GERMANTOWN – Holding on to a 17-point lead at halftime, the Quince Orchard (6-1) football team had to stave off a late comeback push from host Northwest (4-3) to win 24-21 Friday night.
Quince Orchard quarterback Doc Bonner’s three touchdowns, including two in the air and one of the ground, helped lead the Cougars to their sixth straight victory of the season against the 2013 and 2014 4A state champion.
“Honestly, they are a very good football team, they’re not just going to come out and lay down,” said Quince Orchard Head Coach John Kelley. “That’s why I told our guys, ‘It’s not going to happen,’ you know, so they fought back like I knew they would. They’re a great team and, you know, we were able to withstand them.”
The Cougars’ victory solidifies their first place lead in the Montgomery County 4A South Division and puts them within striking distance of a playoff berth, while Northwest still trails Richard Montgomery in the 4A North Division.
“It’s relieving you know,” Bonner said. “They came back with fight in the second half, but, you know, we wanted to come out here and keep fighting… To get a win like this against a great team like Northwest is a great experience.”
After little production in the first half, Jaguars senior quarterback Chris Craddock finally put Northwest on the scoreboard with a 62-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Alphonso Foray on the first offensive play of the half for Northwest.
Not to be outdone, Bonner would lead the Cougars on a seven play, 80-yard drive, capped off by a 48-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Fofie Bazzie, who beat his man over the middle and ran down the sideline, diving for the pylon.
Down 24-8, the Jaguars did not give up. Craddock finished off a long eight-play, 65-yard drive with a one-yard sneak to cut the Quince Orchard lead to 10 points.
On the ensuing drive, Bonner made one of the few mistake all night as Northwest senior linebacker Sam Pagella picked him off.
The Jaguars took advantage of the turnover and cashed in their drive with a 12-yard touchdown run from senior running back Khalil Owens to make the game 24-21.
After Norwest failed to recover their onside kick attempt, Cougar running back Marvin Beander iced the game with a 43-yard run.
“Their defense was just lights out in the first half,” said Northwest Head Coach Mike Neubeiser. “And, you know, we were able to get some play in the second half and make it close, but in the end it’s just too little, too late.”
The Cougars enter their homecoming match up against Bethesda-Chevy Chase (2-5) as a strong favorite while Northwest plays the same role at home against Churchill (1-6), despite the Bulldogs beating the Barons 29-19 Friday for their first win of the season.