Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part Q&A about the Henry A. Wise-Quince Orchard state championship game. Click here to view Part I.
Upper Marlboro’s Henry A. Wise High School will meet Gaithersburg’s Quince Orchard High School in football in Friday night’s Maryland 4A Division state championship game.
Wise returns to the title game for the third time in four seasons, while Quince Orchard hopes to avenge last season’s loss in the state title game, 36-35 to Old Mill.
Wise head coach DaLawn Parrish took some time to share his thoughts with Upper Marlboro Patch on Friday’s game.
UM Patch: Who are some notable players from your team to keep an eye on in the state title game, both players you view as vital to your team's success and others who may be continuing their football career at the collegiate level?
Parrish: Offensive tackle Antonio Harris and offensive tackle Jai Franklin both should have their hands full dealing with the QO defensive ends that will play on the next level. I also believe my center Silas Smith must step up to contain QO's big defensive tackles. It should make for great football to see QO's linebackers play along with our linebackers. We have five players that carry [NCAA] Division I or I-AA offers (Antonio Harris, Jai Franklin, Frank Porter, D'Angleo Niler, and Marcus Allen) and so do they.
UM Patch: Quince Orchard's defense has been stout throughout the year, often picking up for the offense after losing starting quarterback Mikey Murtaugh for the season. What do you see as the strength of QO's defense and how do you plan to attack it?
Parrish: I believe QO is very physical and fast and that we have to be able to mix the run and pass this game to keep them off balance. Throughout the season we were able to dominate up front and wear people down. I do not believe we can win that way this game. We are facing us defensively and must adjust accordingly. I love QO's front seven and their defensive backs are very physical and athletic.
UM Patch: Fill in the blank. In order to beat Quince Orchard, my team must: ________________
Parrish: In order to beat QO must team must not turn over the ball and win the first down battle.