SILVER SPRING — Montgomery County football archrivals the Churchill Bulldogs (2-0) and the Wootton Patriots (0-2) had been set to face off Friday night in Potomac, but Mother Nature had other plans. Instead, the two schools faced off Saturday evening at Blair High School with the Bulldogs as the home team.
Throughout the game, it was all Churchill all the time, as they took care of business and demolished the Patriots 49-8 behind five touchdowns and 104 rushing yards from Patrick Richardson.
From the opening kickoff, it looked like head coach Willie Williams’ squad would dominate, as senior Kadron Washington took the opening kickoff return 82 yards for a touchdown. The Bulldogs led 7-0 early on.
Though Richardson had an incredible game, he wasn’t exactly perfect, as he fumbled the ball inside deep Wootton territory twice: once in the first quarter, and again in the second.
“I played hard,” Richardson said. “I made a few mistakes though, but it’s all good. At the end of the day, it was a team effort.”
After Richardson’s first lost fumble, Wootton took over deep inside their own five-yard line. However, senior running back Matthew Amobi was tackled in the end zone by Churchill senior Joe Raab for a safety, which gave the Bulldogs a 9-0 lead.
On the ensuing possession, Churchill started near midfield and drove deep downfield, as Richardson scored his first touchdown from one yard out to give the Bulldogs a 15-0 lead. He scored his second TD later in the quarter to give his team a 22-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Wootton ended the shutout when Nick Baldwin took the handoff from quarterback Alec Yassin and scored a five-yard touchdown, with Yassin keeping it himself for the two-point conversion and cutting the deficit to 22-8.
Senior quarterback Michael Janis also had an impressive game for the Bulldogs. In the same quarter, he scored on a 68-yard keeper to extend his team’s lead to 29-8, which was the score at halftime. Janis finished the game with 114 yards and the TD on the ground.
In the third, Richardson scored his third touchdown by breaking a couple tackles for a 20-yard score that improved Churchill’s lead to 36-8 run. He then scored a similar TD run by breaking tackles, which included bulldozing a Patriots defender, to make the score 43-8.
Richardson capped off the evening with a short touchdown run, his fifth of the game, in the fourth quarter, to extend the lead to 49-8.
However, it wasn’t just the offense that dominated, Churchill’s defense also contributed highly, as they forced four turnovers, including three interceptions by Jack Butler once and Max Mantz twice, and a forced fumble.
Wootton’s starting quarterback Noelly Miller got injured in the first quarter, which led to Yassin and Kyler Hamlin stepping in.
With the impressive 2-0 start, Churchill could possibly make the MoCoFootball.com Elite Six rankings, but offensive coordinator Chris Samuels isn’t focused on that. “Only thing I’m worried about is our next game,” Samuels said.
The Bulldogs will head out on the road to face Gaithersburg on Friday, Sept. 14 at 6:30 pm, while the Patriots will continue to search for their first win as they host the Richard Montgomery Rockets, same day, same time.
“We’ve got to go back to basics and make sure we know our assignments,” said Wootton head coach Eddie Tolliver Sr. “That’s the biggest thing to do.”