KENSINGTON – It was not pretty football by any standards, but Paint Branch High School pulled out a 20-0 win over Einstein High School on Sept. 6.
The score shows a dominant effort from the perennial county powerhouse, but what it omits are the growing pains that both teams are going through. Paint Branch (1-0) lost multiple seniors to graduation and is starting with a sophomore quarterback, while Einstein (0-1) has a new first-year head coach, Sean Loftus.
The run game was the focal point of both teams while incomplete passes were abundant due to each team playing young quarterbacks.
On the very first pass of the game, Einstein’s quarterback Michael Olawoyin threw an interception, which led to Paint Branch’s first touchdown drive. On Einstein’s next drive, he was taken out of the game with an unspecified injury, ending the game after no successful passes, two sacks and one interception. He was replaced by John Fornah.
Meanwhile, Paint Branch’s Octavian Smith stayed in the entire game but racked up 15 incomplete passes and three sacks.
The cornerstone of the offense for Paint Branch was running back Samuel Doku, who helped secure two touchdowns and helped with multiple fourth-down conversions. Doku was a reliable fallback option when the aerial game was struggling, and Paint Branch needed yardage.
“To be honest, I feel good, but that wasn’t (Paint Branch’s) offense. We have a very young team, young line, and they did very good today, so I can move the chains for the team and score touchdowns for them,” said Doku.
Doku scored Paint Branch’s first touchdown off a handoff by Smith at the 5-yard line, a short and easy push to the end zone. His second touchdown would come in the second quarter off another 12-yard run.
Running back Wisdom Agbeyome scored the last touchdown of the game on the last drive before halftime, catching a short pass from Smith. Paint Branch then went for the two-point conversion but failed.
Both teams play their next games on Sept. 13, with Paint Branch hosting Northwest High School in their home opener while Einstein travels to Springbrook High School.