Damascus High School defensive tackle Rashard Budd already has expectations — that nearly sound like advice — for Seneca Valley High School if the two football teams meet again this season.
“More double teams, running away from me,” Budd said. “They're a good team, so I expect more from them.”
Budd blocked the extra point after the second half's only touchdown, stifled Seneca Valley's next drive with consecutive tackles for loss and ended Seneca Valley's following and final drive with an interception in third-ranked Damascus' 14-13 win over visiting No. 2 Seneca Valley on Friday. The highly anticipated matchup of what were Montgomery County's only 8-0 teams provided plenty of drama, but thanks to Budd, Damascus held on.
“I felt like nobody could block me,” Budd said, “and I felt good.”
Damascus now feels good about its playoff positioning.
Damascus (9-0, 109 playoff points) would clinch the No. 1 seed in the 3A West Region next week by beating Northwood (1-7) or Seneca Valley losing to Watkins Mill (7-2).
Seneca Valley (9-1, 97.11 playoff points after this week) will clinch the No. 2 seed in the region and home field in the first round with a win over Watkins Mill (7-2) or any of the following scenarios: North Hagerstown beating South Hagerstown, Quince Orchard beating Magruder, Churchill beating Sherwood, Gaithersburg beating Wootton, Northwood beating Damascus , Rockville beating Poolesville, Reginald Lewis losing to Northwestern, Fort Hill losing to Allegany, Oakdale losing to Tuscarora or Williamsport losing to Clear Spring.
That's why Budd said Damascus would “most definitely” play Seneca Valley again.
“I sure hope not,” Damascus coach Eric Wallich said, “but you've got to think you probably will.”
Friday, the margin was razor thin.
Both teams scored two touchdowns — Damascus on Jalen Christian's 87-yard interception return and John Hanley's 17-yard catch from Chase Williams and Seneca Valley on Calvin Reighard's 11-yard pass to Nick Fahs and 67-yard pass to James Jones-Williams.
Damascus turned the ball over four times and Seneca Valley had three turnovers.
And neither team scored in the fourth quarter, when Budd — who has received interest from Virginia, Maryland, Penn State, North Carolina State, Boston College and Southeastern Conference teams — solidified what Wallich called a career game.
Wallich continued to list the accolades his team has in reach — an undefeated regular season, multiple playoff home games — before coming to what was most important, at least for a night.
“It's just special anytime you beat Seneca Valley,” Wallich said.
Seneca Valley coach Fred Kim hopes his team will have a chance to return the favor.
“It's not the end of the world,” Kim said. “We're still eight and one. It's not like we lost in the playoffs.”
Damascus 14, Seneca Valley 13
Seneca Valley (8-1) 7 0 6 0 — 13
Damascus (9-0) 7 7 0 0 — 14
SV — Nick Fahs 11 pass from Calvin Reighard (Nayan Patel kick)
D — Jalen Christian 87 interception return (Joseph Curry kick)
D — John Hanley 17 from Chase Williams (Joseph Curry kick)
SV — James Jones-Williams 67 pass from Calvin Reighard (kick failed)
Seneca Valley — James Jones-Williams 12-59; Kellen Staton 5-23; Calvin Reighard 7-8; Kevin Joppy 3-5.
Damascus — Trevor Patton 14-81; Caleb Baisden 8-34; John Hanley 8-34; George Vinson 2-6; Zach Bradshaw 2-0; Chase Williams 1-(-4); Jalen Christian 2-(-4).
Seneca Valley — Calvin Reighard 18-35-183-3.
Damascus — Chase Williams 8-16-55-2.
Seneca Valley — James Jones-Williams 5-71; Kairi Weaver 4-42; Kellen Staton 4-23; Nick Fahs 2-22; Kevin Joppy 2-18; Travis Arthur 1-7.
Damascus — Zach Bradshaw 3-19; John Hanley 1-17; Trevor Patton 1-11; Deondre Jolley 2-7; Jalen Christian 1-1.