Potomac High School’s football team entered last Friday’s game against unbeaten Osbourn with two primary objectives: Tackle better and commit no turnovers.
The host Panthers achieved success on both counts in upsetting the Eagles 12-0.
“The kids were excited,” said Potomac head coach Jajuan Johnson. “The goal is to use it as fuel. We were trying to do a lot of the small things right leading up to Osbourn. The goal is to catch a rhythm.”
Potomac began the season 0-2, including a 34-33 loss at Brooke Point in its second game of the season Sept. 3. The Panthers were scheduled to play at Woodgrove Sept. 10, but they had to postpone the game that day due to COVID protocols. Johnson said there is no make-up date yet.
“I felt we were ready,” Johnson said of Osbourn. “The kids were hungry after not playing [the previous] week. They were itching to get back out there.”
Osbourn (3-1) entered the game averaging 47.7 points a game behind the play of senior quarterback Jakari Lewis. Lewis totaled 11 rushing touchdowns and 473 rushing yards (18.9 yards per carry) in the Eagles’ first three games.
Lewis finished the game with 71 rushing yards on 11 carries and threw four times for 40 yards before leaving the game in the second quarter after rolling his ankle. Osbourn head coach Cortez Whiting said Lewis is questionable for the Eagles’ Cedar Run District opener Friday at 3-0 Battlefield.
The Eagles, who entered the game outscoring their opponents 143-0, were also missing two starters on defense, lineman Matt Pack and free safety Xavier Williams-Baye (both out sick).
Johnson, a Potomac graduate in his first year as head coach, is also the team’s defensive coordinator. The former Shenandoah University all-conference linebacker said his team kept making plays to slow Osbourn down.
Junior free safety Kevin Bryant and junior strong safety Felix Hammond-Donkoh finished with 11 and 10 tackles to lead the team. Both are returners. Bryant opted to sit out last season as a sophomore for precautionary reasons due to COVID, but he played for Potomac as a freshman.
James Bangura and David Schuyler each had a sack, while Trenton Richards grabbed an interception. Elijah Williams (two), Kwadwo Boateng, Michael Trawally and Rizan Madison each had a tackle for loss.
“We kept everything in front of us,” Johnson said. “We played tighter as a group knowing we were going up against a good quarterback.”
Potomac had zero turnovers against Osbourn and kept moving the ball with key plays at the right time.
After throwing two interceptions in the Panthers’ season-opening loss to Battlefield, senior quarterback Pete Woolfrey recorded his second straight game without a pick. The three-year starter was 12 of 20 for 160 yards. He threw passes to five different receivers. Williams led Potomac with four receptions for 40 yards.
Woolfrey also scored both Potomac touchdowns. The first came on the Panthers’ second drive of the game. The second occurred at the start of the third quarter.
“[Pete] zipped the ball in a tight window,” Johnson said.