Gwynn Park junior Jay Adams misfired on five of his first six passes in Saturday’s football game against rival Douglass , unleashing several throws so errant early on that a Yellow Jacket assistant angrily asked the quarterback why he seemed intent on aiming all his deep balls out of bounds.
Adams eventually found his rhythm, answering any questions about the Gwynn Park offense in a 39-16 win in Brandywine. The quarterback bounced back from the slow start to finish 9 of 17 passing for 154 yards with two touchdowns and no turnovers as the Yellow Jackets rolled past last season’s Maryland 2A runner-up.
“If you look back on the history of Gwynn Park, we’re known for smash-mouth football,” said Adams, who is in his second season as the team’s starter. “It’s pretty good to know that teams are going to play you that way. . . . When you can get the passing game in sync with the run game, you can win the chess game.”
Although Gwynn Park’s offense sputtered early, Douglass (2-1, 1-1 Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A) found ways to aid the effort.
The Eagles fumbled twice in the first half, including once inside their own 5-yard line. Linebacker Nate Barnes recovered both, and the Yellow Jackets (2-1, 2-1) took advantage of the field position with short rushing touchdowns.
Gwynn Park, which scored just six points last week in a surprising loss to Friendly, built the lead in the second half with a balanced offensive attack. Adams completed all three of his passes on the 11-play drive to start the third quarter, including a 10-yard touchdown to Marc Bronson.
After a Douglass punt, Adams moved the Yellow Jackets downfield again. Gwynn Park took a 27-0 lead when the quarterback converted on fourth and 15 by hitting Omar Branch for an 18-yard touchdown pass with less than two minutes left in the third quarter.
Adams “competes every single day,” Gwynn Park Coach Danny Hayes said. “He gets down on himself in practice when he doesn’t do well and comes right back. That’s what’s going to make him great.”
Even though Gwynn Park largely shut down Tennessee-bound wide receiver Paul Harris (five catches, 21 yards), Douglass climbed back within 27-16 on a pair of touchdown passes by freshman Devin Butler. The Eagles had a chance to get closer with about five minutes left but went four and out to turn the ball over on downs and end any hope of a comeback.
“We started off slow, and then it kind of snowballed and went from there,” Douglass Coach J.C. Pinkney said. “I can’t call it, man. It’s just one of those days. Gwynn Park was the better team today.”