.
The win Friday enabled the Tigers to host a Region B Division 2 semifinal against Central-Lunenburg (7-3), which has qualified for the postseason for the 25th straight year.
Hylton Leaves 'Em Blank
Hylton (9-1) bounced back from its lone loss of the season to hand Forest Park a 14-0 defeat, its sixth shutout. But the Hylton offense, which scored 180 points the first half of the season, has scored 58 points in the last five games.
Hylton's longest touchdown the second half of the season came from 14 yards.
Twenty-two of the Bulldogs' 26 touchdowns in the first half of the season came from 10 yards or more.
In some ways, the Bulldogs' defensive style seems to have seeped into the offense.
"Our defensive philosophy is to eliminate the big play and make teams drive the ball to beat you and eventually the defense rises up or the offense makes a mistake," said Hylton Coach Lou Sorrentino, whose team will host Gar-Field in a Northwestern Region Division 6 semifinal.
Colonial Forge Rises
Colonial Forge Coach Karl Buckhalter is a man of his word. When he promises success, he delivers.
Buckhalter has turned around his second Washington area program in the past decade. The Eagles, playing just their third varsity season, earned the AAA Commonwealth District title and the top seed in the Division 5 Northwestern Region playoffs with a 21-17 victory over Culpeper on Friday night. Colonial Forge (9-1) won just three games in its first two seasons.
Buckhalter had similar success at McLean, when he took over that program in 1990. The Highlanders had gone 1-29 the previous three seasons, but were in the Division 5 Northern Region final in 1992, their first playoff appearance in 12 years. He was named 1995 All-Met Coach of the Year after leading McLean to the region title.
"When I took over at McLean, I told them that in three years, we'd be in the regional final," Buckhalter said. "I said when I came here that in three seasons, we'd be district champs."
Colonial Forge, with 22 seniors, ended Culpeper's run of six consecutive district championships, and it avenged losses to the Blue Devils each of the past two seasons.
"We knew we had the district title and the home playoff game [clinched before the game], so they didn't give it much urgency," Buckhalter said. "[But] that's the way we presented it to the kids [last] week. We've beaten everyone in the district except them. So [Culpeper] was probably saying that, 'Hey if they beat us, then they're not really the district champions.' "
So, what do the Eagles get as a reward? Another meeting with Culpeper, this time at home, Friday night at 7:30.
Staff writer Alan Goldenbach contributed to this report.