The Charles H. Flowers High School offense lined up for its initial third down of the game, and several Suitland defenders shouted, “Waggle.” With the play read correctly, Suitland stopped Flowers for a big loss.
“Try another play,” Suitland linebacker Anthony Jackson called toward the Flowers sideline. “That play ain't going to work today.”
Few plays did against Suitland's defense Saturday.
After a scoreless first half, senior Wesley Wolfolk threw for three second-half touchdowns and ran for another in No. 3 Suitland's 27-6 win over No. 4 Flowers, a matchup of two of the state's final 10 undefeated public-school teams.
Wolfolk said when he learned Monday the game had been moved from Suitland to the Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex and changed from a Saturday afternoon to night kickoff, he thought “Wow, this is a big stage, two undefeated teams, under the lights — there's nothing better than this.”
But at halftime, he thought there was plenty better than how he'd been playing.
“I was beating us as a team,” Wolfolk said. “The team was working their butt off, and I didn't give it my all in the first half. I just said, 'I'm going to come out and give it my all in the second half.'”
He responded with long touchdowns on Suitland's first two drives — a 79-yard pass to Tevin Singleton and an 84 run — to give Suitland a 14-0 lead. After Flowers scored on a drive filled with Suitland penalties, Wolfolk threw two more touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, a 12-yarder to Steven Rivers and a 9-yarder to Singleton.
“It's a great a feeling,” Wolfolk said. “And I just feel like to get better, we have to do it in the beginning of the game. Championship teams come out and do it in the first half and the second half, so we've got to dominate the whole game.”
Suitland (8-0, 97 playoff points) is certainly in line to claim at least a region championship. At minimum, the Rams, which still plays Parkdale and High Point, control their own destiny for the No. 1 seed in the 4A South.
On the other hand, Flowers (7-1, 73 playoff points) fell to third in the region behind its next opponent, DuVal (7-1, 80 playoff points).
Flowers won the first six games it played (excluding a forfeit win over Bowie) by an average score of 42-5, but those six opponents hold a combined 16-32 record, and none have winning records.
Facing its first significant test of the season, Flowers held its own in the first half. Then, injuries hit several Flowers players, including quarterback Malik White, whom Flowers coach Mike Mayo said suffered a concussion.
“People now realize that we can play with anybody we want to play with,” Mayo said. “It's not like we were playing close games against those teams. … If we don't go down with the injuries that we had, we're still going toe-to-toe.”
Wolfolk made it through the game, but cramps began to bother him during the second half. Afterward, as teammates mugged for cameras, Wolfolk laid on the turf behind them massaging his leg.
“Winning the game was all that I cared about,” Wolfolk said. “The cramps weren't nothing, really. I just had to get up.”
No. 3 Suitland 27, No. 4 Flowers 26
Flowers (7-1) 0 0 6 0 — 6
Suitland (8-0) 0 0 14 13 — 27
S — Tevin Singleton 79 pass from Wesley Wolfolk (Tevin Singleton kick), 11:07. 7-0.
S — Wesley Wolfolk 84 run (Tevin Singleton kick), 7:07. 14-0.
F — Jaiver Hylton 16 run (run failed), 3:07. 6-14,
S — Steven Rivers 12 pass from Wesley Wolfolk (conversion failed), 10:15. 20-6.
S — Tevin Singleton 9 pass from Wesley Wolfolk (Tevin Singleton kick), 3:20. 27-6
Flowers — Martin Kangah 3-40, Marcel Murray 6-38, Michael Shannon 4-25, Jaiver Hylton 1-16, Sorie Kargbo 2-15, Maurice Wright 5-10, Malik White 11-5, Jamal Higgs 3-3, Sodiq Akodu 1-2, Malik Murray 2-1.
Suitland — Wesley Wolfolk 7-88, Josh Burke 11-42, Robert Wigfall 7-40, Brandon Brown 2-34.
Suitland — Wesley Wolfolk 11-20-225-0.
Flowers — Malik White 4-6-38-1, Sorie Kargbo 1-5-11-1.
Suitland — Tevin Singleton 3-130, Steven Rivers 4-54, Robert Wigfall 2-21, Darryal Jasper 1-18, Josh Burke 1-2.
Flowers — Jaiver Hylton 1-19, Bentley Okonu 1-12, Devon Gaskin 1-11, Juwan McCants 1-6, Martin Kangah 1-2.