DCSAA AA CHAMPIONSHIP
H.D. Woodson (10-3) vs. Friendship Collegiate (7-4)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Catholic University
How they got here: H.D. Woodson (10-3) has won nine straight games, including its second Turkey Bowl title in four years with last week’s 25-13 win over Wilson. Friendship Collegiate (7-4) has won three straight games, including last week’s 43-0 blowout over McKinley in the DCSAA semifinal.
When H.D. Woodson has the ball: Expect the Warriors to try to establish the run behind Jai Carson (1,483 yards and 14 touchdowns) and quarterback Rashad Cooper, who had two touchdown runs in the win over Wilson. The X-factor is All-Met cornerback D’Andre Payne, who has the ability to score any time he touches the ball. Payne has 10 touchdowns this season, including a 60-yard reception in the Turkey Bowl.
When Friendship Collegiate has the ball: With the offensive line starting to mesh as a unit, Friendship Collegiate has run the ball especially well the past two weeks. Seniors Jonathan Haden and Kelvit Barrett have each run for more than 100 yards in the Knights’ last two games. Barrett scored three touchdowns in the win over McKinley, including a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback DeAndre Parker. Watch for Parker Friday night. With the running game rolling, he should have time and space to look for big plays down the field.
Skinny: Both of these teams put high value on winning the battle up front and winning with ball control. Whichever team is able to establish the run and control the clock will have the upper-hand. Friendship did it a year ago in the inaugural DCSAA title game, and H.D. Woodson accomplished it in its Turkey Bowl win. There will be talent everywhere on the field Friday, including in the kicking return game with H.D. Woodson’s Payne and highly-touted Friendship senior Jalen Tabor.