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Dear DC Touchdown Club members and supporters,

As we wind our way through September, I’d like to take a moment for all of us to remember that many of our games stand for something more.

On Friday night at Prince George’s Sports and Learning Center, DeMatha will play La Salle of suburban Philadelphia in the Brothers Forever Classic, a game played in memory of a graduate of each school who became best friends at the U.S. Naval Academy before losing their lives in combat. DeMatha graduate Brendan Looney, was a Navy SEAL and died while serving in Afghanistan. La Salle graduate Travis Manion was a Marine and died while serving in Iraq. The two are buried next to each other in Arlington National Cemetery.

On Saturday, Gonzaga hosts Georgetown Prep in the Jesuit Gridiron Classic, benefiting the Washington Jesuit Academy. In the 12 years that the game has been held, more than $1.2 million has been raised for the Academy, which enrolls students in grades 5 through 8.

These are but two of the instances of high school football benefiting more than just one team or one school, but of communities coming together to support each other. Let’s keep that in mind as we watch our favorite teams play.

Yours in football,

Steve Beck

Week 2: DC Touchdown Club High School Player of the Week
Bishop Ireton Kicker David Cooper made field goals of 46, 49 and 51 yards, the longest one coming in the final minute and lifting Bishop Ireton to a 23-21 victory over O’Connell.
1980 Virginia High School Player of the Year
Mark Cox resides in Haymarket, Virginia, where he teaches physical education and drivers education and is the assistant activities director at Battlefield High School. 
This fall has been one of change for Cox. For the first
time in many years, he is not on the practice field during the week or on the sideline each Friday night. This past January, he resigned his position as the school’s  head football coach. Cox posted a record of 85-34 in 11 seasons at Battlefield, leading the Bobcats to eight consecutive playoff appearances and a Virginia AAA state championship in 2010.
 “This was my first weekend in 46 years without football” Cox said after the opening week of the season. “The weirdest part about not being involved was being at school on a Friday and not thinking about the game that night”.  
Cox was a quarterback at Annandale High School, where he completed 212 of 406 passes for 3,449 yards and 48 touchdowns. He also rushed  for 844 yards and 23 touchdowns. In 1978, he was one of the driving forces in Annandale’s Virginia AAA state title. Heavily recruited, Cox chose Virginia Tech because the Hokies allowed him to play baseball as well as football.
As a coach, Cox enjoyed making an impact on  the lives of young men.  One of the favorite traditions he created at Battlefield was the post-game hug. Win or lose, Mark would gather his players for a team hug. The hug was to remind every player that the relationship they built on the field was more important than the outcome of any game. 
Cox took pride in his program being homegrown. The vast majority of players on his varsity team had been together since middle school football.   He believed that continually playing in one system gave the team the best chance for success.
South Florida Sat., Noon ESPNU
East Carolina Sat., 3:30 p.m. CBSSN
at Purdue
Sat., 3:30 p.m. ESPN
William & Mary Sat., 3:30 p.m. ESPN3
St. Louis
Sun., 1 p.m. FOX/WTTG-5

Georgetown Prep (2-0) at Gonzaga (2-0), Saturday, 2: Both teams enter this year’s Jesuit Gridiron Classic with plenty of momentum. Led by RB Owen Wright, the Little Hoyas have outscored its opponents 72-0, while Gonzaga also has yet to be challenged.


Chesapeake (2-0) at Arundel (2-0), Friday, 6:30: The Cougars surprised Meade last week, but face a much tougher task this week; Arundel has won its first two games by an average of 37.5 points.

La Salle(2-0) vs. DeMatha (2-0) at Prince George’s Sports and Learning Center, Friday, 7: The Brothers Forever Classic honors DeMatha graduate Brendan Looney and La Salle graduate Travis Manion, who met as plebes at the U.S. Naval Academy and became best friends. Both Looney and Manion died in combat and are buried side-by-side at Arlington National Cemetery.

Wise (2-0) at Potomac, Md. (2-0), Saturday, 2: The Wise defense has sparkled thus far, allowing just one meaningless fourth quarter touchdown.


Broad Run (3-0) at Centreville (2-0), Friday, 7: This early-season showdown pits top public school teams from Fairfax and Loudoun counties. 

Lake Braddock (2-0) at Robinson (1-1), Friday, 7: The Bruins will try to continue their strong start in this neighborhood rivalry. Lake Braddock has outscored its first two opponents, 109-0.

Purdue Linebacker
Ja’Whaun Bentley 
Just a sophomore, the DC Touchdown Club’s 2014 Maryland High School Player of the Year was voted a team captain in the preseason and made five tackles in a 38-14 victory over Indiana State. He has a team-high 15 tackles this season as the Boilermakers prepare for Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech.
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