CLARKSBURG – Good teams learn from their mistakes.
It’s a bit cliché but often still rings true for athletes who improve their performances.
For the Sherwood varsity football team, the players seem to have taken the lesson to heart.
After a 2014 campaign which saw the team lose close game after close game, the Warriors’ 30-13 victory over the host Clarksburg Coyotes shows they have learned their lesson.
Despite the scoreline indicating that this match was a one-sided affair, the Coyotes held their own for much of the game.
Led by running back Stanley Perry, the Coyotes controlled the pace of the match, converting on several third downs to preserve possession.
Their methodical build-up in possession paid off late in the second quarter when wide receiver Justin Parrales caught a 13-yard throw from quarterback Hunter Reimers for the QB’s third touchdown pass of the season.
Sherwood’s defense put eight in the box to counteract Perry’s running threat. That left Parrales open for a screen pass and an easy six points.
An interception by the Coyotes’ Dalante Simmons would keep the score at 9-7, giving home team supporters hope their club could pull off the upset.
The Warriors would respond with their own running attack, using the speed of running back Travis Levy to open the match up.
Operating from the Wildcat formation, Levy took direct snaps from center and went directly at the Coyotes defensive line.
With standout wide receiver Marcus Simms serving as their playmaker, the Coyote defense was stymied by the slight wrinkle that Warriors coach Chris Grier put into his club’s game-plan.
The consistent pressure on a weary Coyote line paid off when Levy provided the hand off to Simms who faked the run and opted for the throw, finding senior tight end Bob Jonjo on a 27-yard route for the receiver’s first score of the season.
Not wanting to be outdone by his wide receiver, Warriors quarterback Shawn Bliss expanded on their lead with a 42- yard pass to Simms.
The two would connect again two plays later with Simms making the short five yard catch to expand Sherwood’s lead to 23-7.
Simms, who has verbally committed to West Virginia University, finished with four catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Levy would put an exclamation point on the Warriors’ win with a 53-yard interception return in the fourth quarter.
A 65-yard touchdown pass for Perry by Reimers would narrow the gap but not prove to be enough as the Warriors would carry the Coyotes on the road, 30-13.
For Clarksburg (1-1) it is the team’s first loss in four matches dating back to last season’s 44-34 defeat at the hands of Northwest.
The Coyotes next hit the road this Friday night to tangle with host Bethesda-Chevy Chase.
Meanwhile, the victory for Sherwood (2-0) leads into a home game against visiting Magruder.