Defense leads teams to state titles
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005
Jason Randall, Bowie, defensive back: The Bulldogs rebounded from several down seasons and Randall was a huge part of their ascent. He helped a stingy Bowie defense that posted four shutouts this fall. Randall also amassed 1,029 yards on 140 carries to go along with 15 touchdowns. He has drawn interest from Delaware State, Delaware, Richmond and James Madison.
Troy Butler, Gwynn Park, defensive back: A key component in the Yellow Jackets’ stingy defense, Butler could cover any receiver by himself. His best performance may have occurred against Lackey in the 3A South Region final when Butler contained Chargers’ receiver Greg Bowman throughout the contest and also intercepted two passes while breaking up five others intended for the Lackey wide out.
Travon Bellamy, Roosevelt, defensive back: Bellamy showed why he’s one of the most sought-after defensive back prospects in the state. The 6-foot, 180-pound senior had 52 tackles and six interceptions, three of which he returned for touchdowns. He has scholarship offers from Akron, Illinois, Kansas State, Kent State, North Carolina, Oregon State and Temple.
Derron Hall, Douglass, defensive back: Hall was one of the most exciting players for the Eagles, excelling on offense, defense and special teams. Half of his eight rushes this season went for touchdowns. Hall returned three of his four interceptions for touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown against Suitland in the 4A South semifinal.
William Little, Gwynn Park, linebacker: A valuable two-way player for the 3A state champions, Little, who had 121 tackles, wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks and running backs with his aggressive blitzes from his weak-side linebacker spot. For good measure, Little also led the team in rushing with more than 900 yards on 121 carries and he scored the game-winning touchdown in double-overtime in the state championship game against Westminster.
Jerrell Wedge, Douglass, linebacker: Next year should be an exceptional season for Wedge as he will attempt to get the Eagles back to the state semifinals. Wedge’s statistics speak for themselves. He followed a season in which he recorded 125 tackles in his sophomore year with 100 more tackles as a junior. Wedge had a key interception in the Eagles’ loss to Sherwood in the state semifinals.
Marcus Perrin, Douglass, linebacker: Perrin was one of the locker room leaders for an outstanding Eagles’ defensive unit that allowed just 37 points. Perrin was a two-way player for the Eagles and also had key contributions for the offensive line. He amassed 33 tackles and a sack this season. Perrin will most likely play for Northeastern University.
Adrian McLeod, Potomac, linebacker: Last season’s Star⁄Gazette Defensive Player of the Year, McLeod (6-1, 210) was at the center of a tough Wolverine squad. He had 121 tackles, recovered five fumbles and intercepted two passes for Potomac, which allowed 31 points in four playoff games. In the state finals against South Carroll, McLeod recorded 12 tackles.
Ian Thomas, DeMatha, linebacker: A first-team All-WCAC selection, Thomas was one of many new starters who helped keep DeMatha among the state’s best. The 6-1, 210-pounder recorded 101 tackles and five quarterback sacks. Thomas figures to be the backbone of DeMatha’s defense next season.
Phillip Taylor, Gwynn Park, lineman: This senior two-way player was instrumental in the Yellow Jackets’ success. When Gwynn Park had the ball Taylor often opened holes up front. One of the most highly recruited players in the state, Taylor has narrowed his choices to Penn State, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Florida.
Will Lawrence, Flowers, lineman: Flowers coach Mike Mayo said Lawrence ‘‘fell into our laps this season.” The 6-6, 360-pound man-child had 66 tackles and 11 sacks. Mayo said Lawrence was a ‘‘gift” to a defensive unit in need of experience as he had played for Fork Union Academy last season. Lawrence has drawn interest from James Madison, Delaware, Hampton and Howard among others.
Blake Smith, Roosevelt, lineman: Though the Raiders suffered a second straight early postseason exit, Smith was a huge bright spot. Smith, 6-3 and 210 pounds, had 74 tackles and 14 quarterback sacks. He will participate in the senior all-star game Saturday at Bowie State.
Eric Darby, DuVal, lineman: During a season that may not have gone according to plan for the Tigers, Darby was clearly one of the team’s bright spots. From his down lineman position, Darby collected 63 tackles, 21 of them for loss, added eight quarterback sacks, forced four fumbles and was credited with two fumble recoveries.
Kemar Scarlett, Potomac, punter: Scarlett was a consistent special teams performer. The 6-1, 180-pound junior averaged 36.5 yards on punts including a 41-yard average in Potomac’s title game victory against South Carroll. Scarlett had 40 extra points and converted 4 of 7 field goals.
Adrian MotenLinebacker, Gwynn Park
Throughout the season, Moten, who had 139 tackles, was a key cog in the Yellow Jackets’ stingy defense, and in the championship game against Westminster he may have delivered the one play that shaped the outcome. With the Owls’ owning a 7-0 lead and in Gwynn Park territory, Moten stepped in front of a Westminster receiver on a screen pass and raced 73 yards for a touchdown that tied the game. Gwynn Park eventually prevailed,20-14 in double-overtime, as Moten contributed nine tackles. ‘‘Before every game, I tell the kids that I’m looking for one of them to make a play that could impact the outcome,” said Gwynn Park coach Danny Hayes. ‘‘Adrian has been making big plays for us all season. Before the game we told him to watch those backside screens and be ready to step in and he read that play perfectly.” Moten has verbally committed to Maryland.
Davon Gray, Douglass
James Brown and Aaron Anderson, McNamara
Andrew Banks and James Hardaway, Gwynn Park
Lyndon Harris and Chris Hutton and Carl Scott, Largo
Kevin Hill and Justin Campbell, Laurel
Marc Pablador, R.J. Shannon and Marcus Brown, DeMatha
Daniel Blackstone, Riverdale Baptist
Trevin Parrish and Montay Roberts, Pallotti
Daniel Williams, High Point
Brandon Campbell and Justin Howard, Friendly Terrell Poe, Potomac
Chevelle Pope and Matt Clark, Crossland
Tyrone Siebert and Eric McCamants, Roosevelt Mohammed Fofana, Bowie
Cedric Basim, Parkdale
Hazeez Rafiu, Robert Butler and Charles Smith, Flowers
Stephan Stanback, Potomac
Deven Watson and Darnell Bolding, Bowie
Ben Bennett, William Johnson and PhillipHiggins, Gwynn Park
Jonathan Wingfield and Kelvin Smith, McNamara
Greg Bowyer and Zary Stewart, Douglass
Kerry Pollard and Nico Scott, Roosevelt
Benji Clements, DeMatha
Travis Isaac and Mark Wade, Parkdale