In addition to the elevated competition, the 4A schedule gave Oxon Hill an opportunity to gain more points for playoff seeding.
The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association awards eight points for beating a 4A team; seven points for beating a 3A team; six points for beating a 2A team; and five points for beating a 1A team. Teams receive additional bonus points for their opponents’ wins as well.
“At the end of the day, we wanted to give ourselves the best opportunity to be successful,” Coach Craig Jefferies said. “Playing a 4A schedule exposes our team to the best Maryland public schools while also allowing us a bit of leeway, because of the points bump, should we stumble along the way.”
⇒ Player of the week from D.C./Prince George’s County: The entire Wise backfield. The Pumas rushed for 227 yards and seven touchdowns as they knocked off Oxon Hill, 58-16.
⇒ Game of the week in D.C./Prince George’s County: Ballou at Roosevelt, Friday, 6 p.m.
Flint Hill runs the table in the MAC
This was not what Flint Hill Coach Jason Thomas envisioned for his first season in charge of the Huskies: They fell short of a third straight undefeated season, a third straight state championship and a fifth straight playoff berth.
But in their season finale Saturday, they made sure one streak lasted. They dominated Potomac School, 35-3, to win their third straight Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference title. Justice Ellison carried seven times for 112 yards and three touchdowns and caught four passes for 75 yards.
When it was over, Thomas admitted, “We didn’t put it all together.” Flint Hill (5-4) lost to three Richmond teams — St. Christopher’s, Benedictine and Collegiate — plus Life Christian after finishing 11-0 in 2017 and 2018.
But Thomas said his team would learn from what went wrong this year, and the conference championship is a strong building block.
⇒ Player of the week for private schools: Bullis wide receiver Ashton Allen caught seven passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns, and he scored on a 65-yard punt return, to lead the Bulldogs past Landon, 41-14.
⇒ Game to watch for private schools: St. John’s vs. Gonzaga at Catholic University, Saturday, 7 p.m.
Marriotts Ridge wins share of Howard County title
The Marriotts Ridge players gathered around one of their coaches on Atholton’s field after their 35-7 win over the Raiders on Friday night. The Mustangs’ coach was refreshing Twitter on his phone, checking to see whether River Hill had won elsewhere in Howard County.
With a River Hill victory, Marriotts Ridge would win a share of the county title for the first time. Marriotts Ridge players saw the Hawks had beaten Howard, so they jumped around the field.
Marriotts Ridge shared the county crown with River Hill and Glenelg.
“It was honestly a great experience,” said Marriotts Ridge defensive end Nick Harris, a Connecticut commit. “We’ve been working hard all through the summer, all through the offseason. Just to see those results, especially having the majority of the county doubt us, it’s just been a great feeling.”
After a 4-6 season last year, Marriotts Ridge (7-2) enters the Maryland 3A East playoffs as the No. 3 seed. It will host Atholton on Friday night.
“We’ve had a pretty historic season, so our confidence levels have been high,” Harris said. “We feel pretty good about ourselves as a team and what we can do.”
⇒ Player of the week from Maryland: Klayton Batten, QB/CB, St. Charles. The senior accounted for all seven of the Spartans’ touchdowns in their 45-28 win over Chopticon on Friday.
⇒ Game to watch in Maryland: Northern at St. Charles, Friday, 7 p.m.
Virginia teams gearing up for the Bell Game
The last week of the regular season has arrived in Virginia, which means only one thing in Falls Church: It’s time for the Bell Game.
Played between Justice and Falls Church, the Bell Game is one of the longest-running rivalry traditions in the area. Started in 1960 and often serving as a closer to the regular season, Justice has won the bell 33 times, and Falls Church has won it 25 times.
“It’s not taken lightly,” Justice Coach Greg Weisbecker said of the Bell Game. “It means a lot to the kids. If we get a win, it’s something that they talk about for the rest of the school year.”
The Jaguars have had a lot of success in recent years, capturing the bell six of the last seven seasons. But Falls Church will play this finale under unusual circumstances for the program. After starting the year 6-1, the Jaguars have faced injury issues and find themselves on a two-game skid.
“We’re just beat up and we weren’t very deep to begin with,” Coach Said Aziz said.
On Friday, the Jaguars lost to Lee, 17-7. The Lancers entered the game 0-8. For a team that has already locked up a playoff spot, it’s the type of outcome that’s not supposed to happen.
“I told them after that life’s about highs and lows,” Aziz said. “Sometimes your character will be judged on how you bounce back from something so low.”
Winning the Bell Game could do wonders for Justice’s playoff chances. The Wolves were in a similar spot last year but lost to the Jaguars, 31-12. This season, Weisbecker said the team’s focus will be on beating Falls Church.
“We just have to control our own fate,” Weisbecker said. “We have to go 1-0 this week.”
⇒ Player of the week from Virginia: Nazir Armstrong, QB, Woodbridge. The senior scored four touchdowns in a 28-6 win over Hylton. He threw for one, caught one and ran for two.
⇒ Game to watch in Virginia: No. 10 Broad Run at No. 7 Stone Bridge, 7 p.m. Friday
⇒ Highlight: Mount Vernon Coach Monty Fritts with his traditional celebration after the Majors earned their first district title in 21 years with a 33-6 win over T.C. Williams.