With All-Met Quinton Brown playing at Syracuse and the two other key players in last season's backfield also in college, it would be understandable if Douglass Coach J.C. Pinkney was concerned about his offense being able to find replacements for a team that finished 11-1 last season.
Pinkney, though, never was worried. He knew who he would have this season -- a pair of running backs who previously had started for the Eagles but played last season for the Upper Marlboro Boys and Girls Club because they were academically ineligible.
And so far, sophomore Derron Hall and junior Jamaine McCain have shown why Pinkney was confident. The two have combined for 342 yards rushing and eight touchdowns, helping Douglass (2-0, 2-0 Prince George's 3A/2A) to a pair of blowout victories.
"They were in my offseason program, and they committed themselves to getting better grades," Pinkney said. "And they wanted to play. It would be really tough filling Quinton's shoes [at quarterback], but [junior Davon Gray] is capable. The running back situation we have this year is better than last, to be honest."
In Saturday's 40-6 victory over DuVal, Gray and McCain teamed for a 53-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, the Eagles' first touchdown pass since the 2001 season.
-- Josh Barr