Tom Verbanic has had no trouble transitioning his success on public school football fields to the private sector. In his first year as the head coach of Flint Hill, and second as a member of the staff, Verbanic wrapped up the Huskies' first MAC title since 2009 with a 45-27 win over Potomac School on Saturday.
It was the third straight year the teams met in the regular season finale to determine the MAC championship, with the last two going to the Panthers.
Connor Chess rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns, and Stevie Peterson passed for two more scores, and Flint Hill took advantage of seven Panther turnovers to eventually pull away after halftime.
The Huskies led 21-19 midway through the third quarter. Peterson found Cole Herdman for a 13-yard touchdown pass, and after immediately recovering a Panther fumble on the ensuing drive, the senior connected with Ben Kase, who made an impressive one-handed catch and scored from 11 yards out.
The Potomac School was never able to get closer than 11 points after that. Peterson, who doubles as the kicker, added a 36-yard field goal to give Flint Hill a 38-19 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Panthers briefly appeared to build momentum when Jalen Broom rushed for four of his 188 yards on the day and found the end zone to make the score 38-27. They then recovered an onside kick, but Flint Hill's Jonny Howard picked up an interception to shift the momentum to the Huskies.
Reed scored his second touchdown of the day on a 4-yard run to cap the scoring and eventually send the Huskies into a frenzy.
While Peterson had success through the air this season, throwing for more than 1,100 yards and 19 touchdowns, it was the running game that carried the Huskies on Saturday. Cameron Vaughn added 97 yards, and Reed's two touchdowns doubled his injury-ridden season output.
"I thought we were physical," Verbanic told the Washington Post. "We've been getting more physical every game. We came in knowing that we were going to run it, they knew we were going to run it, and we still got it done."
Chess scored on runs of 9 and 18 yards to stake Flint Hill to a 14-0 lead, and Reed's first touchdown, a 16-yarder, opened the second half scoring to push the lead to 21-13.
The Huskies will likely enter the VISAA playoffs as the 4-seed in the Division 1 tournament.