Seneca Valley 7
For Churchill senior quarterback Nick Scrivens, the last 5 minutes 56 seconds of his team's Montgomery County nonleague game against 19th-ranked Seneca Valley played out like a movie.
The Bulldogs, trailing by four, marched 73 yards in 12 plays, converting a fourth and seven, and secured a 9-7 victory when senior running back Kyle Smith plunged into the end zone from two yards with 47 seconds to play.
"It was like 'Varsity Blues' all over again," Scrivens said. "That last drive was something I'll remember my whole life."
The victory was the Bulldogs' first over the Screaming Eagles since 1988.
Churchill (3-1) had lost seven straight to Seneca Valley (3-1) and had been outscored in the last two meetings (in 2002 and last season) by a combined 90-0.
Last night's triumph was Churchill's second this season that ended a long stretch of futility against a county foe. The Bulldogs' 14-13 season-opening victory over Gaithersburg was their first over the Trojans since 1993.
The last drive against Seneca Valley seemed to capture the essence of a Churchill team that relies not on one star but the contributions of many. The Bulldogs' offensive line provided holes and protection, senior running back Travis Schroeder picked up 36 of his team-high 75 rushing yards, and Scrivens (9 for 18, 91 yards) completed three passes for first downs, including an 11-yard strike to outstanding senior wide receiver Sekou Yansane (5 receptions, 65 yards) on a fourth and seven from the Seneca 29-yard line.
"That's the way our team is," said second-year Churchill coach Jamie Collins. "I have four captains, but I have 20 leaders. Everybody plays. Nobody takes a play off, and when somebody goes down, somebody else steps up and does the job."
A case in point is senior Alex Halls. A starter at quarterback since his sophomore year, he has stepped aside to let Scrivens, a talented soccer player who played on a 14-and-under national championship club team with Freddy Adu in 2001, play quarterback. Halls has moved to defensive back.
Halls is "handling it extremely well," Collins said. "He knew we were bringing Nick in. He loves playing defense and hasn't complained once. He's a natural leader."
Scrivens scored the first points of the game with a 44-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, but Seneca took the lead on its first possession of the second half, going 78 yards in 12 plays. Senior quarterback Tyler Newberry made the key play on the drive, scooping up a fumble two yards behind the line of scrimmage, running over a Churchill defender and sprinting 37 yards. Senior Quintin Cosby (22 carries, 79 yards) capped the drive by scoring from two yards.
Churchill threatened to score early in the fourth quarter, but Scrivens was intercepted in the end zone. The Bulldogs defense, however, forced a Seneca punt to set up the winning drive.