Montgomery County football: Rockville QB Chuck Reese has historic night

October 28, 2013

and Roman Stubbs

Rockville quarterback Chuck Reese will await confirmation from the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association to officially determine whether he set two state passing records Friday against Magruder.

In the wild 64-41 win, Reese threw for 480 yards and eight touchdowns, totals which Rockville Coach Seth Kenton said were confirmed after watching the game film. If confirmed by a third party, the yardage total would break the MPSSAA single-game record of 475, previously held by Arundel’s Billy Cosh from a 2008 game against Linganore.

The overall Maryland record is still held by former St. John’s Catholic Prep quarterback Keith Ricca, who threw for 515 yards in a 2003 game against Riverdale Baptist.

Reese’s eight touchdowns would be an overall Maryland record if confirmed.

Host B.J. Koubaroulis runs through the top plays from the weekend of football in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

Maryland high school quarterbacks have thrown for seven touchdowns seven times in the past decade, including Westminster’s Duke Etchison, who did so against Century earlier this season on Oct. 18.

To become official records, Reese’s stats will need to be confirmed on tape by Sheldon Shealer, a state records liason for the MPSSAA. Shealer has kept Maryland state football records since 1990.

Shealer said that if he can confirm the statistics, Reese’s numbers against Magruder will enter an updated MPSSAA record book that will be released just before the playoffs begin.

If the totals stand, Reese will have thrown for 2,465 yards and 33 touchdowns this season.

Reese did most of his damage against Magruder in the second half. The Colonels led 35-14 at halftime before the Rams offense exploded over the final two quarters.

“Everyone was still pretty calm [at the half],” Kenton said. “We all know that once the offense gets rolling, it usually stays rolling. It just took a little longer than expected.”

Sherwood rebounds after tough loss

Even after losing 42-7 to Quince Orchard on Oct. 18, even after Sherwood had lost control in the fourth quarter of that game, Warriors Coach Chris Grier looked his team in the face last week and made his message simple: making the playoffs would not depend on the outcome of that rivalry game, but on how the team would respond in the weeks after it. With a Montgomery 4A East showdown with division leader Paint Branch looming on Nov. 1, Sherwood still had to meet Blake, and a hangover would have been unacceptable.

“We have to keep progressing as a team,” Grier said. “The attitude [after the Quince Orchard loss] . . . probably the best it’s been all season. They see what’s on their plate. They see that they can, just about, control their own destiny.”

What Grier could accept was how his team performed Friday night against the Bengals, which marked a return to the consistent football that had put the Warriors in contention during the middle of October. Sherwood overcame an early deficit to beat Blake, 32-16, improving to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in Montgomery 4A East play. And with Paint Branch (7-1, 4-0) taking down Bethesda-Chevy Chase on Friday, the matchup this Friday will be a showdown for first place in the division with just one more game remaining.

“From Gaithersburg, Week 1, to where we were then, to where we are now,” Grier said, “we really have come a long way.”

Friday’s win over Blake was highlighted by Sherwood’s ability to control the pace up front. Ayris Hopkings (11 carries, 88 yards, two touchdowns) and Elijah Spottswood (14 carries, 80 yards) controlled Sherwood’s running attack, and Spottswood contributed in all phases of the game, as he has done all season. That included four catches for 91 yards and a 44-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter that gave Sherwood a cushion down the stretch. And Sherwood held Blake to just 174 total yards of offense, with corner Alec Perez contributing his seventh interception of the season.

“Shutting down the run as well as the pass,” Spottswood said of his defense. “I definitely have faith that we can make a great run in the playoffs.”

That run could hinge on whether Sherwood can beat Paint Branch on Friday and assume sole possession of first place in the Montgomery 4A East. There have been “growing pains” with the new staff adjusting to the kids this fall, Grier said, but a strong attitude has kept that in check — and methodical running and defensive play. After being thoroughly handled by the Trojans in the season opener, Sherwood went on a four-game winning streak, and is now looking to close the regular season with a three-game run — with an important and lesson-filled loss to Quince Orchard sandwiched in the middle.

“We feel that if we play hard and continue to improve,” Grier said, “we might have a chance at getting a home game [in the playoffs]. But that’s down the road a little bit.”

Damascus RB Funk has ‘monster’ game

Damascus defensive back Jalen Christian summed up teammate Jake Funk’s breakout performance in three words.

“Jake’s a monster,” Christian said.

Funk, a sophomore running back, played a big role in the Swarmin’ Hornets’ 16-14 win over Seneca Valley on Friday, carrying the ball 20 times for 124 yards, both single-game highs for him this year.

Throughout the season, Damascus has distributed the ballcarrying duties evenly. A lot of games have been blowouts, which has allowed plenty of Swarmin’ Hornets opportunities to get touches

Damascus’s game against Seneca Valley was close from start to finish. The Swarmin’ Hornets relied on Funk throughout to churn out yards and control the clock. He picked up three of Damascus’s 11 first downs.

Funk’s most important run came late in the first half. On first-and-10 at the Damascus 40, he bounced a run to the left and ran down the sideline for a 35-yard gain. That set up a trick play that went for a 25-yard passing touchdown from Deegar Fuller to Alec Magas, which wound up being the winning score.

Funk, whose previous season-high was 96 yards against Northwood, modestly deflected the attention after the win.

“First off, I’ve got to give thanks to the offensive line,” Funk said. “They played a heck of a game, providing the holes for me. [Also] Jalen, Ari [Cacopardo], all the backs. They’re a big reason why we win and why we gain so many yards rushing the ball.”

jason.butt@washpost.com

Roman Stubbs covers the University of Maryland athletics for The Washington Post.
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