Westlake 42, Northern 6
With future Division I running backs Aaris Reed and Pha'Terrell Washington in Westlake's backfield, the Wolverines have enough firepower to strike fear into any opposing coach. But it was senior quarterback Mike Pegues's performance Friday night that had Westlake players and coaches marveling at the team's potential this season.
In his first varsity start, Pegues completed 7 of 9 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown. He also ran seven times for 18 yards and a touchdown as the 11th-ranked Wolverines defeated Northern, 42-6, at Westlake in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference game. Pegues showed that he is another offensive weapon on a team already full of them.
"I don't think anybody was threatened [by] me because they didn't know who I was," Pegues said. "I came out there and showed a little something, and I think they're going to think I'm a threat now."
Pegues, who stands 5 feet 10 and weighs 185 pounds, managed Westlake's offense almost to perfection. He proved that he is dangerous running the option and also possesses an accurate arm. He completed his first five passes and led the Wolverines (1-0) to the end zone on all five drives in which he participated.
"I think that Mike gives us a dimension that we haven't had in a couple years," Westlake Coach Dominic Zaccarelli said. "He's a threat to run, so he breaks contain [defense]. Do you come up and play him or do you stay back on the pass? On top of that, his play action was good, he got rid of the ball quick and I thought he made good decisions."
Said Pegues: "You've got to play the run and the pass. We've got the top running backs. If you play them up, I'm going to air it out on you. I showed that today. We're not just a one-dimensional team this year."
Reed did his part at tailback, too, carrying 11 times for 151 yards and a touchdown. His mix of power, speed and elusiveness led to four runs of more than 10 yards, including a 55-yard scamper on the game's first play. Pegues, Reed and the rest of Westlake's first string left the game after the first drive of the second half.
"We've got so many threats, I just don't understand what to do," Reed quipped. "The coaches get confused. They've got so many [plays] that they want to do, and we don't have time for it. If they could still run two-a-days, they'd do it just to add more stuff in."
Northern (0-1) trailed 21-6 late in the first half when starting running back A.J. Brown, who rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown, left the game with a shoulder injury he described as "a stinger." Brown sat out the rest of the game but maintained he will play in the next game, against Thomas Stone.
"I was trying to get the first down and I stretched my arm out and I landed on it," Brown said.
Westlake's defense allowed a touchdown on the Patriots' first drive but clamped down after that, forcing three turnovers and allowing Northern only 110 total yards of offense. The Wolverines also stopped Northern on a fourth-and-one and a fourth-and-three.
"All the things that we wanted to do tonight," Zaccarelli said, "we were successful with."