The coaches screamed and the pads hit the tackle dummies, but those sounds were the only proof that the wise the linebackers were still in the corner of their Upper Marlboro training ground a quarter of an hour after sunset Wednesday. The # 12 Pumas’ black training jerseys were not designed for such subdued lighting.
“We have to do all we can, men! Called a voice disembodied by darkness. “If that means we stay 10 more minutes, we’ll stay 10 more minutes each time. ”
The rest of Wise’s squad had retreated to the locker room while there was still some light in the sky, but the linebackers stayed on, knowing full well that No.8 Eleanor Roosevelt will need every blow and all the grain the Pumas’ defense can throw. on them.
“I believe the key to the game will be our defense,” said the senior Anthony parker jr., the second best tackler of the Pumas. “If they can’t score points on the board, they can’t win. And our offense must oppose their defense and score points on the board. At the end of the day, it’s about who will want it the most. ”
Motivation won’t be an issue for either side in a fierce rivalry game played with Prince George County 4A supremacy on the line. The Pumas (4-1, 4-0 Prince George’s 4A) want to find their target, their place as a team everyone wants to beat in the county. This fall, that target resided at Greenbelt, where Roosevelt (5-0, 4-0) is the only undefeated team in the league since the first week of the season.
With one of the region’s largest and most talented offensive lines and the prolific Mofor brothers combining to add 1,055 yards in five games, Roosevelt bounced back with strength after a disappointing 2013.
Karl and Mike Mofor and that massive offensive line – bolstered by top rookie Isaiah Prince – crushed every newcomer to Prince George County, showing the ability to beat the clock on offense and wear down opposing team morale with stifling defense.
“We just have to be relentless,” said Pumas’ top tackle Emmanuel Akinlosotu noted. “Against them, we have to fly to the ball and conclude. “
Saturday will be the most telling test for Roosevelt so far, as Wise hasn’t given any opponents more than two scores so far this year and takes a similar approach. The game will test both teams ‘composure as much as their skills, as October 11 has been a date in both teams’ minds since the schedules were published: a chance for the Pumas to regain their place at the top. from Prince George’s 4A, and a long-awaited redemption chance for the Raiders after an 8-0 loss to Wise last season that has haunted them ever since.
“Emotions will be there, it’s definitely a game of rivalry,” Parker said. “Emotions could fly over there. It’s going to be a violent game of course. But it’s football.