The Eleanor Roosevelt football team knew two things for certain about itself entering Saturday’s contest against No. 15 DuVal: The Raiders had not been playing well enough to win all three of the regular season games remaining on their schedule, and if they did not accomplish that task, they likely would miss the Maryland 4A playoffs for the first time since 2007.
So, using a “Why not?” approach, Eleanor Roosevelt Coach Tom Green moved senior James Warren from quarterback to slot receiver and asked junior Elijah Liverette to step in as the team’s signal-caller against an undefeated DuVal squad.
After his new-look Raiders produced a 39-0 victory over DuVal (7-1, 6-1 Prince George’s 4A), Green could exhale, grin and say: “It proved to be a good move.”
Warren did not record a stat line that will make college recruiters drool. He caught one pass for 11 yards and carried the ball eight times for 47 yards.
What Warren did do was prove the value of versatility. His reception was for the Raiders’ first touchdown. He scored on a 20-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter. Warren played defensive back, as well; that’s where Green said he believes the player is best suited as a college prospect.
“If Coach puts me on the field, I’m gonna make plays,” Warren said. Green “told me he was going to put the team on my back, so I was just going out there making plays for the team.”
He wasn’t the only one. Junior linebacker Sammy Raymond blocked a punt in the second quarter that junior linebacker Julian Rowe returned 26 yards for a touchdown. Sophomore tailback Mike Mofor tallied 91 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.
“We came in and punched them in the mouth early,” Raymond said. “And we just kept punching them in the mouth, and we put the game away.”
As for Liverette, he completed 2 of 4 passes for 11 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. Most importantly, Green noted, he held onto the football. Plagued by turnovers all season, the Raiders did not register one on Saturday.
But Roosevelt (6-2, 5-2) understands — especially with a regular season finale against No. 16 Suitland on the horizon — that its win Saturday will mean nothing if the Raiders can’t follow it with the same degree of effort moving forward.
“We’re capable of getting in” to the playoffs, Green said. “We’ve just got to continue to keep grinding. We put ourselves in this position, so now we’ve got to fight to get out of it.”