Suitland 21, DuVal 6: Rams’ hard-nosed win pushes them to 4-0 in Prince George’s 4A

It was homecoming at Suitland on Saturday, and a banner commemorating the school’s 2004 state championship hung above the building. Alumni from decades past wore shirts reading “Once a Ram, always a Ram,” and junior varsity players roamed the sideline during the game against DuVal.

The Tigers came into the game 3-0, presenting a more formidable challenge than most schools might like for such an occasion. The Rams (4-0, 3-0), however, dispensed DuVal, 21-6, with a physical display that announced them as one of the teams to beat in Prince George’s 4A.

Asked to define the style that builds Suitland’s success, running back Josh Burke said simply, “hard-nosed.” Teammate Anthony Jackson, a linebacker, said, “We’re rough. We’re physical, period.”

The Rams’ running back tandem of Burke and Robert Wigfall wore down the DuVal defense, combining for 97 yards on 30 carries. Burke put the Rams on top in the first with a four-yard score, and quarterback Wesley Wolfolk made it 14-0 in the second on a keeper.

“The plan originally was to spread them out, but once the runs starting opening up . . . we just wanted to keep giving them the ball,” Wolfolk said. “Those two are great backs. We believe they’re two of the best in the state.”

Top prospect Da'Shawn Hand faces close friend and prospect Tim Settle when Woodbridge takes on rival Stonewall Jackson, and a female kicker joins the team. (Brad Horn and Jayne Orenstein/The Washington Post)

The Rams’ defense was smothering, repeatedly imploding the pocket around DuVal quarterback Antoine Brooks.

“[DuVal] does a good job with their offense. They’ve got a lot of speed,” Suitland Coach Ed Shields said. “They came in and beat us last year, so I didn’t have to say a whole lot at practice. [Our kids] were well aware of what happened last year, and they didn’t want it to happen again.”

Brooks punched in a short touchdown run late in the fourth to account for the Tigers’ only scoring. The Tigers fell to 3-1, 2-1.

Wolfolk acknowledged his Rams hear talk coming their way from other teams in the county, but carefully avoided contributing to the conversation when asked where the win leaves his Rams in the 4A league.

“We knew if we came out and executed, we could win. We didn’t want to let anyone off the hook,” Wolfolk said. “We feel like if we keep getting better each week, we’ll be fine.”

Chelsea Janes covers the Nationals for The Washington Post.

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