Quince Orchard’s 49-0 win over Bethesda-Chevy Chase Saturday pushed the Cougars shut-out streak to three, and the Cougars have now outscored opponents 157-0 during that stretch. There was one play Saturday that, in many ways, illustrated the offensive juggernaut Quince Orchard has become the past month, a 60-yard touchdown pass from Mike Murtaugh to Preston Bampoe-addo.
The Barons were playing a cover-three defense for much of the game, pushing much of its personnel to the line of scrimmage to try and stop running back Kevin Joppy (11 carries, 86 yards, two touchdowns) and Shawn Barlow (seven carries, 67 yards, one touchdown). Murtaugh waited for his opening to a big play, then delivered on a play call to Bampoe-Addo that broke the game open late in the second quarter.
“When you can run the ball, it just opens up a bunch of opportunities in the passing game,” Murtaugh said. “You get man-to-man matchups. You get opportunities on the outside that you wouldn’t necessarily get if you didn’t have a run threat.”
Quince Orchard has both right now, and Murtaugh has been deadly efficient the past six games; he’s thrown nearly 100 passes this season, and he’s completed 62 balls with just one interception. The last two weeks have been two of the most productive in Murtaugh’s high school career — he’s passed for over 230 yards each week with three touchdowns, pushing the season total to 12.
With just four regular season games remaining, Quince Orchard is starting to fall in position for another run at the Maryland 4A state championship, although those four games are anything but easy. First up Friday is rival Sherwood (5-1), which is playing as well as any team in the county with five straight wins. Following that matchup, the Cougars will meet undefeated Gaithersburg (6-0) on the road, and close the season with tests against Northwest (5-1) and a talented Wootton (3-3) squad.
“I think about it every day. Our days are running short,” Murtaugh said. “It’s crazy to think that I’ve already played six games of my senior season. I feel like I haven’t even played a game yet.”
Diggs already holds five scholarship offers as a sophomore, including two from local schools Maryland and Virginia. Nebraska, North Carolina and UNC Charlotte round out his list for the time being. But as Wootton Coach Tyree Spinner said, Diggs is receiving interest nationally, which is setting the young wideout with a busy offseason with recruiting.
“I think it’s about to get there,” Diggs said, when asked if he’s seeing an increase in recruiting interest.
Diggs has caught 45 passes for 485 yards and five touchdowns this season. A rainy game against a stingy Clarksburg defense slowed the up-tempo Wootton attack down in a 28-3 loss last Friday. Even so, the Patriots (3-3) still lead the Montgomery County 4A South with a region record of 3-1.
Diggs has been a focal point of Wootton’s offense for two seasons now, garnering the attention that comes with being a team’s top target. He’s put up these numbers despite seeing double teams each week.
“I was prepared, I was just working hard in practice and through the offseason,” he said.
Big week for Seneca Valley defensive end
Not only did Appouh receive an invitation to the Maryland Army National Guard Crab Bowl invite the same week Seneca Valley defeated Northwood, 51-0, but he also received his first collegiate offer from Toledo, the team announced.
Before offering, Toledo visited Appouh, who, along with Seneca Valley, also welcomed visits from Penn State and Old Dominion last week.
As for the Crab Bowl, Appouh won’t be the only Screaming Eagle representing the school. Teammate Austin Herbert also received an invitation to participate in the state of Maryland’s all-star football game, too.
Toledo also checks in on Einstein DE Rufino
Rufino, who’s being recruited to play outside linebacker at the next level, received an in-school visit from a Toledo representative, said Titans Coach Jermaine Howell.
Toledo was the first college to offer Rufino and has expressed strong interest throughout the recruiting process. Rufino has also received interest from East Carolina, Stony Brook and Nevada.
The Rockets have placed an emphasis on this region for recruiting. Nine players on their 2013 roster have come from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Rufino was scheduled to visit Stony Brook after Einstein’s Oct. 4 game against Paint Branch but had to cancel it. In a previous interview, Rufino indicated Stony Brook was close to offering.