It wasn’t pretty for most of the game, but McDonough squeezed out just enough offense to stay undefeated with a 19-7 win at home over Westlake (1-2) in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference matchup.
In a game that featured five first-half turnovers, the Rams (3-0) were opportunistic in their scoring Friday night, scoring one touchdown on a 20-yard interception return by junior Alonte Dunn and two more on short drives following Westlake turnovers.
Westlake started the game with a bang when senior Bruce Tyler returned the game’s opening kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown. McDonough responded quickly, recovering a Westlake fumble and scoring on the next play on a 39-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Devone Boone to senior James Harrell that began a stretch of 19 unanswered points for the Rams.
McDonough’s second touchdown came just over four minutes later on an 11-yard pass from Boone to senior Christopher Monroe that put the Rams up 13-7 just two plays after the Rams’ defense recovered a Westlake fumble at the McDonough 12 yard line. Dunn’s interception return late in the first half finished the scoring for both teams for the night.
“We didn’t want to be passive,” McDonough Coach Luke Ethington said. “We wanted to maintain an aggressive mind-set. Our defense got a couple of takeaways and with that, we try to capitalize.”
Despite throwing for a pair of touchdowns, Boone finished the game with a modest 4 completions on 11 attempts for 69 yards. Monroe was the leading rusher for the Rams with 58 yards, while junior Bobby Harris rushed for 46 yards, 34 of which came on back-to-back plays during McDonough’s clock-eating final drive in the fourth quarter.
Westlake quarterback Antwaine Carter struggled to find his receivers with regularity against the McDonough defense despite throwing for much of the second half. The senior completed passes on just 6 of his 24 attempts Friday but did run for 94 yards on 10 carries.
McDonough threw the ball just once in the second half and successfully ran precious minutes off the clock running the ball behind an offensive line anchored by senior Na’Ty Rodgers. Led by Rodgers, the Rams moved the ball from their own 3-yard line to the Westlake 35 entirely on the ground before punting to pin the Wolverines deep in their own territory for their final drive of the game.
“It’s a good thing. They know we’re running. We know we’re running. It’s just man on man. It’s probably the best thing, you know?” said Rodgers, who was being watched by an assistant coach from Oklahoma during the game. “During the middle of the game, the beginning of the game, it’s iffy. You know, you don’t know what they’re doing, they don’t know what you’re doing. But when it’s just man on man, it’s just drive blocking, it’s probably the easiest and best thing for an offensive lineman.”