GERMANTOWN—The second round of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) 4A state playoffs featured a county matchup between No. 2 Northwest High School and No. 3 Richard Montgomery on Nov. 15.
While the road team scored first, the Jaguars took over as Northwest dominated the Rockets in a 42-3 blowout victory to advance to the state quarterfinals.
“(Richard Montgomery is) a quality team and they’re a great team,” said Northwest Head Coach Mike Neubeiser. “I’m really happy with our kids. They stuck it out for four quarters and they played well.”
The Rockets looked good early on as they forced a fumble on defense and recovered the ball, but were only able to convert a field goal on the ensuing drive. Later on the first quarter, Northwest woke up as senior running back Joseph Bruno took a handoff for a 7-yard touchdown to put the home team up 7-3.
Early in the second quarter, junior safety BJ Howard, who played quarterback in the first half for Northwest, connected with senior wide receiver Isiah Williams for a score to extend the lead by 11 points. Senior running back Ajahni Terry ran to his left and raced past several defenders for a 21-yard touchdown run as the Jaguars led 21-3 at halftime.
“I think the offensive line did a pretty good job,” said Neubeiser. “With BJ in the backfield, it gives a little more run threat having a quarterback that can run.”
Junior quarterback Jordan Morse entered the game shortly before halftime and helped lead Northwest’s offense in the second half. The Jaguars continued its offensive dominance in the third quarter when senior wide receiver Ryan Beach took the handoff and scampered across the field for an impressive 53-yard touchdown run to extend the rout to 28-3.
Northwest added a couple more touchdowns in the second half, including a Howard run and junior wide receiver Kaden Prather running to the end zone off a jet sweep. Alongside a strong defensive showing, the Jaguars earned a huge playoff win, which was also Neubeiser’s 82nd victory as coach for Northwest.
“It’s neat,” said Neubseiser. “I guess it doesn’t really hit you until later in your career. You just go week-by-week.”