Loudoun County credits 4-0 start to ‘IHOP season’; Flowers stay focused

Loudoun County coach Matt Reidenbaugh laughs when he hears his offensive line described as a “character cast.”

“Yeah, that’s a perfect phrase,” Reidenbaugh said.

The captains will enter Friday’s game against No. 18 Tuscarora with a 4-0 record, thanks in large part to his prosperity in the trenches. The unit’s success comes down to a simple nickname, best represented by its aptly named group cat, “IHOP Season”.

“I mean, our mentality is just to have pancakes,” said senior center Evan Stanley, who said assistant coach Mike Mitchell keeps a “pancake board” that counts how many times the team blocks. a defender on the ground. In four games, the captains have 46 pancakes and senior Stuart McGuinness holds the lead with 20.

For Loudoun County, a rushing attack is not so much a nicety as a necessity, a prerequisite for branding football conducive to chilly post-season evenings. And yet the county’s oldest program – which Reidenbaugh describes as a “sleeping giant” – hasn’t made it past the second round of the playoffs since 2012.

Loudoun County could have the credentials (and personality) to break into Class 4 thanks to the strength of their line. The group includes Stanley, the dancer and broadcaster; McGuinness, the outgoing leader; junior Blaine Colebank, the shortest and funniest; and juniors Chase Kibble and Sammy Holstead, who offer calm prospects.

Linemen are inseparable. They often meet for “date brothers” to take wings. During Saturday morning yoga, two linemen started wearing dresses, and they said it was only a matter of time before it was a line-wide outfit.

“Practicing is great fun – and yes, we take the exercises seriously,” McGuinness said. “But we’re still doing new handshakes, making jokes with our signals; we just make the game more fun… We play very physically, but we’re all just a bunch of jokers.

Flowers keep their eyes on the prize

As the CH Flowers players walked off the field following their 54-7 victory over Bowie on Saturday, their subdued attitude seemed unsuited to a side that had just completed a nearly flawless performance.

While the victory was impressive, September’s dominance lost some of its luster for stalwarts such as four-star defensive back Braydon Lee. What was once a reason to celebrate has become an expectation.

“I think we’ve been a lot colder this season because we realize that, like our coaches told us, we’re the only public school in Maryland that can fight,” Lee said. “Most of our squad from last year [which reached the 4A quarterfinals] is back, and we’ve added some guys from private schools. As long as we continue to play for each other and do the little things, we will have much bigger wins to celebrate in November and December.

The Jaguars (4-0) know some real tests lie ahead, such as an Oct. 7 encounter against perennial championship contender Wise, a team Flowers have never beaten.

In previous seasons, Flowers treated the Wise Game as his state championship. The Jaguars circled the date of the match on their calendar and constantly compared their level of play to that of the Pumas. Lee said that was no longer the case.

“We don’t really think of them that way this season,” Lee said. “And I’m not saying that in a disrespectful way. We know they have dogs and they have an amazing team, but so do we. There will be a lot of hype and chatter before that one, but the goal of our season isn’t to beat them, it’s to win a state championship. But obviously, if we can beat them on the way to a [championship]that would be really cool too.

Todd Lattimore Jr., North: The senior quarterback threw for 307 yards and had three touchdowns as the Patriots outscored St. Charles in a battle of undefeated Southern Maryland Athletic Conference teams.

For high school QBs, the learning manual is a new form of summer school

Joshua Narh, Duval: The senior utility player had 119 yards and two touchdowns on five carries as the Tigers beat Northwestern, 62-0, to extend their winning streak to three games.

Jordan Dennis, South County: The junior quarterback returned from an injury that sidelined the Stallions’ Sept. 16 loss and threw for 241 yards and five touchdowns in a 61-6 rout of Justice.

Roman Jensen, Maret: The junior quarterback threw for 237 yards and five touchdowns in the Frogs’ 40-7 win over Severn.

Bell to Coolidge, Friday, 6 p.m.

Quince orchard in Seneca ValleyFriday 6:30 a.m.

Wide Run at Stone Bridge, Friday, 7 p.m.

Bishop Spalding to Pallotti, Friday, 7 p.m.

Flint Hill picks up first win in three years

As the Flint Hill players sprinted and jumped onto the Collegiate School field Friday night, running back Andrew King found coach Kirk Peterson near the sideline. There they hugged and cried for about two minutes.

King and Peterson had envisioned their first win with Flint Hill since August 2021. After 11 losses, their vision came true in Flint Hill’s 37-28 triumph at Richmond. It was Oakton Private School’s first win since November 2019 and ended a 13-game losing streak.

“I haven’t been this happy in a long time,” said King, who rushed for 215 yards and two touchdowns. “We just let all our emotions out. When I hugged Coach P, it was like, ‘Man, we really did it. It really is the start of a new journey in Flint Hill. ”

King was desperate after Flint Hill’s nine losses last season. Although the junior was also disappointed after the Huskies’ first pair of losses this month, the optimism remained. After Flint Hill (1-2) added talent in the offseason, King thought the Huskies were close to a win.

The Flint Hill players preached belief throughout practice last week, and they shouted that word from the sidelines on Friday. Afterwards, the players returned to their locker room to dance to hip-hop music for the first time after a game.

“It really took me a minute to process it because I hadn’t felt like winning a football game in a very long time,” King said. “It’s a moment I will never forget.”

Poolesville goes on a rollercoaster ride to 4-0

Late Friday night, the Poolesville Falcons gathered for a photo on the field they had just defended. Still covered in sweat and grass, they posed together with four fingers in the air.

For four weeks of the high school football season, Poolesville is 4-0. It’s the first time the program has had such a start since 2005, and the road to such a record has been a roller coaster ride.

On Friday, the Falcons won their second overtime game of the season by beating Rockville, 22-21. The night began with a series of unfortunate events as the Falcons derailed an otherwise effective offense with three turnovers in the first half. They trailed the Rams 15-0 at the break.

“At halftime I told them we were moving the ball well, we just had to clean things up,” Falcons coach Tony Nazzaro said. “And then we opened the second half with a fumble.”

The third quarter brought salvation to Poolesville. He put up 15 points to tie the game, and that score lasted until the end of regulation. Rockville scored first in overtime but fell short on a two-point conversion. Poolesville responded with a touchdown and won the game on a successful extra run.

“And it’s not a given at this level,” Nazzaro said. “I give credit to our holder who managed a snap a little high. Everyone did. »

That seems to be the theme of this Poolesville team: to make it possible. Even though the Falcons are keeping a wide-angle lens this season, Nazzaro has focused on enjoying every win. As the program well knows, it is difficult to do this so often.

“At the end of the day, they’re high school kids,” Nazzaro said. “I want them to enjoy everything.”

About Michelle Anderson

Check Also

Did the focus on crime help the GOP seal a midterm victory?

“The 360” shows you diverse perspectives on the major stories and debates of the day. …