High School

Gonzaga leads Top 25 rankings for week of Sept. 23 after win over Avalon

Chad Ricardo

Gonzaga leads Top 25 rankings for week of Sept. 23 after win over Avalon

The Eagles defense stymied the Lil’ Hoyas as Gonzaga holds on to the number 1 spot and Marquez Cooper has a record-setting performance for Quince Orchard. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 fared:

1. Gonzaga (4-0) | Last: Win (47-8) vs. Avalon | Next: Plant (Fla), 9/27

The Eagles of I Street continue to fly high. Behind the strength of a dominant offensive line and disciplined defense, Gonzaga rolled over Avalon. 

2. DeMatha (3-1) | Last: Win (42-0) vs. St. Ignatius (OH) | Next: Life Christian Academy, 9/27 

DeMatha faced a powerhouse from Ohio who had plans of showing their strengths for the eyes of the country to see. Unfortunately for them, the Stags didn’t get that memo. DeMatha jumped on St. Ignatius early and didn’t let up.

3.  Quince Orchard (3-0) | Last: Win (67-0) vs. Gaithersburg | Next: at Churchill, 9/27

Following the emotional victory over Damascus, there was concern QO would come out flat vs. Gaithersburg. They did not. The Cougars defense set the tone and their rushing attack remains unstoppable to this point. Marquez Cooper ran for 252, Brian Plummer threw for two scores and Ryan Barnes returned an interception for a touchdown.

4. Wise (3-0) | Last: Win (44-0) at Northwestern | Next: Bowie, 9/27

120-0. That’s the Pumas' point differential thus far this season. 3 games, 3 shut-outs in spectacular fashion. If Wise is intending to send a message — the DMV hears them loud and clear.

5. Good Counsel (3-1) | Last: Win (21-7) at Archbishop Spalding | Next: Friendship, 9/27

Good Counsel vs. Spalding was set to be a contest between a dynamic offense and a stingy defense;  the latter prevailed. The Eagles held the Cavaliers to 5 total rushing yards. Spalding entered the matchup averaging over 50 ppg, they managed only seven. 

6.  Westfield (3-0) | Last: Win (40-34) vs. Lake Braddock | Next: Stonewall Jackson, 9/27

In a potential playoff preview, Westfield outlasted a game Lake Braddock team. Trailing 21-14 in the second half, Noah Kim and the Bulldogs erupted for 19 points in the fourth quarter.

7. Freedom (3-0) | Last: IDLE | Next: at Battlefield, 9/27

Freedom was idle. They prepare for their next matchup, which is against Battlefield on Friday.

8. Stonebridge (3-0) | Last: IDLE | Next: Freedom (South Riding), 9/27

Stonebridge was idle. They have a match-up with Freedom (South Riding) on Friday.

9. St. John’s (2-3) | Last: Loss (35-20) IMG Academy (FLA) | Next: Mater Dei, 9/27
The St. John’s Cadets lost their third consecutive contest. Penalties and porous special teams play led to the unraveling of the Cadets. Sol Jay Maiava threw for a touchdown and ran for another. Colby McDonald also found the end zone.

10. Broad Run (3-0) | Last: IDLE | Next: Urbana, 9/28
Broad Run was idle. They will play Urbana on Saturday.

Here’s how the rest of the top 25 fared:

11. Friendship (3-1)| Last: IDLE | Next: at Good Counsel, 9/27
12. Woodgrove (3-1) | Last: Win 39-7 at Dominion | Next: Musselman (WV), 9/27
13. Natl Christian Aca (4-0) | Last: Win (43-6) at Riverdale Baptist | Next: at Eastern, 9/28
14. Northwest (3-0) | Last: Win (44-0) at Bethesda Chevy Chase | Next: Richard Mont, 9/27
15. North Point (2-1) | Last: Loss 21-14 at  Huntington | Next: Chopticon, 9/27
16. Landon (1-1) | Last: IDLE  | Next: Woodberry Forest, 9/27
17. Oakdale (3-0) | Win (2-0) at Gov Thomas Johnson | Next: Linganore, 9/27
18. Damascus (1-2) | Last: Win (49 -7) at Magruder | Next: Einstein, 9/27
19. South County (4-0) | Last: Win (29-7) Madison | Next: IDLE
20. Arch Bishop Carroll (4-1) | Last: Win (38-0)  Ballou  | Next: McNamara, 9/28
21. Tuscarora (3-1) | Last: Win (35-0) Musselman (WV) | Next: at Briar Woods, 9/27
22. Flint Hill (2-1) | Last: Loss 27-7 at Collegiate | Next: Benedictine, 9/28
23. Lake Braddock (2-1) | Last: Loss (40-34) at Westfield  | Next: Marshall, 9/27
24. Georgetown Prep (1-2) | Last: IDLE | Next: Riverdale Baptist, 9/28
25. Dunbar (2-1) | Last: Win 50-0 Ron Brown | Next: IDLE


26. Paint Branch (2-1) | Last: Win ( 50-6) Springbrook | Next: at Blair,  9/27
27. Flowers (1-2) | Last: Loss (6-0) at Laurel | Next: Parkdale, 9/27
28. Ryken (2-2) | Last: Win (51-20) at East Ridge (FLA) | Next: Catholic (VA), 9/27
29. McNamara (3-1) | Last: Win (26-19) vs. Trinity Episcopal | Next: at Archbishop Carroll, 9/28
30. Madison (2-2) | Last: Loss (29-7) at South County | Next: at Robinson, 9/27

Click here for the extended DMV rankings.

DaLawn Parrish and Wise football reclaim Maryland state title

Photo by Chad Ricardo

DaLawn Parrish and Wise football reclaim Maryland state title

It’s been 379 days since Wise lost to Quince Orchard in their 2018 state semifinal matchup. It’s been 9,096 hours since the Pumas' 48-game win streak was snapped and 545,760 minutes since the then-four-time champion became nothing more than a contender.

That time has passed. Wise is Wise, again.

The Pumas defeated Northwest 35-21 to reclaim the Maryland 4A state championship Friday night. The victory ended a nightmare for head coach DaLawn Parrish that he’d been living in for over a year. Asked how often he’d thought about getting back to this moment, he replied, “just about every day."

From 2015-17, the Pumas experienced so much success that at times Parrish felt his adversaries, as well as some of his supposed supporters, were anxiously waiting to witness Wise’s downfall.

“A lot of times we talk about ‘us against the world,'” Parrish said. “I think back to that QO game and I did feel like everybody wanted us to lose. Even though we had all these people behind us, I felt like half of them was cheering for QO—it was like we weren’t being supported. When I was coming up, everybody wanted to see a dynasty, now it feels like everybody wants to see the underdog win."

Parrish and the Pumas set out to use that loss as a teaching tool for the student athletes, both on and off the field.

“We used it as motivation. It drove me, it drove these young men, it drove my coaches.

"This is bigger than X’s and O’s, it’s about surrounding [these student athletes] with good people. We help them to understand what failure looks like, what it is to continue to try and we teach them that although somedays things don’t go their way, they have to keep pushing forward."

The life lesson was on full display in the state championship game. Friday night was a tale of two halves. During the first, the Jags looked like the better team at times. Northwest quarterback Jordan Morse connected with wide receiver Kaden Prather down the right sideline for a 79-yard score in the first quarter and Ryan Beach zig-zagged 69 yards on a screen pass to even the match seconds before intermission.

The vaunted Wise defense that had only allowed two opponents to score in double figures all season had given up two touchdowns in just two quarters. Asked if anything the Jags did in the first half surprised him and his staff, a jovial Parrish responded, “It surprised me that one of my people blew a coverage,” with a smile. “And I will be honest, [Beach] was quicker than I thought he was. The film doesn’t do him justice."

The Pumas' defense entered the third frame with a renewed energy. It stymied the Jags rushing attack and applied relentless pressure to Morse, registering six sacks on the night.

“I knew that if we got them in 10-personnel, they’d be in trouble because they haven’t seen speed like ours," Parrish said. "A lot of what they do is screens and short passes, so if we could get pressure [on their quarterback], I thought we could blow the game open sooner or later."

After yielding a long completion in the first quarter, Jalil Farooq proved to be a difference maker for Wise. He blanketed Prather in the second half, getting his hands on multiple passes. His third-quarter interception swung the momentum in the Puma’s favor.

“Jalil played a helluva game," teammate Dorian Strong said. “His endless pass break-ups and the pick was key for us."

Farooq would capitalize on his forced turnover moments later, when he ran a reverse in from eight yards out and gave Wise a 28-14 lead.

The Pumas' main source of consistency throughout the evening was sophomore quarterback Jayden Sauray. When the game was in the balance, Sauray delivered. He threw second-half touchdowns to Strong and Keith Boddie Jr. to match his two first-half touchdown runs. The young QB showed skill and leadership beyond his years.

“The way he played with poise was outstanding,” Parrish said. “He doesn’t get rattled much. To be a 15-year old young man and have that kind of poise and confidence is unheard of. To stay the course and remain steady the way he does, just shows who he is and what’s to come [from him] will be outstanding."

The title is the Puma’s fourth in five years and the program’s fifth this decade. However, there is little reason to expect Parrish to celebrate for too long; he’s already planning his next steps,

“We just won this championship and my mind is working on next year," Parrish said. "Who do we have to replace? Who’s coming up from junior varsity? I’m thinking about my seniors and trying to get them in college. My mind is looking outward and I haven’t had a chance to take this all in. It’s like it never stops."

Such is life when you’ve built a dynasty. Wise is Wise, again.


Top 20 DMV boys basketball: PVI, DeMatha lead rankings

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Top 20 DMV boys basketball: PVI, DeMatha lead rankings

Week 2 began with a Virginia rivalry matchup between PVI and Bishop J. O'Connell. Behind Duke commit Jeremy Roach, PVI defeated O'Connell, in a sold-out playoff environment gym.

In other notable matchups, Good Counsel upsetting Gonzaga 59-56 - Bez Mbeng led Good Counsel with 14 points.  Antoine Jacks and Dylan Williamson both contributed 12 points. And Eleanor Roosevelt defeated South River 73-61, and in an out-of-county matchup. In an IAC vs MAC non-conference game between St. Andrews and Georgetown Prep, St. Andrew's took the 89-52 victory. Dylan Edwards led St. Andrews with 15 points. Here's this week's top 25:

1. PVI 

2. DeMatha 

3. Gonzaga 

4. Saint Stephen's Saint Agnes 

5. St. John's 

6. Rock Creek

7. Bullis  

8. Archbishop Carroll

9.  Coolidge

10. Good Counsel

11. Riverdale Baptist 

12.  Bishop McNamara 

13. Thurgood Marshall

14. St. Andrew’s

15. Bishop O’Connell 

16. Georgetown Prep

17. St. Mary's Ryken

18. Wise

19. Wilson 

20. Eleanor Roosevelt 


Click here for the Top 20 girls' rankings.