By Kevin O’Rourke
The top ranked team in the State of Maryland rolled into Blake High School Thursday night with nothing to prove. They’ve been beating up opponents all year winning each game of the 2014 season by more than 40 points, and the 0-3 Blake Bengals were no exception.
The Jags won the coin toss and elected to receive and that all but sealed the fate of the Bengals. Northwest took the opening drive 80 yards on five plays, capped with a 23-yard touchdown run by junior running back Shyheim Wright to put the Jags up 7-0 less than three minutes into the game.
After a Blake possession which ended in a punt. The Jaguars marched right down the – a Mark Pierce pass over the middle to junior Caleb Gills, and two E.J. Lee runs – the Jags had the ball on Blake 35 yard-line. Pierce then hit Brandon Williams in the corner of the end-zone to put the Jags up 14-0 with more than five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
While the Jaguars offense continues to tally points this season, the defense continues to shut teams down, allowing only 6 points this season (Seneca Valley) and posting its fourth shutout. The Northwest defense come up huge with four turnovers in this game against Blake, two fumble recoveries by Latif Mahamadou and two interceptions, one by Brendan Thompson and one by Martin Foray.
Blake next drive stalled at their 49 after the Northwest defense stuffed them on fourth down, giving the Jaguars and short field, which resulted in a Pierce once again hooking up with Brandon Williams in the end-zone for 28-yard touchdown pass. It was Williams second score of the game. The extra point attempt was no good. Jaguars lead was 20-0 with less than two minutes into the second quarter.
Blake’s offense would grind out a few first downs, and run as much clock between play as possible. They would attempt to confuse the Northwest defenders by running unbalanced lines. The Northwest defenders had no problems adjusting to the often unorthodox offense from Blake.
The Bengal’s third drive would be stopped on fourth down by a sack by junior linebacker Latif Mahamadou at the Blake 45 yard-line. Northwest’s offense would once again take over with a short field.
With 3:15 left in the first-half, Pierce hit Jamar Wilson on a 12-yard fade route in the back of the end zone to put the Jaguars up 27-0.
The Jags were hopeful that another seven could be put on the board before the break, after T.J. Patterson recovered the fumble he forced at the Blake 30 yard-line. But Mark Pierce threw his first interception of the season attempting to hit EJ Lee at the goal line, just prior to half-time. Blake could not capitalize on the turnover.
For Blake, the second half started much as the first half did with a three-and-punt, after which the Jags were able to march down the field and get a first and ten at the Blake one yard-line. E.J. Lee would run the ball to put the Jags up 34-0 halfway through the third quarter.
The ensuing Blake drive would end when Northwest’s Brendan Thompson would pick off Blake’s quarterback junior Julian Carter and return inside the Blake 15 yard-line.
Northwest would take full advantage of the short field, as Kevin Proctor pounded the ball into the end zone from the 10 yard-line, stretching the Jags lead to 41-0 with 5:13 left in the third quarter.
On the next Blake possession, Latif Mahamadou would get his second fumble recovery of the night and the Jaguars were once again knocking on the door of the Blake end zone. Freshman Juwon Farri’s one yard run less than a minute in the fourth quarter would end the scoring. Blake’s next drive would end with Martin Foray’s interception. The Jaguars win 48-0.
Next Friday, the 5-0 Jags will host the 5-0 Paint Branch Panthers in what should be Northwest’s first true test. Paint Branch is coming off a 35-14 win over Einstein High School. While Paint Branch is beating teams, its defense is suspect, giving up 29 points to Churchill High School two weeks ago and 14 to Einstein on Thursday.
Top: Northwest defense continues to come up big. Senior lineback Jordan Fairfax (15) and junior linebacker Martin Foray (2) stuff Blake's Elie Batoula (5) to force a fourth down play.
Next: Jaguars junior quarterback Mark Pierce (11) as he throws his second touchdown pass of the night to Jamar Wilson.
Next: Jamar Wilson (1) catches his fifth touchdown in two games as Northwest beats Blake 48-0.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.