After beating defending state champion Wise for the second time this season last week, No. 14 DuVal (10-1) will head to No. 5 Suitland (11-0) for the 4A South regional final Saturday with Prince George’s County supremacy on the line.
When the teams played in September, a 21-6 Suitland win that was never that close, the Rams’ defense rattled the DuVal offense out of its early-season rhythm and forced the Tigers, hungry for respect and eager to be deemed the best team in Prince George’s County after three impressive season-opening wins, to reconsider.
“We were big-headed,” Tigers’ running back Terrance Davenport said. “. . . Basically Suitland, they just humbled us. And that’s what we needed, for real. That was a reality check that we’re not the greatest team yet, we still have work to improve on, and that really helped us.”
Suitland has humbled everyone so far this season with a defense that’s allowed the second-fewest points in the DC area. In the teams’ last meeting, the Rams suffocated the Tigers, allowing them just 98 yards of total offense. They slashed their way through the line to quarterback Antoine Brooks over and over again, forcing the sophomore, who consistently runs to gain big yardage, to run just to make sure he didn’t lose it.
“It’s hard to beat a team twice,” Wolfolk said. “Especially teams like Flowers [whom the Rams beat 31-7 in last week’s 4A regional semifinal] and DuVal, that are such good teams. We know DuVal is going to be coming for us, so we just have to bring our best game.”
Suitland beat DuVal 21-14 to end the Tigers’ season in last year’s 4A South regional semifinal.
“Last year since it was the first time DuVal had been in the playoffs in years, we were just happy to be in the playoffs,” Davenport said. “Now, we know what it takes to win in a playoff game, we know how the atmosphere is, and so we’re going to come to Suitland more prepared than last time.”