Forestville Coach Charles Harley has been spending a lot of money at Dunkin’ Donuts this season. After three straight games, he’s had to buy donuts for all 26 members of his team, the prize he promises them for every time they hold an opponent to a “donut” on the scoreboard.
Whether because of that incentive or not, Forestville (5-0, 3-0 Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A) has dominated defensively so far this season, yielding two touchdowns in 20 quarters. Through five games last season, the Knights had given up 68 points.
“We’re not playing the Denver Broncos here. But on the flip side of that, these same teams we played a year ago would have found a way to score 12 or 20 points or something like that,” Harley said.
Harley says part of the reason is numbers. In the past, three, four, or more of Harley’s front seven would have to play on both offense and defense. Now, the Knights have enough players to use just one lineman on both sides of the ball. A maximum of four players play both ways, fewer than last season.
Senior safety Earon Settles said the defense is also deeply committed to its preparation.
“The defensive coaches e-mail the players during the week all of the scouting stuff they see on the film, and we really study,” said Settles, who’s made 12 solo tackles and two interceptions this season.
The result? A whole lot of donuts for the Knights, though they almost had even more.
“The kids are so mad because we played Crossland, it was 48-0 and they scored with like 1:42 left when we had mostly freshmen in who were getting their chance,” Harley said. “They were already talking about the donuts on the sideline, and when that happened they were really upset.”
Settles said that while the donuts are a motivating factor, he and his teammates “ don’t want to act like we’re not expecting to hold the other team to zeros.”
“It’s motivational, but I don’t want to say it’s a big deal now, he said. “We’re used to it. We know that that’s what we want to do.”
The Knights will have their work cut out for them if they hope to send Harley back to Dunkin’ Donuts for the fourth straight week. They face off with fellow 1A undefeated Surrattsville (5-0, 3-0 PG 3A/2A/1A), which has scored 187 points behind the area’s ninth-leading rusher Amaru Major (891 yards, 10 touchdowns), on Saturday — though Harley believes his defense will give the Hornets all they can handle:
“They like to run the ball and we like to tackle guys who run with the ball.”
Douglass was without stellar sophomore quarterback Devin Butler (knee injury) the past two Saturdays, but the Eagles didn’t miss a beat. In fact, Butler-less Douglass (3-2, 2-1 Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A) generated its two largest offensive outputs of the season in a 45-0 win over Crossland (1-4, 1-3 PG 3A/2A/1A) and a 36-6 drubbing of Friendly (2-3, 1-2 PG 3A/2A/1A) last week. Akiva Wedge, who Coach J.C. Pinkney calls a “dynamic running quarterback,” attempted just six passes over those two games, but rushed for 189 yards.
Butler will be back for the Eagles’ game at Potomac (2-3, 2-1 PG 3A/2A/1A) this week, and Wedge will slide back into a role as one of Butler’s weapons.
“Anytime you lose a starter and someone steps up and continues to help the team do well overall, you’ve gotten better,” Pinkney said. “So when the [Butler] comes back, I just feel a lot more comfortable.” . . .
No. 20 DuVal (4-1, 3-1 PG 4A) faces its toughest test since a 21-6 loss to Suitland brought the Tigers back to earth a few weeks ago. They’ll take on Bowie (2-3, 2-2 PG 4A), which has beaten high-powered Wise (3-2, 2-2 PG 4A) and Eleanor Roosevelt (2-3, 2-2 PG 4A) in consecutive weeks.
The Saturday matinee matchup has significant playoff implications for both teams, as a win would thrust Bowie firmly back into the Prince George’s playoff picture despite a nightmarish start to the season, while a loss would make DuVal’s hold on a postseason berth significantly more tenuous. . . .
After not winning a game from mid-2011 to Sept. 28 of this year, Parkdale (2-3, 2-2 PG 4A) has now built a two-game winning streak with wins over Bladensburg (1-4, 0-4 PG 4A) and High Point (2-3, 1-3 PG 4A). The Panthers pursue three straight wins for the first time since 2007 against Laurel (1-4, 1-3 PG 4A) Saturday.