Atholton senior running back Matt Winger rushed for 155 yards and four touchdowns as the Raiders clinched their first playoff spot in 20 years with a 27-15 victory over Glenelg in a Howard County game last night in Columbia.
Winger scored on runs of 3, 4 and 13 yards and caught a 75-yard touchdown pass as Atholton improved to 6-3 overall and 5-3 in league play and moved closer to securing a spot in the Maryland 2A South Region playoffs. Glenelg (6-3, 6-3) finished the regular season on a three-game losing streak and could miss the 2A South Region tournament depending on what happens next week.
Atholton had won a combined five games in the previous four seasons before reeling off four consecutive victories after opening this year 2-3.
"This time in past years, we'd still be looking for our first win, and every time we'd play a good team, it would be like, 'We're playing Glenelg, so we're going to lose,' " said Coach Chuck Fales, whose team hadn't defeated Glenelg since 2000. "When the season began, I would have been very happy if we could have gone 5-5."
A First for Huntingtown
Of all the years -- 35 -- and all the places -- DeMatha, Navy, Calvert, Northern and the University of Connecticut -- Jerry Franks has coached, few have been as challenging as his second year at Huntingtown. The youthful Hurricanes entered their game against Leonardtown with an 0-8 record, just one year after they surprised Calvert County by going 5-5 as a new school.
But the struggles of the past two months made their 35-6 win over the visiting Raiders that much more enjoyable. Sophomore Ronni Chase rushed for 164 yards and three touchdowns as Huntingtown emerged victorious from a meeting of winless teams.
"It's been a long year," Franks said.
QB Runs for 282 Yards
Potomac Falls QB Jay Branom ran for 282 yards on 52 carries and passed for one touchdown in a 23-16 overtime loss to Heritage in Leesburg.
It was the second straight week the Panthers (3-6, 2-2 Virginia AA Dulles District) have lost despite impressive numbers from Branom. Last week in an 33-27 overtime loss to Park View, Branom ran 48 times for 276 yards and completed 6 of 13 passes for 94 yards.
-- Jon Gallo, Jeff Ermann and Angela Watts