For the second week in a row, the Trojans (4-3) held on – this time escaping Clarksburg with an 18-7 victory.
While the Clarksburg defense bottled up Gaithersburg’s offense for most of the night, the Trojan’s scored touchdowns through all three facets of the game; an early special teams touchdown on a blocked punt, an 11-yard run by quarterback Carlin Bason and a one-handed interception return for a touchdown by junior linebacker Jack Creamer.
Clarksburg (4-3) started out the game in a lackluster manner.
On the Coyotes’ first drive, a sack and a fumbled snap created a fourth-and-22 situation. A bad snap on the ensuing punt and a subsequent blocked kick trickled into the end zone before Gaithersburg senior linebacker Philip Oni pounced on it.
After a missed extra point, the Trojans claimed a 6-0 lead.
Gaithersburg turnovers, a bad pitch on an option play from Bason and an odd interception made jointly Coyote defenders Lance Hudson and Malik Mccrary marred the rest of the first half.
“We had a lot of mistakes in the first half,” said Gaithersburg head coach Kreg Kephart. “We should have been up 21-7.”
In the second quarter, Clarksburg senior quarterback Hunter Reimers converted a third-and-16 pass to junior wide receiver Ian Krishnan on a slant pattern.
Breaking a tackle, Krishnan ran the rock 64 yards to pay dirt.
“One play, they hit,” said Kephart. “[We] gave too much cushion. Went for the strip and didn’t get it.”
That, however, would be the only blemish on the night for the Trojans.
On Gaithersburg’s first possession of the second half, senior running back Marqel Simpkins, hit a hole on the right side of the offensive line and darted 32 yards.
Minutes later, Bason put the Trojans up for good as he scampered across the goal line from 11 yards out.
A failed two point conversion attempt kept the score at 12-7.
Simpkins, who rushed for 157 yards, performed most of the offensive work for the Trojans in the second half but didn’t manage to score again.
However, he controlled the ball and ran time off the clock.
“I give it up to my offensive line and wide receivers,” Simpkins said. “[They were] making their blocks.”
The final dagger for the Coyotes came late in the fourth quarter, long after the stadium clock stopped working.
Confusion on the field between the referees and the sidelines seemed to spread to the Clarksburg offense, as penalties mounted up.
With about four minutes remaining, Reimers threw to his right, not seeing Gaithersburg linebacker Jack Creamer.
The junior defender tipped the ball with his left hand and corralled it, then raced about 50 yards to the end zone, his team’s post-season hopes in tow.
“We needed to make a statement win,” Kephart said. “We came out and beat Clarksburg and it puts us in a better position than we were in a week ago. We still need to run the table to make the playoffs.
“[I] expect us to run the table,” Simpkins said. “We get better every week in practice.” Gaithersburg next plays Wootton at home before a huge game against Richard Montgomery.
The Coyotes, meanwhile, have no time to regroup, with back-to-back road games against Richard Montgomery and Northwest before finishing the regular season at home against Springbrook.