With four games left in the regular season, Whitman is approaching the remainder of the season as if the playoffs have already arrived.
With 28 accumulated points in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s standings, the Vikings (3-3) are sixth in the Montgomery 4A West. The top four from each division reach the playoffs.
Whitman is only three points behind fourth-place Clarksburg (31) and one point behind fifth-place Wootton (30). With all three teams battling for one last playoff spot, the Vikings know there is not much room included for losing.
“The way I look at it with the way it’s setting up is we’re going to have to virtually win out,” Vikings Coach Jim Kuhn said. “I told my kids on Tuesday after [Monday’s 21-6 loss to Damascus] that pretty much every week from now on is a playoff for us. If we lose, we’re out.”
That makes Friday’s game against Springbrook (3-3), which is 17 points behind fourth-place in the 4A North due to a Week 2 forfeit against Clarksburg, that much more important.
Whitman’s offense, led by running back Zac Morton and his 990 rushing yards, will look to create some big plays against a stout unit that’s holding opponents to 10.3 points per game.
“[Springbrook’s] disciplined, they’re well-coached,” Kuhn said. “The kids fly to the ball. They’re aggressive, they’re big. They cause some matchup problems up front. We’re going to try to create some seams.”
Kuhn said he’s hoping his team can play a complete game for the first time this season. He said the Vikings have put together strong halves but have made too many mental mistakes.
Though his team’s focus has been on Springbrook, Kuhn believes the Vikings have what it takes to rally off a four-game winning streak.
“As long as we minimize some mistakes and not shoot ourselves in the foot then we are capable of doing that,” Kuhn said.
Spalding faces a challenge
The Cavaliers face their toughest test of the season this Friday.
Spalding (6-1) travels to Gilman, the No. 2-ranked team in the Maryland high school football media state poll. All season, Spalding has been led by quarterback Zach Abey, a Buffalo commit, who leads the team with 945 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
Abey’s coming off an impressive performance against Mt. St. Joseph’s, where he ran for 109 yards and four touchdowns in a 40-14 win.
Spalding’s lone loss was a 21-14 defeat to Bullis.