West Potomac and quarterback Mark Ellis had 12 minutes — an entire quarter — to earn three points. The Wolverines hosted Lake Braddock last season and had the perennial contender on the ropes, trailing by three entering the fourth quarter. But West Potomac couldn’t muster a score.
Leading up to Friday’s Conference 7 rematch, Ellis and his offense are out to prove they won’t be stopped, especially since there isn’t a player on West Potomac’s roster who has beaten No. 6 Lake Braddock (3-0).
“I’ve yet to beat these guys in my high school career. It haunts me a little bit,” said Ellis, a senior. “I want this one.”
The task for West Potomac (3-0) and Coach Jeremiah Ross has been to unwind after an emotional, last-second win a week ago against Briar Woods. That was one kind of statement for his program. Beating a Lake Braddock team that boasts a 30-3 record in the regular season dating to the start of 2013 would be another.
“It’s a big one for our guys to make that next push into that top tier,” Ross said. “Braddock’s been there for a while.”
This is the year, Ellis said, his team feels ready to pull the upset.
“We feel like we can play with everybody in the state,” he said.
Ellis said his backfield is the best in the conference.
Lake Braddock would surely beg differ. Star rusher Lamont Atkins has run for 661 yards and nine touchdowns on his own. Ibrahim Mansaray — the region’s best back save for Atkins, Bruins Coach Jim Poythress said — has 177 yards and three touchdowns.
“The system they run, they’re going to run the ball and get yards,” Ross said. “But you have to keep them to four- and five-yard runs. If you keep making them do that, mistakes happen. Football is a game of mistakes. We want to limit ours and force theirs.”
And if they get the chance, the Wolverines want to put three extra points on the board, just in case.