If you’d asked the Potomac (Md.) football team its goals earlier this season, to a man the players would’ve told you “state champions.” But a few bumps and hard-luck losses later, that goal — and the playoffs — have slipped out of reach.
But with changed circumstances came changed goals, and the Wolverines (5-4, 5-2 Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A), like many Prince George’s teams recently eliminated from playoff contention, had plenty to play for heading into the last two weeks of the season.
“We were down” after a six-point loss to Gwynn Park (9-0, 7-0) and double-overtime loss to Douglass (7-2, 6-1)), Wolverines senior wide receiver Dionzae Foote said. “But we just had to move on and play the next game. And [the last games], for me personally, are a big deal because it’s my last high school homecoming, my last regular season home game. It’s a big deal.”
Foote’s Wolverines made a statement in their homecoming game Saturday, handling Crossland (1-8, 1-7) 53-0, but a win by Hammond (6-3, 6-3 Howard County) eliminated Potomac from playoff contention before this Saturday’s finale against Forestville (7-2, 5-2) — a team that’s clinched a playoff spot but is still hoping to earn a No. 2 seed behind Surrattsville (8-1, 6-1) and needs a win to do so.
Bowie (5-4, 5-3 Prince George’s 4A) is currently on the outside of the 4A South playoff picture looking in. While three teams — No. 5 Suitland (9-0, 8-0), No. 15 DuVal (8-1, 7-1) and C.H. Flowers (7-2, 6-2) — have clinched three of the Maryland 4A South region’s four playoff berths, Bowie is still alive, but needs help to get in after a brutal season-opening stretch that saw the Bulldogs forfeit a game and blow a fourth-quarter lead against Suitland.
To earn a playoff spot, Bowie must beat Bladensburg (2-7, 1-7), Wise (6-3, 5-3) must lose to Flowers, and two of Eleanor Roosevelt (5-4, 5-3), Suitland, Surrattsville, and Parkdale (2-7, 2-6) must win to propel the Bulldogs in with strength-of-schedule bonus points. But as Coach Jae Jackson said, with so much out of their control now, and so many unseized opportunities when wins were within reach, this week’s season finale is about making sure this year — a year in which his team features 30 seniors — still marks progress for Bowie football.
“The kids know we kind of squandered our opportunities to determine our own fate. We’re just playing now to end up with a winning season,” Jackson said. “I told the kids Bowie hadn’t had a winning season since 2006, so for this senior class this is something you can go out and accomplish this weekend, beat Bladensburg and go 6-4.”
Friendly (4-5, 3-4 PG 3A/2A/1A) was eliminated with a crazy 38-28 loss to Surrattsville on Saturday, and Eleanor Roosevelt and Oxon Hill (4-5, 3-5 PG 4A) also saw their playoff hopes extinguished by Wise’s 44-0 win over High Point (2-7, 1-7) on Saturday. The Pumas clinch the No. 3 seed in the 4A South with a win over Flowers next Saturday.