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Watkins Mill turns to Quinton Littlejohn at tailback; Northwood gets a bye

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Senior Quinton Littlejohn lost his position as Watkins Mill’s starting tailback earlier this season to junior Quinton Schaired. The Stony Brook commit has spent the past few weeks in a do-everything wide receiver role, moving freely around the Wolverines offensive formation.

But with Schaired slowed by a twisted ankle on a rainy Thursday night in Gaithersburg, Littlejohn once again became the team’s featured rusher against Wootton. Down the stretch, the Wolverines lined Littlejohn up behind two fullbacks and handed him the ball on almost every play, including the go-ahead two-point conversion try, in a 15-14 victory.

“It was just his turn again, I guess,” Coach Kevin Watson said.

A track sprinter who excels in open space, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Littlejohn picked up 91 yards and both Watkins Mill scores on 16 carries, running almost exclusively between the tackles.

After Littlejohn scored the game’s last touchdown on a three-yard run with fewer than four minutes remaining, the Wolverines lined up to try for the game-tying extra point. Instead, Watson called timeout and brought the team together. The coach wasn’t sure if senior quarterback Patrick Schlosser would be able to pass in overtime after injuring his throwing shoulder on the touchdown drive.

Watkins Mill (6-2) put its offense back on the field and ran the same play again to pick up the two-point conversion with Littlejohn following fullbacks Isiah Tindale and Prodige Kikwata across the goal line off the right side. Wootton (4-4) moved into Watkins Mill territory on its final drive, but senior Dontay Hears — the team’s other Stony Brook commit — ended the game with a tackle on the final play as the Patriots tried to lateral their way to the end zone.

“We like to make that cut and go, and we just couldn’t do it” with the slick field conditions, Watson said. “We had to go downhill. When you get out in that type of weather, you can’t dance around. You have to run forward.”

With the win, Watkins Mill stayed in the hunt for a Maryland 3A West playoff berth. Seven teams in the region have at least five wins, but the Wolverines would have a good chance to take a top-four spot if they beat Magruder (1-6) and Seneca Valley (8-0) to close the season.

Wootton entered the week holding the fourth spot in the Maryland 4A West standings, but the Patriots should fall behind Bethesda-Chevy Chase, which beat Rockville to get to 5-3 on Friday, in the updated version. . . .

Northwood (1-6) ended up with a rare midseason bye this week as a result of a scheduling mix-up. The Gladiators had an open date to fill on their schedule with an out-of-county opponent during this two-year scheduling period and had signed a two-year contract to play John Carroll, a Bel Air private school, according to Coach Dennis Harris.

The teams played last fall, but John Carroll, which plays in the MIAA-B, did not have the date open this year when its league schedule came out. Harris said he and Athletic Director Marco Fuggitti didn’t find out about the mix up until late August, and the Silver Spring school could not find a new opponent in the week it had to finalize the schedule.

Harris said John Carroll had agreed to forfeit the game to Northwood, but William “Duke” Beattie, the county’s system-wide athletic director, said it will stand as a no-contest. Teams in Maryland are not penalized in the playoff standings for not playing a full 10-game schedule as the rankings are determined by dividing total points accumulated by the number of games played. The Gladiators entered the week 11th in the 13-team Maryland 3A West region.

Harris said the team practiced four days last week and began watching film on Einstein, its opponent this week. John Carroll’s scheduled home league game against Boys Latin was postponed on Friday and was to be played Monday night.

“We tried to get back to the basics of football,” Harris said. “We’ve been right in a couple games but just come up a touchdown short right at the end. We wanted to work on some things that will hopefully get us better prepared for the last two games.” . . .

Wheaton knocked off Poolesville, 33-20, on Thursday in a matchup of the county’s lone Maryland 2A teams. Senior Travon Barber had a receiving touchdown and a kick return score to lift the Knights (4-4) past the Falcons (5-3) and into contention for its first playoff berth since 1996. Wheaton had one victory as of the beginning of the month, but the Knights were awarded a forfeit win because Northwestern used an ineligible player in the season opener. The team has now won two straight games and closes the season against Kennedy (1-7) and Lackey (1-7).

Around Montgomery County

Quince Orchard manhandled Clarksburg Friday night, and in winning 42-0, have now outscored opponents 130-3 in the last three weeks. Marcus Newby led the Cougars (7-1) with nine tackles and a forced fumble, and Tyrell Williams continued to look solid in his third game back from an ankle injury. Williams ran for 94 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries, and caught a 65-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to set the tone against Clarksburg (2-6). . . .

Sherwood won its third consecutive contest Friday with a 35-0 rout of Paint Branch( 2-5). Moses Vines ran for 100 yards and two touchdown for the Warriors, marking the sixth multi-touchdown game of his season. Sherwood will travel to Germantown next Friday to meet Northwest, which beat Einstein 42-14 last week . . .

Seneca Valley handed Gaithersburg its fourth consecutive loss Friday night, 42-7, but running back Solomon Vault continued his terrific 2012 campaign. The junior ran for 120 yards and a touchdown, giving him his second consecutive season with over 1,000 yards rushing (1,087), and extending his touchdown total to 16 on the year. Gaithersburg will host Quince Orchard next weekend.

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