GAITHERSBURG – The Damascus High School football team offered no mercy when facing Watkins Mill as the Swarmin’ Hornets earned a 49-14 victory on Oct. 10.
The traditionally stout Damascus defense showed up and kept Watkins Mill scoreless for three quarters, helping the offense by forcing turnovers and even scoring a touchdown. The offense was efficient by taking advantage of key players such as wide receiver Preston Murray, running back Cagen Keir and tight ends Timmy Furgeson and Dillon Dunathan. With a variety of weapons at his disposal, Damascus quarterback Michael O’Neil had a variety of options on offense.
“Our defense stepped up, played real well, flew around and got the job done,” said offensive lineman Ryan Linthicum.
The first quarter was a disastrous outing for Watkins Mill, as quarterback Kyle Wingate struggled to find open receivers and reducing turnovers. After Murray intercepted a pass by Wingate, running back Justin Velez scored the first touchdown for Damascus.
Under a minute later, Wingate was intercepted again, this time by Furgeson, who returned it for a touchdown.
Tight end Malek Sabri scored the third touchdown for Damascus on a run, where he evaded a Watkins Mill defense that tried its hardest to stop him, putting up the first points of the second quarter.
On the next drive, running back Cole Leslie scored on a 17-yard carry, while Furgeson scored his second and last touchdown of the game on the next Damascus drive to go into halftime up 35-0. Damascus kicker, Junior Baires, was seven-for-seven on extra-point attempts as well, an overlooked but integral part of the offense.
After halftime, Watkins Mill got a second wind and sought out a more aggressive strategy, even if it was ultimately for naught.
Unlike in the first half, Watkins Mill held Damascus to only one touchdown in each of the last two quarters. Dunathan scored the sole Damascus touchdown in the third quarter on an 11-play drive, which covered 88 yards.
Watkins Mill replaced Wingate with Nehemiah Cross in the fourth quarter. They outscored Damascus 14-7 in the fourth quarter, including Cross connecting with wide receiver Donovan Brown twice. Damascus wide receiver Ricky Bruno scored the sole touchdown for Damascus in the fourth quarter.