GAITHERSBURG — A few varsity football games originally scheduled for Friday night were postponed by one day due to wet field conditions. One of those games involved two 2A/3A schools pitted against each other: the Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets (5-0) and Poolesville Falcons (2-3), who played at Gaithersburg High School Saturday afternoon. The game was one-sided, to say the least, as Damascus crushed Poolesville 47-0.
However, the Hornets’ first drive of the game resulted in a turnover on the first play, when junior tailback Austin Ambush fumbled the ball, and the Falcons recovered the loose ball – though Poolesville was unable to capitalize on the turnover because of a failed fourth-down conversion.
Damascus’s next eight-play drive midway through the first resulted in a score, when junior quarterback Michael O’Neill found his target, senior fullback Gabe Mendez, for a nine-yard touchdown pass, to give the Hornets a 7-0 lead.
Later in the quarter, the Hornets found the end zone a second time, when sophomore wide receiver Ricky Bruno scored from 24 yards out. The extra point was blocked, however, as the score remained 13-0.
Then, after Poolesville’s punter mishandled the snap and fumbled the ball with Damascus recovering inside the Falcons’ 10-yard line, the star of the day came through, as senior running back TD Ayo-Durojaiye scored on a six-yard touchdown run. The failed two-point conversion kept the score at 19-0 early in the second quarter.
At the end of the Falcons’ ensuing possession, Ayo-Durojaiye struck again, when he returned a punt 47 yards for a touchdown, breaking a few tackles on his way to the end zone. The Hornets’ lead extended to 26-0 at that point.
On the very first play of the second half, Ayo-Durojaiye continued to dominate, when he took the handoff from O’Neill and raced 63 yards to the house, extending Damascus’s lead to 33-0.
Ayo-Durojaiye had scored twice on offense and once on special teams. But on defense, he did just that – the ensuing possession when he intercepted sophomore quarterback Aaron Brown’s pass and scored on a 30-yard pick-six, which extended the shutout to 40-0.
“I thought I did a pretty good job today,” Ayo-Durojaiye said. “My team really picked me up and allowed me to make those plays happen. It was a very good team win today.”
Damascus’s lone score of the fourth quarter came when junior running back JP Ward found the end zone from 17 yards out to make it 47-0.
However, it wasn’t just the DHS offense that dominated; it was the Hornets’ defense that kept Poolesville’s offense at bay. The defense forced recovered two fumbles, juniors Bryan Bresee and Brendon Hess made some key tackles, and Ayo-Durojaiye, of course, scored on the pick-six.
With the victory, Damascus’s long winning streak extends to 47 games, though head coach Eric Wallich isn’t thinking about that too much.
“I’m always happy to have a win,” said Wallich. “It’s not about the 47; it’s just about the one that we got today.”
Damascus will look to win their 48th straight game next week when they host Clarksburg on Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m., while Poolesville hopes to bounce back on the road against Rockville at 7:00 p.m. that same night.
“We fought to the end,” said Falcons head coach Justin Sickeri. “It is what it is, so we’re just going to keep getting better.”