Seneca Valley 31,

Gaithersburg 15

A new era in Seneca Valley football has barely encountered a hiccup as one the state's most storied programs continued its winning tradition by cruising to a 31-15 victory over Gaithersburg in a nonconference game last night in Germantown.

Under first-year head coach Fred Kim, and with senior Tyler Newberry, a transfer from Urbana, taking over at quarterback, the Screaming Eagles (2-0) moved the ball effectively on the ground and took advantage of Gaithersburg turnovers, leaving the Trojans to start the season at 0-2.

Kim, a former player and assistant coach at the school, became the program's third coach after Terry Changuris resigned last season. In 16 years, Changuris compiled a 158-31 record and won seven state championships. Seneca Valley, which holds a state-record 12 titles, won its most recent Maryland 3A crown in 2002.

The victory "is extremely important for an inexperienced team with only three starters returning from last season," said Kim, who coached at Quince Orchard for the past two seasons and compiled an 11-8 record. "It gives the players confidence in what we're trying to do and accomplish."

Seneca Valley got the leadership from its seniors, which Kim had sought. Newberry completed 8 of 10 passes for 69 yards with no interceptions and rushed for a seven-yard touchdown to give the Screaming Eagles a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Senior tailback Quintin Cosby rushed for 155 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns.

After junior linebacker Christian Stahl intercepted Gaithersburg quarterback Joey Robinson with 8 minutes 55 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Seneca Valley took over on its 33-yard line. Then the Screaming Eagles drove down the field once again and Cosby capped the drive with a two-yard run to lift the Screaming Eagles to a 24-7 lead.

Gaithersburg managed to cut the deficit to 24-15 on its next possession. Robinson connected on a 64-yard pass to senior wide receiver Jim Hill across the middle. Robinson found Stephan Johnson in the end zone for the two-conversion with six minutes remaining in the third quarter.

But every time the Trojans gained some momentum, something went right for Seneca Valley. On Seneca's opening possession of the fourth quarter, Cosby was stripped of the ball and it found its way into the hands of junior center Kevin Jenkins, who scampered 22 yards for a touchdown that clinched the victory.

"Every time we got a little closer, we couldn't stop them," said Gaithersburg Coach Kreg Kephart. "If you can't stop a team, then it makes the game even more difficult. We were down by so much that we were forced to throw to try catch up."