Quince Orchard’s offense has developed into a juggernaut the last four weeks, as the 10th-ranked Cougars (8-1) have outscored opponents by a combined 178-16 in four straight wins, including last Saturday’s 48-13 romp of Gaithersburg. Dave Mencarini’s team has scored at least forty points a game during that stretch — and the catalyst has been Matt Choi. The senior quarterback was still a wide receiver when starter Mike Murtaugh went down back in September, but eight weeks later, he is the undisputed leader of one of Montgomery County’s most explosive offenses. On Saturday against Gaithersburg, he threw for 175 yards, rushed for another 140, and scored six touchdowns (four passing, two rushing) — and can fully say he now has a command of the offense with the playoffs two weeks away. He predicted that over the next month, teams will continue to load the box to try and stop the Cougar’s running game — and will dare Choi to beat them over the top. He admits that would’ve made him queasy a month ago, when he was labeled as an “athlete,” and not necessarily a quarterback.
“Without a doubt, I love running the ball,” said Choi, whose team will close the regular season this Friday against Magruder (1-8). “But if teams want to put eight in the box and make us throw, and put cover one against our athletes outside? We’ll take that every play. I’ll take our athletes over any athletes that we play.”
Douglass’s Williams finds place in backfield
Douglass senior Devonte Williams did not play organized football last fall, so Coach J.C. Pinkney figured starting the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder off at wide receiver would help him ease back into the game.
That strategy stayed in place until Pinkney decided the running game could use an extra bump down the stretch. Since Williams moved to fullback two weeks ago, he’s been one of the county’s most productive ball carriers.
Douglass raced past Surrattsville, 44-6, on Saturday, rushing for 320 yards as a team on the way to its sixth straight victory. Sophomore tailback Aaron Johnson provided the scoring punch with three touchdowns on just six carries, but it was Williams who led the Eagles (8-1) with 93 yards on seven attempts.
Williams focused on running track last year, and Pinkney likes the fullback in his triple-option attack to have the breakaway speed to create explosive plays, which he had in 2011 during the team’s run to the Maryland 2A final with then-seniors Emmanuel Smith and Josef Hinnant.
Williams had played the position on junior varsity his first two years in the program, and Pinkney moved him back during practice Oct. 15.
Williams saw his first backfield action of the season in the team’s 60-0 win over Central on Oct. 20 and took his first carry 55 yards for a touchdown. He finished with 79 yards on four attempts. In the two games, he’s averaged more than 15 yards per rush for the Eagles, who rank third in the Maryland 2A South standings heading into Saturday’s regular season finale against Friendly (6-3).
“I’m kinda kicking myself,” Pinkney said. “Now I’m feeling like I probably should have moved him there a little earlier.”. . .
No. 17 Gwynn Park showcased an even more prolific ground attack, rushing for 399 yards and seven touchdowns in a 48-0 win over Forestville. Senior Joseph Hayman had 108 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Junior Eddie Gross also eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the second straight week.