The Washington Post

DuVal forces its way into Prince George’s 4A football’s upper echelon; Bowie makes noise

For the past half decade or so, the climate in Prince George’s County 4A football has been nearly as predictable as the shift in seasons that announces the arrival of fall: with Prince George’s 4A football come long-standing rivalries, explosive playmakers, and “the Big Four.”

No. 11 Wise (2-1), No. 13 Suitland (3-0), C.H. Flowers (3-0), and Eleanor Roosevelt (1-2) loom as the county’s 4A football forces after constituting the region’s four playoff teams every season from 2008 until last year. Then, DuVal replaced Flowers in the postseason quartet.

The Tigers (3-0) look ready to stake a permanent claim to the Prince George’s 4A elite, after following up an upset win over Wise last week with a 31-0 drubbing of Parkdale this week. Wise recovered with a 27-0 victory over up-and-comer Oxon Hill (2-1), while Flowers dismantled Bladensburg (1-2), 42-6.

Roosevelt’s 0-2 start — albeit with losses to 3-0 Gwynn Park and Suitland — might have suggested to some a changing of the guard. In a matchup with a resurgent High Point team eager to prove it closed the gap, Roosevelt showed the divide remains wide with a 39-0 win.

“[Our kids] knew after watching film of both games, they knew the mistakes that they made, the reasons that we lost, and they’ve worked hard on correcting those mistakes,” Raiders’ coach Tom Green said.

The Raiders need their young players in their secondary to grow up quickly. Green’s defense yielded 51 points over its first two games, numbers that required his staff to adjust the team’s traditional defensive approach.

“In the past we’ve run a lot of man-to-man coverage,” Green said. “We’re playing a lot of young kids at defensive back, so we got caught a couple times in man and they beat us. So what we’ve been doing is running a lot of man free and some zone to help out the younger guys a little bit.”

The shift worked, as the Raiders held High Point scoreless after the Eagles had scored 54 points through their first two games.

The next three weeks will effectively decide whether Roosevelt can lock down a playoff spot for the sixth straight season as they take on Oxon Hill and Bowie (0-3) before facing off with Wise.

“We feel like we still have a chance, but we know it’s a tough road. We had a chance to see Bowie — not only are we at 1-2 a pretty good team, I think Bowie High School is the best 0-3 team I’ve ever seen,” Green said. “The next three weeks are going to be really tough for us.”

Bowie, which had to forfeit against Flowers last week after an on-field fight against Westlake, put up 21 points on Suitland in a 35-21 loss Saturday — the most points a team has scored on the Rams in the regular season since last October. Bowie led the Rams by seven heading into the fourth quarter before Suitland’s offensive weapons scored two touchdowns and its defense a third. . . .

In Prince George’s 1A action, Forestville (3-0) and upstart Surrattsville (3-0) maintained teams-to-beat status. Forestville downed Cardozo 48-0, while Surrattsville passed the toughest challenge of its season to date with a gritty 20-19 win over Wilson. . . .

Potomac (1-2, 1-0 PG 3A/2A/1A) edged Friendly (1-2, 0-1), 14-6 Friday, in a breakout game for powerful Potomac sophomore running back Calil Wilkins. The 5-8, 175-pound bruiser rushed for 136 yards on 17 carries in the Wolverines’ win.

Chelsea Janes covers the Nationals for The Washington Post.



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