NORTH BETHESDA — Yes, the score in the headline is right: the visiting Quince Orchard Cougars shut out the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons 50 to nil in their season opener.
More impressively, the game ended before halftime due to inclement weather, so the Cougars put down 50 points in less than a half. If it wasn’t for the lightning, the score may have been much worse.
The result falls in line with the historic performance of each team. B-CC has a record of 3-7 last year, while Quince Orchard topped the 4A West division with a 9-1 record.
Linebacker Charles Bell, VI, returned a kick in the first 11 seconds of the game to score the first touchdown. A short nine-yard dash resulted in another TD for the Cougars, courtesy of a carry by sophomore quarterback Brian Plummer.
Pushed back to the 10-yard line after the Cougars’ defense forced yard losses on the Barons, junior quarterback Lucas Carvalho was picked by junior defensive back Ronnell Dennis Jr., who returned it for a touchdown, making it 21-0 after the extra point kick.
A Cougar 10-yard rush by junior running back Marquez Cooper resulted in their last first-quarter touchdown to go into the second quarter with 27 points.
The Cougar run game was at its best tonight, even though it was against a B-CC team that was overpowered in every way. Defensively, the Barons could barely contain the speedy Cooper and senior wide receiver Chris Webb, while the offense was stifled with a Cougars line that forced them back as much as possible.
“We’ve got a good offensive line, a bunch of new running backs, we’re breaking in a new starting quarterback, so obviously we’re going to play to our strength. Right now our run game we feel is a strength, and we’ll continue to improve our pass game,” said Cougars head coach John Kelley.
Junior fullback Ryan Jones scored first in the second quarter and was followed up with a successful extra-point attempt. Carvalho was picked again, this time by senior Cougars running back Gerald Wade III. Wade returned the interception for a 20-yard touchdown.
All in all, Carvalho was picked off three times, two of which were returned for a touchdown. The safety on the subsequent Barons play at the goal line was the cherry on top for the Cougars.
Plummer connected with senior wide receiver Chris Webb for the last Cougars touchdown of the game.
The game was a teaching moment for B-CC, as they realized they would need to adapt to some of the tougher teams in the county.
“On the other end, it’s one of the best teams in the state, and it’s a tough one to come out and play first game against,” said Barons head coach Ben Minturn.
Paired with the extra point, the Cougars finished the game with a resounding victory while the Barons have work to do. The Cougars play the Blair Blazers next Friday, while B-CC faces the Rockville Rams on the same day.