Two games down, one to go. Well, technically, the Frederick Douglass High School football team must win two more to earn a state title, but that’s not how the Eagles are looking at it.
“Whoever is in our path, you know?” said senior wide receiver Paul Harris, who returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown in Saturday’s 28-6 win over Gwynn Park. “We can’t look up, ‘Oh, we want to play them’ or ‘We’re not going to play them.’ It’s just whoever steps in our way. We was caught up in that, but it’s whatever. We got to focus on whoever we’re playing that week.”
In order to get another crack at their first state title in school history, the Eagles will have to defeat Baltimore city’s Edmondson-Westside on Friday.
“We always aim high in playoffs,” Douglass coach J.C. Pinkney said. “And this playoff run is something we’re cognizant of and its been 10 years running now so everyone knows no one wants to drop the ball … you just know you have to win.”
The Eagles defense, which has allowed just two teams to score more than 10 points, will likely be the No. 1 factor again in Friday’s matchup with the Red Storm. Edmondson scored more than 40 points in nearly half of its games this season. Edmondson, like Gwynn Park, relies on a diverse running attack — eight different players have run for a touchdown this year. The Red Storm average just seven passing attempts per game.
With a win, Douglass will likely earn a rematch with the defending state champion Middletown of Frederick County.
“It’s just week in and week out now,” Pinkney said. “Our preparation, we’ll work to get better. We got to take a look at Edmondson now and really start to do our homework here and come up with a scheme to try and hold those guys down a little bit and hopefully we’ll have success there next week as well.”