In the aftermath of big high school football wins and losses, cliches abound as coaches try to keep players even keel, knowing the unpredictable realities of athletics.
“We felt like we had a real good chance. The guys were prepared, they were loose, and we came out with the ‘W’,” he said matter-of-factly Saturday.
And what’s a postgame wrapup without the “it only counts as one” quote — something he also provided.
“Every game’s going to be hard for us.”
But even the composed Powell, well-versed as he may be in postgame coach-speak, couldn’t help but admit that the Tigers’ one-point victory was a little bit more than your average regular season win.
“I’m very, very happy,” Powell added. “Don’t get it twisted.”
Simply put, he should be. Wise had not lost a regular season game in exactly two years, the Pumas’ last such loss coming on Sept. 17, 2011, a 23-22 defeat to Eleanor Roosevelt.
The Tigers’ defense shut down Wise’s running game, allowing no Pumas’ player more than 38 yards on the ground. DuVal also showed off its offensive girth, an attack based around emerging sophomore quarterback Antoine Brooks, who passed for 195 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another 133 yards Friday. With Toledo commit Jamal Woodland as a prime target on the outside and another emerging force in Terrance Davenport in the backfield, DuVal’s 2013 talent level would suggest that the win over the defending state champs was not a complete surprise.
But as Powell’s cautious optimism indicates, the victory doesn’t necessarily indicate a changing of the Prince George’s 4A guard, either.
“I don’t think that’s necessarily indicative of a wave of change as much as a good game between two good teams,” agreed Suitland Coach Ed Shields, whose No. 17 Rams moved to 2-0 this week with a 22-14 win over Eleanor Roosevelt. “I don’t think you necessarily want to take one game and decide. I think [Prince George’s 4A] is always wide open, and I think teams bounce back. . . . The fat lady hasn’t sung yet.”
Suitland and DuVal have emerged as early favorites to challenge Wise’s spot atop the league, though C.H. Flowers (2-0) may join them. Flowers moved to 2-0 with a forfeit win over Bowie (0-2), and will certainly have a say in the final standings given that they play Suitland, DuVal, and Wise in their final three regular-season games.
The Jaguars won their opener 40-2 over McKinley Tech, and venture into league play this week against Bladensburg (1-1), who struggled with offensive organization and with penalties (17 for 120 yards) in a 26-0 loss to Oxon Hill Friday. . . .
Surrattsville followed up an impressive season-opening win over Laurel with an equally emphatic 30-6 win over Largo Friday. The Hornets have won their two games by a combined score of 72-13, thanks in large part to the play of junior quarterback Robert Harris III, who has thrown for 102 yards and three touchdowns in two games, and fullback Amaru Major, who has rushed 14 times for 141 yards and two scores.
The Hornets play at Wilson this weekend — a game coach Robert Harris calls his team’s “toughest challenge to date.” But so far so good for a team whose last winning season came in 2007.
“It’s a continuity thing, we’ve got kids in here that have played for us for a couple of years now,” Harris said. “I knew we were going to have a good season, but we’ve jumped out to a great start. We’ve got some young kids that are playing well for us.”