Hubbard's slick moves lift Sherwood over Gaithersburg, 17-14

Undefeated Sherwood narrowly takes down Gaithersburg, 17-14.
By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 2, 2010; 12:08 AM

As 13th-ranked Sherwood broke the offensive huddle in the fourth quarter against Gaithersburg on Friday night, running back Dylan Hubbard told quarterback A.J. Pignone if he was not open in the flat for a short pass, do not throw the ball. Hubbard, who has asthma, could hardly catch his breath. He did not mind if he did not get the ball on this play.

But as Pignone rolled to his right, Hubbard was slightly open. He twisted awkwardly to catch the ball, maneuvered to the right around one defender, then zigged and zagged between two more would-be tacklers. Finally, Hubbard outraced another defender and leaped across the goal line for a game-winning 31-yard touchdown as the visiting Warriors escaped with a 17-14 victory in a meeting of undefeated Montgomery 4A teams.

"I don't know what happened there, to be honest, other than a player making a play," Sherwood Coach Marc Thomas said.

It was a thrilling finish to a game Gaithersburg (4-1) seemed to control but was ultimately undone by a series of mistakes.

Sherwood (5-0) stayed close as Mike Begley returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and Danny Hunt blocked a field goal attempt midway through the fourth quarter. Then an unnecessary pass interference penalty on third and 21 allowed the Warriors to keep alive their winning drive.

Two plays later, on second-and-10, Hubbard took the short pass from Pignone and turned it into the biggest play so far this season for Sherwood.

As he jogged back to the sideline, Hubbard could barely speak. As teammates came over to congratulate him, he took a knee and signaled for someone to retrieve his inhaler.

"On nights like this, when it's real humid or if I'm playing indoors . . . I get dizzy or lightheaded," Hubbard said. "I can't exhale or inhale and feel my lungs closing up."

Gaithersburg's defense was in charge most of the night. Sherwood's other points came on a safety when the Trojans punter fielded a low snap with his knee down in the end zone. But Gaithersburg took a 14-9 lead on a two-yard touchdown pass from Zack Fetters to Simba Gwashavamhu just before halftime.

"We came together for a nice drive at the end," Thomas said. Saturday's "film session is going to be very interesting. As the saying goes, the sign of a good team is if you can play bad and still pull out a victory. That's what happened here. We stole one."

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