Revenge, perfection in play for Seneca Valley, Damascus

WASHINGTON — When Damascus and Seneca Valley met three weeks ago as undefeated rivals, the game nearly won a very heated DMV Game of the Week poll. The Hornets (11-0) handed the Screamin’ Eagles (10-1) their only loss of the season that night in Germantown, leaning on Jake Funk and their defense to carry them to a 21-3 victory.

On Friday night, Seneca Valley can return the favor with the sweetest kind of revenge, a chance to not just ruin the Hornets’ perfect season on their home turf, but end it entirely. The winner will advance to the Maryland 3A state semifinals against the Potomac/Wheaton winner and put themselves in great position for a run at the state title.

Funk, a Maryland commit, will likely be the focal point for both teams. He carried the ball a whopping 40 times for 264 yards in the teams’ first meeting. He collected 272 yards on just 17 carries against Blair, including a quartet of touchdown runs, then a monstrous 313 yards on 36 carries last week against Oakdale. He’s gone over 100 yards in every game this year, but has averaged nearly 300 per contest the last three weeks.

If Seneca Valley can stop Funk, perhaps it can stop Damascus for the first time in the last five tries.

But the Screamin’ Eagles already have experience toppling a previously undefeated team. They did it last week, when they took down previously 10-0 Linganore, jumping out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and hanging on for the 30-27 victory. They did it on the road, too, something they will have to do again.

The defense led the way early last week, with an interception and a fumble recovery setting up short fields for Seneca Valley’s second and third scores. If they can swing the turnover battle in their favor, perhaps they can set up their offense to score enough to beat a Damascus squad that allowed more than 20 points for the first time all year last week.

The first meeting didn’t live up to the billing as Maryland’s game of the year. Regardless of the outcome, Friday night’s tilt is another chance for a legendary showdown between two Montgomery County rivals.

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