Update Sept. 9, 12:45 pm..: Due to severe weather and flooding, tonight's football game has been postponed until Saturday, Sept. 10, at 3 p.m.
Original post: Quince Orchard coach Dave Mencarini knows that there isn't as much hype surrounding this week's football game against Montgomery Blair as there was in the season opener against Sherwood. Blair hasn't made the post-season since the new playoff system began in 1974, and the Blazers have only had three winning seasons in that span.
Still, Mencarini believes Friday's game will prove to be a bigger test than last week's game against Sherwood and he is looking to see how his players respond coming off such an emotional win in Week One.
"This game will tell us more about what kind of team we are than last week's game," Mencarini said. "There was a lot of emotion in opening up the season against Sherwood. But now, I'm interested to find out if these guys can maintain that."
Mencarini said that this year's team is already starting to draw comparisons to his nationally ranked team from 2007, which went undefeated en route to capturing the Maryland 4A state title. Quince Orchard is already garnering attention from many local media outlets and sports websites as being the team to beat in Montgomery County.
Mencarini said that this week's game against Blair will go a long way in seeing if those early comparisons are warranted.
"One thing about the 2007 team that I always appreciated was they went out every single night ready to compete no matter who we were playing," said Mencarini, who has guided the Cougars to the playoffs in each of the seven seasons he has been head coach.
"They wanted to be great every week. And this team, so far, is the same way. It doesn't matter who's on the schedule, our job is to get better every week and dominate every week. This game will be a test for us," he added.
One thing Mencarini will be looking to do this week is present a more balanced approach on the offensive side of the ball and he said they have focused much of their attention on that during practice. He admitted that Mark Green, who rushed for 129 yards off 26 carries in the opener, ran the ball too many times against Sherwood. He will be looking to mix it up more against Blair.
"I don't think ideally we want him to carry the ball that much because we have other runners and of course Billy [Plante] at quarterback," Mencarini said. "Mark can't carry it 30 times a night for 14 weeks. He just can't do it."
Mencarini said he will be looking for other running backs, such as junior Tyrell Williams, to supplement Green's carries. Additionally, he will be relying on Plante's athleticism at quarterback to make more plays going forward.
On the other side of the ball, Mencarini said that Blair's Wing-T offense will test the discipline of his defense. Mencarini added that he knows Blair will be looking to pull off the upset Friday and that his team needs to stay focused.
"It doesn't matter who we play," Mencarini said. "We're going to get everyone's best effort and our kids understand that."