Rockville halts losing streak in dramatic fashion; Quince Orchard rolls on despite injury to Tyrell Williams
By Roman Stubbs and Eric Detweiler,
Rockville snapped a 12-game losing streak with Friday’s 34-26 victory over Northwood on sophomore Spencer Brigman’s one-yard quarterback sneak with four seconds left in regulation. The officials called the game after junior Diante Peddie’s ensuing two-point conversion run when a skirmish broke out between the players on the field.
The Rams (1-1, 1-1 Montgomery 3A) made the Maryland 2A playoffs in both 2009 and 2011 but struggled mightily last season after making the jump to 3A. They ended up winless, weighed down by a tougher schedule and a slew of injuries.
The team, which lost last week’s season-opener to Paint Branch, 41-18, got back in the win column this week, scoring the final two touchdowns to finish off the comeback. After senior Cesar Cubias tied the game at 26 early in the fourth quarter with a one-yard touchdown run, Brigman orchestrated the game-winning 80-yard drive in the final minutes to beat Northwood (0-2, 0-1).
The big play was a 49-yard completion to senior Rajesh Sharma, which moved Rockville to the Northwood 2-yard line with 33 seconds left. Brigman kept it himself on the next two plays, finally plunging in for the winning score on the second.
Junior fullback Tyler Reed carried the Rockville offense early on with 164 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
Coach Seth Kenton, who took over the team this season after three years as defensive coordinator, said his squad has become more competitive this season thanks to an improved offseason conditioning program. The first-year coach said he’s seen progress even though five players who had figured to play significant roles for the Rams transferred before the season.
“There’s a lot of work to be done and one win isn’t really going to change that much,” Kenton said. “If we can start stringing them together, then we’ll talk.” ...
Wootton continued its strong start with a 21-9 win over Kennedy. The Patriots (2-0, 2-0 Montgomery 4A South) scored twice on touchdown passes from sophomore Sam Ellis to freshman Trevon Diggs. The young squad will face its toughest test of the season when it hosts No. 17 Damascus (2-0) in a Montgomery nonleague contest on Friday.
Quince Orchard’s standout running back and starting linebacker Tyrell Williams is still nursing an ankle injury and is expected to be out for another two to three weeks. Not that it slowed down the fourth-ranked Cougars on Friday night in a 55-0 win over Blair. Quince Orchard scored 41 points the first two quarters, highlighted by Kyle Gregory’s 90-yard kick return for a touchdown and two Keano Wilder touchdown runs. Manuel Brown finished with 83 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns, while linebacker Marcus Newby paced the defense with six tackles, including one for loss. . . .
A week after losing to Quince Orchard 28-12 in the season opener, Sherwood vented in a 35-0 win over Blake. Moses Vines rushed for 106 yards and three touchdowns. . .
Alongside Quince Orchard and Sherwood, Paint Branch also pitched a dominant shutout in a 42-0 win over Magruder. Just as he did a week ago when he scored an offensive and defensive touchdown on the game’s first two possessions against Rockville, Thomas Lucas scored on a 35-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter to set the tone for the Panthers. Paint Branch scored 35 points in the second quarter. . . .
Springbrook (2-0) was able to contain star running back Solomon Vault for long stretches in their 20-7 win over Gaithersburg on Friday. Terence Caudle rushed for 153 yards on 29 carries, and scored all three of Springbrook’s touchdowns. Vault scored Gaithersburg’s only touchdown, and rushed just 11 times for 61 yards. “Solomon’s our ace,” said Gaithersburg head coach Kreg Kephart. “We need to get him the ball.” . . .
After being blown out 41-6 by Damascus last week, Clarksburg took strides in a 13-12 overtime loss to Walter Johnson on Friday night. Naim Reid continued to show why he’s one of the league’s best running backs, rushing for 124 yards on 23 carries and scoring both of Clarksburg’s touchdowns. Both extra points failed, however, and Walter Johnson’s Diego Salines bailed his club out with a pair of field goals and the game-winning PAT in overtime.