Another week, another dominant performance from Upper Marlboro, MD’s Henry A. Wise Pumas. The Pumas ran their win streak up to 11 games and captured their third straight Prince George’s County 4A South Region title on Saturday with a 30-13 win over Greenbelt, MD’s Eleanor Roosevelt Raiders at Wise Stadium. The Pumas played stout defense, shortened their mistakes and pounded the ball all afternoon right at the heart of their opponents, sticking to the championship plan the team architected before the start of the season.

“The team set a goal to win a championship at the beginning of the year they’ve been working towards that goal,”
Stephen Riley’s post-game interview with Pumas head coach DaLawn Parrish.
Pumas head coach DaLawn Parrish said. “Their practice level is very committed, they pay attention to detail they just work hard. If you could see our practices and young men on the sideline not talking, just being attentive and focused on what we’re trying to do, it’s just an outstanding thing to see.”

It didn’t start off so outstanding for the Pumas (11-1) however, Roosevelt quarterback Sean Petty directed an 86-yard drive on the Raiders’ opening series and capped it off with a 19-yard jump ball to Nigel Christian to give Roosevelt (9-3) an early 7-0 lead. The Pumas responded however, scoring on the ensuing series after DeAndre Smith found Tre Smith for a 38-yard strike to cut the lead to 7-6. The Raiders then turned the ball over on their next two series as Petty was intercepted by Ryan Smith to close the first half and Donte Williams fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half to set Wise up with a short field.

Pumas star running back Uriah Bethea then broke off a 29-yard touchdown run to give Wise a 14-7 lead and the team never looked back as it dominated the second half. The defense controlled the final two quarters, registering three sacks, allowing only five first downs and keeping Roosevelt out of the endzone until the last play of the game, with the contest already out of reach. With their defense locking things down, Wise ran in their next three scores and converted on each two-point conversion to give them their biggest lead at 30-7 with 2:41 left in the game. Petty then fell forward for a one-yard score as time ran out to give Roosevelt its last score of the season.

“They’re a good team and I wish them well next week,” Raiders coach Tom Green said. “We didn’t execute well, we moved the ball well the whole first half, we just didn’t score. Wise played a better game and they won.”

Wise will return home next Saturday as it hosts the Class 4A state semifinals against Broadneck. The winner will advance to play the winner of the Urbana/Gaithersburg game in the state championship at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium on Dec. 3.

Game Notes: Since their 21-14 opening season loss to Suitland, Wise has won 11 consecutive games and has outscored its opponents 310-44 since the first week of October.


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO