Seneca Valley senior running back Quintin Cosby barely had answered the question about his size -- "I'm 5-5, 160 pounds," he said -- before the Screaming Eagles' football office erupted.

"Five-five?" Seneca Valley Head Coach Fred Kim asked.

"Aren't you 4-4?" assistant coach Ronnie Rickets added.

Cosby simply laughed. He has heard it all before.

"Everybody always teases me about my height," Cosby said. "The team, classmates, teachers. I always get it."

But Cosby doesn't let the jokes bother him. And he hasn't let his lack of size hold him back on the field. He has started on the Screaming Eagles' varsity for three years, playing fullback his sophomore year, when Seneca Valley won the Maryland 3A title.

"I've got a real big heart, so [size] doesn't matter to me," Cosby said. "I just go out there and play like I'm bigger than anybody on the field."

This season, Cosby starts at free safety for a defense that has recorded three shutouts, and he is Seneca Valley's featured running back. Behind senior tackle Jon Walko (6-6, 290), senior guard Kevin Quigley (6-3, 260), junior center Kevin Jenkins (5-9, 215), senior guard Justin Martin (5-10, 260) and senior tackle Billy Hesch (5-10, 220), Cosby has rushed for 1,093 yards and 17 touchdowns on 174 carries.

Cosby has speed (he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds), good vision and he is not afraid to take on would-be tacklers. "Every time he takes a hit, he pops back up," Quigley said.

Cosby hopes to play football in college and has received interest from Division I-AA and Division II schools.

"I know [recruiters] are tentative about his height, but somebody's going to take a shot on him," Kim said. "And they will not be disappointed."

For now, Cosby is focused upon Seneca Valley's battle at second-ranked Northwest tonight. The winner will earn valuable playoff points and all but lock up the Montgomery 3A Division championship. Perhaps more importantly, neighborhood bragging rights are at stake. Since Northwest opened a few miles south of Seneca in Germantown in 1998, the schools have been rivals. And though Seneca Valley (7-1, 5-0) has won a Maryland-record 12 state titles, Northwest (8-0, 4-0) has won two straight games against the Screaming Eagles and leads the overall series, 3-2.

"They think they're the kings of Germantown," Quigley said. "And we want our crown back."

Directions: Take I-270 to Exit 9B (Sam Eig Highway, I-370). Go west to Great Seneca Highway. Turn right on Great Seneca Highway and head north for approximately five miles. Turn left onto Richter Farm Road at the school.

Running back/safety Quintin Cosby, 5-5, 160, stands tall for the Screaming Eagles: "I just go out there and play like I'm bigger than anybody on the field."