By Harry Lichtman
POTOMAC — The Winston Churchill Bulldogs varsity football team (7-1) is having its best season since earlier in the decade. Their rout continued Friday night when the Bulldogs steamrolled the visiting Seneca Valley Screamin’ Eagles (1-7) by a score of 42-6.
Although the Screamin’ Eagles recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff, Seneca Valley ended up turning the ball over on fourth down. Churchill’s ensuing possession resulted in a score, as senior running back Patrick Richardson took the handoff up the middle and into the end zone from 15 yards out. Richardson also scored on the two-point conversion to give the Bulldogs an 8-0 lead.
Their next possession later in the first quarter resulted in another Richardson touchdown run – this time from 10 yards out – that extended Churchill’s lead to 15-0.
Senior quarterback Michael Janis had another superb game. His only mistake, however, happened in the second quarter, when his pass slipped out of a receiver’s hands and into the hands of a Seneca Valley defender – though the Screamin’ Eagles’ ensuing drive resulted in a punt.
Richardson’s third touchdown run, which came in the middle of the second half, was a huge one, as he took the handoff and scampered 75 yards down the field all the way, to the end zone to give the Bulldogs a 22-0 lead.
Janis also joined in on the touchdown party when he connected with senior receiver Nick Smyth for the score, to extend the rout to 29-0 at halftime.
The Screamin’ Eagles had yet another opportunity to put some points on the board when Mohamed Jalloh took the opening kickoff of the second half inside the Bulldogs’ 10-yard-line. However, the Churchill defense forced another stop on fourth down.
The home team’s ensuing possession resulted in Richardson’s fourth touchdown of the game, as he took the handoff from Janis and scampered on in from eight yards out. The lead extended to 36-0 by the end of the third quarter.
“I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do,” said Richardson. “Just do my assignments. Play to the best of my ability.”
Seneca Valley finally reached the end zone when senior running back Joe Arana took the handoff and scampered up the middle for the 18-yard touchdown.
Janis tossed his second touchdown pass of the evening to junior Gabe Moore for the 10-yard score late in the game.
“I think our guys had a great week of practice,” said Bulldogs head coach Willie Williams. “They came out and showed what we can do and accomplish.”
Williams is proud of the way Janis and Richardson have propelled the Churchill offense this season.
“They’re doing a great job,” said Williams. “Those two guys are not the only ones we have. We have Max Mantz, Gabe Moore, and also we have guys on the defensive side of the ball that just been putting their work in all summer, and their work is paying off.”
Meanwhile, Screamin’ Eagles head coach Fred Kim doesn’t think his team is as bad as “the score indicated.”
“We actually had a really good practice week,” said Kim. “We were looking at our film on the sideline. We’re just not executing what we’re supposed to be doing.”
Next week, Churchill will be traveling out of the county to face the Frederick Cadets on Friday, Oct. 26, at 6:30 p.m., while Seneca Valley has another tough challenge when they host the Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets same date, same time.