Team­mates dis­cover elu­sive chem­istry on field to pro­pel No. 17 Tigers to crit­i­cal win

The Washington Post Sunday - - WASHINGTONPOST.COM/SPORTS - BY MARK GIAN­NOTTO mark.gian­notto@wash­post.com

DU­VAL 27, SUIT­LAND 21

Du­Val se­nior Demarco Seay had an un­de­ni­able con­nec­tion with in­jured All-Met quar­ter­back An­toine Brooks. The two formed a dy­namic duo for the Tigers’ of­fense on the field and were cousins off it. Seay’s bond with se­nior quar­ter­back Ken­dall Dew-Gre­gory, on the other hand, had al­ways been more of a “love­hate re­la­tion­ship,” ac­cord­ing to Dew-Gre­gory.

“We’re two grown boys,” Dew-Gre­gory ex­plained, “but at the end of the day, we know it’s about a cham­pi­onship.”

The truce forged be­tween th­ese stub­born team­mates paid off Satur­day af­ter­noon, when No. 17 Du­Val picked up a cru­cial 27-21 win over Suit­land in Dis­trict Heights.

Seay had an in­ter­cep­tion as a cor­ner­back and caught a 45-yard touch­down pass from Dew-Greg- ory on con­sec­u­tive plays in the first quar­ter. He then hauled in a clutch third-down re­cep­tion on a me­thod­i­cal 14-play, 80-yard drive to start the sec­ond half, set­ting up Dew-Gre­gory for a one-yard touch­down run that held up as the game-win­ning score.

Brooks “was the big fac­tor, and I was the one that helped. But now he’s gone, and I’ve got to do both,” Seay said. “I’ve been telling my­self just to do it for him.”

Du­Val (7-1, 6-1 Prince Ge­orge’s 4A) has won two straight games play­ing a style dif­fer­ent than the one it used be­fore Brooks suf­fered a com­pound frac­ture of his an­kle and a bro­ken wrist in a 42-7 loss to No. 7 Wise on Oct. 12. Dew-Gre­gory is throw­ing more — he com­pleted 13 of his 17 passes for 160 yards and two touch­downs Satur­day — and se­nior Corey Wil­liams and sopho­more David Dupree are split­ting car­ries.

But Suit­land (6-2, 5-2), one of the county’s five teams jock­ey­ing for four play­off spots, came out fir­ing. On the first play from scrim­mage, af­ter a long kick­off re­turn by Rams se­nior Manasseh Bai­ley, tail­back Ra­keem Dar­den scored on a 30-yard touch­down run.

Du­Val an­swered with 21 straight points be­fore Suit­land wide re­ceiver Tevin Sin­gle­ton out­ran the en­tire sec­ondary on a 63-yard touch­down catch. He added a 45-yard touch­down re­cep­tion to keep the Rams within strik­ing dis­tance.

The Tigers, though, kept get­ting con­tri­bu­tions from across the ros­ter, even af­ter two-way line­man Ar­mando Al­varado left with a knee in­jury. Line­backer Dante Vaughn had a fourthquar­ter in­ter­cep­tion. Ju­nior Daniel Brooks re­cov­ered a muffed punt when Suit­land had a chance to take the lead late. Se­nior Devin Rivers then closed the game with a sack.

“Every­thing was so around An­toine,” Coach Dameon Pow­ell said, fight­ing back tears. “But th­ese guys are show­ing that they can make the plays.”

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