ROCKVILLE – In their home opener on Sept. 13, the Richard Montgomery High School football team dominated all facets of the contest to earn a 37-0 victory over Winston Churchill High School.
The result comes after the Rockets (2-0) lost last year’s season opener to Churchill 13-9. This year’s encounter was much different as Richard Montgomery’s players found different ways to impose their dominance over their opponents.
The Rockets’ defense controlled large portions of the game as they forced Churchill to punt on nearly every drive, as well as forced and recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass from junior quarterback Cole Haglund.
Richard Montgomery’s special teams unit also provided a spark. First, junior wide receiver Xavier Ricks returned a Churchill punt 80 yards for a touchdown.
Later on, another punt attempt went awry when a high snap caused Bulldogs senior punter Noah Smith to fall on the ball in his own end zone, resulting in a safety.
Meanwhile, Churchill’s offense was abysmal all night, as they were held to negative-15 rushing yards, including allowing multiple sacks while converting 35 passing yards. In total, Churchill finished with 20 offensive yards.
Richard Montgomery’s offense was not perfect either. In the first half, the Rockets failed to convert on fourth down and turned the ball over on fumbles twice.
Nevertheless, the Rocket’s offense got going late in the half when junior quarterback Kieran Chai-Onn lobbed a fade pass to sophomore wide receiver Daryl Harper in the end zone to put the Rockets up 14-0 at halftime.
In the second half, Chai-Onn connected with Harper in the end zone for the second time, while senior running back T’Kai Ayoola scored two rushing touchdowns from 27 yards out in the third and from 15 yards out in the fourth.
“It started off pretty rocky,” said Ayoola. “We picked up the pace, because we knew (we) had to do it at the end of the day, because we had to get revenge from last game.”
The Rockets will host Clarksburg High School on Sept. 20, at 7 p.m., while the Bulldogs fall to 0-2. Churchill will visit rival Wootton High School on Sept. 20 as well.