SILVER SPRING — The Northwest varsity football team recovered from its surprise loss against Seneca Valley last week by steamrolling host Montgomery Blair Blazers on Friday night, 58-23, in a rematch from the 2014 playoffs. Blair fought valiantly but Northwest (2-1) established a strong hold on the lead in the first quarter and […]
SILVER SPRING — The Northwest varsity football team recovered from its surprise loss against Seneca Valley last week by steamrolling host Montgomery Blair Blazers on Friday night, 58-23, in a rematch from the 2014 playoffs.
Blair fought valiantly but Northwest (2-1) established a strong hold on the lead in the first quarter and the Blazers found themselves in an early hole.
“Our kids always give effort,” said Blair head coach Andrew Fields. “There [are] a lot of teams in this county, state and country that, down 27-0, would have just laid down. Our kids fought tonight.”
The Jaguars found the end zone on their first possession of the game, as junior wide receiver Reggie Anderson stiff-armed a couple of defenders and put up the first points of the night.
“This makes a statement for us, we know we can actually compete with the best,” said Anderson. “We should come together now and work harder, now that we know what hard work gets us. I think that we’ll come out stronger.”
Northwest senior cornerback Martin Foray intercepted Blair quarterback Desmond Colby on the next possession and, by the four-minute mark, the Jaguars led 13-0.
The formidable Jaguars’ defense heavily pressured Colby for most of the night, sacking him three times and forcing him to scramble to make plays.
A Blair three-and-out returned the ball to Northwest and then the scoreboard read 20-0 when quarterback Mark Pierce connected with sophomore receiver Alphonso Foray for a touchdown.
With the Blair defense stymied, Northwest’s offense started sharing the wealth.
Anderson scored again on a third-and-goal from the 8-yard-line and one more time before the first quarter ran out to put the Jaguars ahead 27-0.
However, that’s when the Blazers started to heat up.
Junior receiver Clifford Carter ran for 44 yards but back-to-back false start penalties had Blair looking at a first-and-20.
Carter would not be denied though and finally put the Blazers on the board in the second quarter.
A Blair defender recovered a costly fumble by Northwest and Colby took full advantage of the field position with a touchdown pass to senior receiver Omari Brooks, closing the scoring gap to 27-14.
On the Jaguars’ next possession, Carter intercepted Pierce and Brooks pushed his team inside the 10-yard-line. Junior running back Eric Zokouri leaped into the end zone, and just like that, Blair had scored twenty unanswered points and turned a would-be blowout into a competitive ball game.
Northwest marched to the red zone again on the next possession but the Blair defense came up with a big stop and held the Jaguars to a field goal instead.
With two minutes remaining before the half, the Blazers also attempted a field goal, which a Jaguar defender tipped, blocking it from crossing the uprights.
Alphonso Foray scored his second touchdown of the game right as the clock expired, sending his team to the locker room sitting on a 17-point lead.
Blair mustered a field goal at the beginning of the third quarter and it looked like the tides began to turn as Northwest fumbled again. The Blazers recovered the fumble but could not convert the Jaguars’ mistake into points.
Four minutes into the second half, Northwest sophomore running back Juwon Farri rushed in a touchdown to put the Jaguars back up by three scores at 44-23.
The Blazers didn’t stop fighting, even when Northwest senior receiver JJ Funez ran into the end zone as the third quarter expired.
Zokouri intercepted Pierce with nine minutes left in the game but Colby threw a pick-six in return.
“Blair is a really good football team. We gave up some big plays,” said Jaguars head coach Mike Neubeiser. “We had seven turnovers but to be able to score that many points really helped our confidence.”