Forgive T.C. Williams coach Dennis Randolph if he’s a bit dizzy from the roller coaster of a season he just completed following his team’s 34-22 loss to West Potomac Halloween night that closed out a 3-7 2008 campaign.
Randolph and the Titans began the year with high hopes thanks to a new, innovative offensive scheme and several returning senior skill position players only to watch it fizzle away amidst four-straight home losses to begin the season.
Then, with the season at its bleakest moment, T.C. Williams pulled the proverbial rabbit out of its hat winning three of its next four, culminating in a 18-16 win over playoff-bound West Springfield, one of the biggest upsets in the Northern Region so far this season.
But right when Randolph thought he had his team figured out, the Titans fizzled in their final two games, struggling to maintain any sort of offensive rhythm.
“That’s one of the mysteries we’ve had all year,” said Randolph. “We show up one night, don’t show up at all the next. The kids put in a lot of effort, but we really couldn’t find our identity.”
All that said, the Titans also dropped their fair share of heart breakers. In its opening game of the year, T.C. Williams came from behind against Mount Vernon, a team that went 8-2 this season and is the No. 3 seed in the Division Five playoffs beginning next week, only to watch the effort go to waste following a Majors touchdown on the first possession of overtime.
In its homecoming game against South County, a Division Six playoff team, the game was tied 14-14 when T.C. Williams fumbled on the final play of regulation and a defender returned it for a touchdown and an unlikely victory.
Five of the Titans seven losses this year came to teams that qualified for the 2008 playoffs.
“One of our (losses) we didn’t show up, but the other teams we lost to were good football teams,” said Randolph. “When you play good football teams, you got to play well up front, and play consistent.”
The spread offense Randolph adopted coming into this season was only effective in bits and pieces, something the coach attributes to the Titans’ lack of protection. But Randolph said several of his best linemen are just underclassmen with plenty of desire to improve.
The line did do a good job of clearing lanes for running back Abu Kamara. In his first season on the varsity squad, the senior led the Titans in rushing despite missing three games due to a shoulder injury. He capped his career off with an 83-yard showing against West Potomac last Friday.
Senior quarterback Zach Goehler and versatile two-way player Dominique Copeland also had solid seasons. Copeland provided a highlight reel performance against Hayfield on Oct. 10, scoring touchdowns on three of his five rushes while racking up 128 yards.
The 38 points T.C. Williams put up in that game was the peak for a team that experienced its fair share of valleys.
“You want to try and feel good about the improvements we made, but the bottom line is winning is more fun than losing,” said Randolph when asked to sum up the year.