Westlake has more postseason appearances than any other team in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference. The Wolverines knew they had to win Friday’s meeting with North Point to have a shot to continue the legacy and to prevent themselves from finishing with the worst record in Westlake football history.
“We told the guys, this is the legacy you leave,” Coach Marlon Curtis said. “How do you want to leave it? You have to get into the playoffs to even get a chance to change your destiny.”
For a team that’s only missed the playoffs three times since its first varsity season in 1995 (1997, 2000 and 2002), the Wolverines (6-4) came dangerously close to ending their season Friday.
Their 38-26 win against North Point, Lackey’s win against Thomas Stone, Northern’s close loss to Patuxent and Bowie’s win against Bladensburg allowed the Wolverines to sneak into the No. 4 spot in the Maryland 3A South.
Westlake will play top-seed Huntingtown (9-1) in a region semifinal on Friday.
Westlake traded touchdowns with the Eagles (6-4) for much of Friday’s game. Quarterback Antwaine Carter Jr led the way with four touchdowns.
Westlake had a season that was marred by early injuries, Curtis said, that “humbled us and caused some disarray at times.” The season started with a win against Bowie, but a fight during that game led to a forfeit the next week against 3A South rival Lackey.
The second half of the season saw the Wolverines lose close games to Leonardtown (8-2) and Huntingtown (9-1). Excessive penalties slowed the momentum in both of those games and canceled out big runs, Curtis said.
“We’ve got to limit our mistakes, which we’ve struggled with the entire season,” he added. “There’s mistakes on offense and defense, and with penalities, and we’re fighting to overcome that to try to give ourselves a chance.”
The Wolverines have also fashioned themselves as a defensive team in the past few years. Other conference coaches have commented on their size, speed and power. But Curtis needs the squad to mirror that skill on the offensive side of the ball if they want a shot at beating Huntingtown in the opening playoff game. . . .
Leonardtown beat Westlake by one point in Week 7 and nearly made it to the playoffs for the first time in school history, but was knocked out after Arundel beat Meade on Friday to grab the final spot in the 4A East region.
The Raiders and Digital Harbor have the dubious honor of being the only teams in the state to win eight games yet fail to qualify for the postseason. . . .
Northern had a chance to sneak into the fourth spot in the Maryland 3A South with a win against Patuxent, but fell behind on a touchdown from Rafiq Douglas with less than seven seconds remaining in regulation. . . .
No. 12 Patuxent (10-0) will host Hammond in a Maryland 2A South semifinal on Friday. The Golden Bears have made it to playoffs twice before (1985 and 2010). Coach Justin Carey was able to lead the squad to a 6-4 season and an upset win against two-time defending state champion River Hill in his first year as head coach. . . .
River Hill (8-2) was able to hold off Reservoir (7-3) after the Gators missed an extra point on a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. The 14-13 win secured a No. 3 seed for the Hawks in the Maryland 3A East region. They’ll travel to City College on Friday for their region semifinal. Reservoir earned their second playoff berth in school history despite the loss and will travel to Glenelg (9-1) in the 3A East region’s other semifinal.