Bethesda-Chevy Chase didn’t score after its opening drive on Saturday at Whitman, but the Barons found a way to knock off the Vikings for the first time since 1999 anyway, holding on for a 7-3 victory. Whitman drove into the Bethesda-Chevy Chase red zone four times in the second half and came away with zero points.

“That [stat] kinda says it all,” said Bethesda-Chevy Chase Coach Rich Noland, whose team made the state playoffs last season for the first time in 16 years. “You can’t coach the effort. We had a very excited sideline after the game.”

After senior David Hogan found senior Alexander Shapiro for a 34-yard touchdown early in the game, Bethesda-Chevy Chase (3-2, 2-1 Montgomery 4A South) spent the rest of the afternoon fending off Whitman (2-3, 1-2).

Senior Nehemiah Siyoum jumped a slant route near the goal line to stop one scoring chance. The Vikings failed to convert on fourth and goal three times in the second half and also lost a fumble in the game. Junior Zachary Snyder’s 20-yard field goal in the second quarter provided their only points.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase hasn’t managed much, offensively, through the first half of the season. Five of its eight touchdowns so far came in a Sept. 21 win against winless Kennedy (0-5). Noland put those struggles on an offensive line breaking in three new starters, and the graduation of big-play threat Diondre Anderson, who came on strong down the stretch of the team’s playoff run last fall.

But with Saturday’s victory, the Barons are right in the thick of the Maryland 4A West playoff hunt behind Quince Orchard and Churchill at this point, which wasn’t true last year. They started 2-4 and were a surprise postseason entrant, punching their ticket to the postseason with a four-game winning streak to close the regular season.

“That was a special win for those guys,” Noland said of beating Whitman. “I’m really interested to see how they react to that. Hopefully, we don’t try to live off the high from this one because we have another tough game coming up on Friday” against Paint Branch (2-3). . . .

Einstein’s Wilson is standing out

At 5-foot-9, 215 pounds, Einstein senior Khalil Wilson is built to take the pounding as an every-down running back. Coach Jermaine Howell believes Wilson could handle 25 carries every week, but so far, the Titans haven’t needed him to shoulder that much of the offensive load. In his first year as a varsity football player, Wilson has shown quality can be better than quantity, anyway.

Wilson expanded his lead atop the Montgomery County rushing list this week, finishing with 213 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries in a 41-6 win over Magruder. Howell pulled his newfound top ballcarrier after two offensive series in the second half.

Through five games, Wilson — who has a fullback’s body but can run the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds — has totaled 859 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 87 carries, averaging nearly 10 yards per carry. He has gained at least 100 yards in each contest but never carried it more than 21 times in a game.

“He makes it look so easy, it makes you wonder why we can’t have a back like him every year,” Howell said. “He’s doing amazing things for us, and I think we’ve just scratched the surface with him, honestly.”

Around Montgomery County

After Wheaton scored the game’s first touchdown, Blake (3-2) exploded for 41-unanswered points in a 41-13 win, the third straight for Tony Nazzaro’s club after starting the season 0-2. Mark Davis and Ricardo Malcolm each returned interceptions for touchdowns, and the Bengals were led offensively by quarterback Stefan Sigwalt’s 169 yards passing. . . .

Northwest rebounded from a 24-14 loss to Quince Orchard with a 35-14 win over Clarksburg. The game was tied heading into the fourth quarter, but Northwest (3-2) imposed its will in the final stanza, scoring three unanswered touchdowns. Northwest quarterback Matty Callahan threw for 232 yards and three scores in the win . . .

Two of Montgomery County’s best running backs had productive performances Friday night, in Gaithersburg’s (2-3) Solomon Vault and Sherwood’s (3-2) Moses Vines. Vault, who entered Friday with nine rushing touchdowns in his first four games, added another 74-yard score on Friday in a 13-6 loss to Churchill. He finished with 127 yards on 20 carries. Vines ran for 70 yards and two touchdowns during a furious rally that came up short in a 23-20 loss to Damascus. . . .

Springbrook (3-2) handed Paint Branch (2-3) its third straight loss with a 14-12 victory Friday night, aided by Neiman Blain’s 165 yards passing and two touchdowns. . . . Blair earned its first win of the season with a 13-8 edge over Northwood, while Kennedy (0-5) stayed winless with a 35-6 loss to Richard Montgomery. Magruder’s (1-4) offensive woes continued in a 41-6 loss to Einstein, rushing for just minus-15 yards.