The last time Wise played a football game that mattered, the result was a bit jarring. Not only did the three-time defending state champions lose to Quince Orchard in the Maryland 4A state semifinals, but they were walloped.

On Friday night, in their first game of 2019, the Pumas wanted to deliver a message: They’re still a team to fear.

Behind sophomore quarterback Jayden Sauray’s three touchdowns, the Pumas stormed into Greenbelt and delivered a mostly complete performance in a 41-0 win over Eleanor Roosevelt.

Sauray, celebrating his 16th birthday, threw two touchdown passes and scrambled 45 yards for one on the ground.

Sauray said he had a bit of extra motivation Friday — beyond it being his birthday and beyond the sour taste that might have lingered with Wise during the offseason.

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“Today isn’t about me. This was all about my mother who is in the hospital right now fighting sickle cell and us as a team just going out and making a statement that we are still Wise,” Sauray said.

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Wise looked like itself from the start.

After a quick stop by the defense and an errant punt by Roosevelt, the Pumas’ offense took over on the Roosevelt 30-yard line.

It took only one play for the Pumas to score their first points of the year. Sauray delivered a perfect ball into the hands of junior wide receiver Keith Boddie Jr.

For the first time in a long time, Wise entered the season as something other than a champion, and that fact will drive the Pumas.

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“We have a lot to prove this year because we’re not the champs in the state, so it’s viewed as us having a down year because people are so accustomed to us winning” Coach DaLawn Parrish said. “But that’s fine — right now we get to be like everyone else and gun for [Quince Orchard], but it’s still got to stay one game at a time.”

If there were any positives to be had by Roosevelt, the halftime adjustments appeared effective as the Raiders held Wise to just seven points in the second half after allowing 34 in first — something that didn’t go unnoticed by Wise’s coach.

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“We talk about being efficient and being clean and the next man up, but we only scored one touchdown in the second half,” Parrish said. “I expect us to be dominant and finish games; today I don’t feel like we did that.”

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Coming into the game, Roosevelt Coach Tom Green hoped that an increase in numbers on the roster would allow for a more competitive showing, specifically at the line of scrimmage. Instead, Friday’s loss looked a lot like the two defeats against Wise a year ago, when the Raiders were outscored 82-8.

“Wise is extremely talented across the board, and they’re also extremely well coached,” Green said. “There aren’t many teams that can stand toe to toe with them, especially at the skill positions.”

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