It’s not that Oxon Hill junior Daniel George was having a bad season. He had actually played quite well. But Coach Craig Jefferies thought his emerging Division I football prospect could do more, so a few weeks ago, he made the decision that George would no longer leave the field during games, whether that meant playing wide receiver on offense, safety on defense or as a gunner and returner on special teams.
“I hate being on the sideline,” George said Sunday. “It feels like I’m not getting anything done.”
His play the past two games suggests as much.
A week after hauling in 11 catches for 230 yards and two touchdowns in Oxon Hill’s regular-season finale against DuVal, George scored five touchdowns, including one in every phase of the game, as the Clippers blew out Rockville in the Maryland 3A South semifinals Saturday.
Oxon Hill will make its first region final appearance in 20 years against neighborhood rival Potomac (Md.) this Saturday, but it remains unclear if anybody in the state can slow down George given his recent pace.
Facing Rockville, he scooped up a fumble on a kickoff and returned it for a touchdown, caught three consecutive touchdown passes on three different routes and capped off the afternoon by returning an interception for a touchdown.
“I’ve just been trying to take things to a new level with my play,” George said. “My goal pretty much was to score in every way. When I had that last touchdown, it kind of sealed my goal of what I wanted to do on the day.”
George credited his offensive exploits to improved chemistry with quarterback DaJuan Rollins, but Oxon Hill helped the cause by deploying George in a variety of ways. Part of the reason he got added to the additional special teams unit, for instance, is because Jefferies noticed teams had stopped kicking the ball to him as a returner. On defense, George is officially listed as a defensive back, but he roams all over the field depending on the opposition in a playmaking role akin to Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers.
But considering the Clippers already had plenty of options before George’s recent explosion, it’s becoming increasingly clear why they’re suddenly one game from the school’s first state semifinals appearance since 1993.
“He always had the potential to do that. He can do that any given week,” Jefferies said of George. “But if I get him just to play consistently at full speed, he’ll make plays and that’s what he’s been doing lately. He’s creating his own opportunities, and when he gets those opportunities, he’s taking advantage of them. When he’s on the field, he has a chance to make a play. That’s pretty much it.”
Touchdowns the Wise defense has allowed over its past eight games. In the Pumas’ 54-7 win over DuVal in the Maryland 4A South semifinals, DuVal’s only points came off an interception return for a touchdown. The only team to score on Wise during this stretch is Eleanor Roosevelt, which will travel to Upper Marlboro Friday to face the Pumas in the 4A South region final.
Miles Surrattsville must travel for the Maryland 1A North region title game against Havre de Grace after its win over McDonough in the 1A North semifinals Saturday.
WR/DB Raymond Boone, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jr.
The Raiders’ big-play threat was in the middle of several game-changing plays in Saturday’s 40-0 win over C.H. Flowers in the Maryland 4A South semifinals. Boone caught four passes for 85 yards and a touchdown, threw a 40-yard touchdown pass on a trick play and had a sack and four tackles as Roosevelt’s defense produced its second consecutive shutout.
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