The DC Touchdown Club and WTOP are partnering all high school football season-long to honor a Player of the Week and help choose a DMV Game of the Week. Read about this week’s Player of the Week, and vote in the poll at the bottom of the article for the DMV Game of the Week.
WASHINGTON — Wande Owens has had plenty of success on the football field for Glenelg High. A senior and four-year starter, Owens is one of the most prolific running backs ever in the Washington area. This past weekend, Owens eclipsed the 5,000-yard rushing mark for his career and is closing in on the Howard County career rushing record.
But while Owens rushed for 233 yards and two touchdowns as Glenelg beat Long Reach, 49-19, to remain undefeated, it was another play that stood out from the Gladiators’ seventh consecutive victory.
For the first time in his high school career, Owens threw a pass. Of course it was successful, resulting in a 29-yard touchdown catch by Eric Gruber.
“We’ve been working on that the entire year. We work on it every day in practice,” Glenelg Coach Butch Schaeffer said. “We picked a time when we thought it was going to be there.”
Maybe now, Owens said, the threat of a pass “will keep defensive backs in check instead of immediately flying up” to stop the run.
Still, opponents know that when they play Glenelg to expect a steady dose of Owens getting the ball. It has been that way since his freshman year, when Schaeffer admitted he harbored some concerns about giving the ball too much to a 5-foot-5, 135-pound running back.
“I was definitely a little hesitant,” Schaeffer said. “But he had such vision; and he’s one of those guys that just doesn’t take the big hit, he’s so elusive.”
It is safe to say that these days, Schaeffer has no such worries. Owens has grown to 6 feet and 185 pounds and he has cemented his place among the Washington area’s most prolific running backs ever. He has 5,002 career rushing yards, within sight of Raphael Wall’s Howard County record of 5,095 set from 1987 to 1990.
“I don’t think I (specialize) in one style of running,” Owens said. “I can run between the tackles. I can run inside. I can lower my shoulder and take hits. I can make moves. I wouldn’t describe myself as any one style of back.”
Others considered for Player of the Week honors were:
Broadneck QB Joshua Ehrlich completed 16 of 21 passes for 303 yards and six touchdowns as the Bruins improved to 7-0 by beating South River, 48-30.
H.D. Woodson WR Andre Winestock returned the opening kickoff 50 yards for a touchdown, setting the tone as the Warriors beat Wilson, 19-0, in a game that determined first place in the DCIAA Stars Division.
Tuscarora RB Aris Hilliard rushed 21 times for 218 yards and three touchdowns as the Titans beat Walkersville, 49-29.
Woodgrove QB Graham Walker completed 11 of 14 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns as the Wolverines beat Dominion, 42-0.
Wootton WR Aaron Strauss caught seven passes for 117 yards and one touchdown as the Patriots beat Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 45-19.
Falls Church RB Dakwandre Marshall had his fourth consecutive 300-yard game, rushing 24 times for 306 yards and seven touchdowns in a 49-14 win over Edison.
Gwynn Park’s Nathan Issac had two returns for touchdowns as the Yellow Jackets beat Northwestern, 36-0.
Battlefield RB Savion Phinizy rushed for two touchdowns, returned a kickoff 75 yards for another score and intercepted a pass as the Bobcats beat Osbourn Park, 61-12.
Georgetown Prep RB Jalen Hampton had his fourth 100-yard outing in five games, carrying 14 times for 147 yards and three touchdowns as the Little Hoyas beat St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, 48-7.
North Point WR-DB Malik Lawrence intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, as the Eagles beat St. Charles, 41-14, in a meeting of the last two undefeated teams in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference.
DeMatha RB Marshawn Lloyd rushed 26 times for 154 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winning 25-yarder in the third overtime as the Stags beat Gonzaga, 27-21.
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