ANNAPOLIS – Wise senior Isaac Ukwu hoisted the Maryland Class 4A state championship trophy high above his head with both hands following the Pumas’ convincing 42-7 victory Friday night over Quince Orchard at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Ukwu, who transferred to Wise from Springbrook after last season, was elated to be a part of a Maryland football dynasty.
“It’s great,” said Ukwu. “Not a lot of people can say that they won a state championship, that they helped make a team go undefeated [and] make history.”
As a junior at Springbrook, Ukwu registered 16 sacks, 50 tackles and 14 tackles for a loss.
Although his individual statistics flourished, the Blue Devils struggled on the gridiron, finishing the 2015 campaign at 5-5.
Meanwhile, Wise (14-0) finished the 2016 season unbeaten for the second straight year and captured the program’s third state title since the 2012 campaign.
“It’s not easy to do this,” said Ukwu, “and the way that we came together as a team as one unit and pulled it out, especially in this fashion, 42-7, is great.”
Wise outscored its opponents 631-69 during the 2016 campaign, averaging 45 points per game.
The Pumas’ defense registered eight shutouts this season and the Prince George’s County public school scored at least 40 points in all but three games.
Wise Head Coach DaLawn Parrish, who described the Division I prospect as a “hard worker,” said Ukwu has been a welcome addition to the Upper Marlboro school’s football program.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound defensive end and outside linebacker was able to control his edge, the coach said.
“He’s an outstanding football player,” said Parrish. “He was able to do that and blend in and be that effective.”
Ukwu menaced Quince Orchard, harassing Cougars’ quarterback Doc Bonner most of the night and making things difficult for the running backs.
Quince Orchard junior offensive lineman Mike Fierstein called Ukwu “easily the best” defender he had played against all season and described the senior as a “great competitor”
“It’s great to play against a guy like that,” said Fierstein.
Ukwu, who boasts a 3.8 grade point average, said he is considering college programs from the Ivy League and the Colonial Athletic Association but will always cherish his time spent playing at Wise.
“I love the guys,” said Ukwu. “It’s a great group of guys, everyone’s nice. Everyone’s fun. We play together. It’s just a great environment.”