SILVER SPRING – In one of only two county games featuring winless varsity football teams, Walter Johnson raced out to a lead and promptly squandered it away Friday night against host Kennedy before the arm and leg of junior quarterback and kicker Peyton Ahnell salvaged a 22-19 victory for the visiting Wildcats. Ahnell made play […]
SILVER SPRING – In one of only two county games featuring winless varsity football teams, Walter Johnson raced out to a lead and promptly squandered it away Friday night against host Kennedy before the arm and leg of junior quarterback and kicker Peyton Ahnell salvaged a 22-19 victory for the visiting Wildcats.
Ahnell made play after play in both the passing game and in the kicking game. However, he received tremendous help from senior wide receiver Delano Munoz-Whatts.
Munoz-Whatts finished the day with three touchdowns, as the two were on the same page all night long.
“Delano started cutting down his routes.” said Ahnell about the key to their chemistry.
Kennedy quarterback Jordan Davis, who converted from the defensive side of the ball this season, looked comfortable in the pocket.
He threw three darts for touchdowns, two of them to junior Jonathan Mustamu and one to junior Jomaite Tavarez.
The Wildcats struck first on an almost eight-minute drive helped by Kennedy’s lack of defensive discipline.
On third-and-35, the Cavs took a pass interference penalty, which allowed Ahnell to connect with Munoz-Whatts for their first score of the night.
“Penalties have been our history,” said Kennedy head coach Dan Makosy. “[We] tend to shoot ourselves in the foot.”
The second quarter featured more of the same from the Wildcat passing attack, as Ahnell found Brent Haines over the middle for 34 yards on a third down. He later connected with Munoz-Whatts on a jump ball to push the lead to 12-0.
Kennedy responded with a long kick-off return by Enoch Owumi. Five plays later, Davis hit Mustamu on a 44-yard catch and run on fourth down for a touchdown.
Ahnell, undeterred by the Kennedy score, avoided a sack and reversed field before finding Jake Rose to keep the drive alive.
He then hit Munoz-Whatts for the pair’s third touchdown of the half.
The third quarter belonged to the Cavs, as Davis, with the help of junior running back Kamal Vauls, quickly moved the ball into Wildcat territory before an overthrow of a wide-open Tavarez stalled the drive.
However, Davis was unfazed and quickly hit Tavarez for a 68-yard touchdown on the third play of their next drive.
After a defensive stand and a shanked punt, Davis connected with Mustamu once again, this time from 30 yards out, tying the game at 19.
The fourth quarter turned into a defensive scramble, as both Kennedy and Walter Johnson forced punts, before Ahnell once again seized the spotlight.
Facing a third down, Ahnell, forced from the pocket, scrambled to his left, planted his feet and tuned in a “B button” move for a first down.
On the ensuing fourth down, Ahnell drilled a 35-yard field goal for the eventual game-winning score.
“I had missed two [extra points] earlier, I had to make up for it.” Ahnell said.
Walter Johnson head coach Greg Kellner said he thought his team’s second half performance needed improvement, especially with the team’s looming showdown with Gaithersburg this Friday.
Kellner mentioned that, overall, Kennedy played a solid game and the team effectively converted big-play opportunities for scores.
“It shows that you can get six on any given play,” he said.
“There are certain things we could have done better. We have got a ways to go, this is only the beginning,” added Munoz-Whatts.
Makosy, trying to revive and rebuild the Cavaliers, was not as focused on Paint Branch next week as he is his own team.
“We have to practice hard, get better every week and play with heart.” said Makosy.
According to the head coach, his team must work on cleaning up penalties and cutting down on the mental mistakes.
“We’re trying to teach them how to win, how to complete a game and turn it around by the end of the season,” he said.