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ArlingtonCommentary: Running the ball is rediscovered

Commentary: Running the ball is rediscovered

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In the age of pass-happy modern-day football for teams at all levels, something rare happened during a high-school contest Nov. 6.

That afternoon, the host Potomac School Panthers of McLean did not attempt a single pass in their 40-7 victory over the Sidwell Friends Quakers in a Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference private-school showdown.

How often does that happen these days, when some high-school teams attempt 30 or 40 passes a game? Even 50 have been thrown in some.

It was nice to see a team be committed so much to the smash-mouth, physical style of running football as the Panthers were all season. Potomac School did not need to throw against Sidwell because the offense rolled up 237 yards on the ground, including 59 from quarterback Drew Turner on option plays or scrambles.


Potomac School controlled the game with its running attack, as it did in other contests this fall, finishing 5-4 overall and second in conference with a 3-1 mark.

Not throwing a single pass in a game certainly is unusual. The Panthers, though, are on to something.

Other high-school football teams the last two or three seasons have shelved the frequent passing in favor of old-school power running.

Two public-school squads doing just that are the Yorktown Patriots of Arlington and Madison Warhawks of Vienna. Yorktown averaged just 10 to 15  passes per game this fall en route to winning the Liberty District title and a 7-3 regular-season record.

Madison cut back on passing last season, and has continued the trend this fall, allowing runningback Alex Jreige and quarterback Connor Barry to supply the bulk of the offense with their legs. The Warhawks won a region crown doing that last season, and might do so again this fall.

Running still works in football. That’s good to see and rediscover.

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