By Kevin O’Rourke
It felt like the entire county had turn out at Northwest to watch The Pierce, Lee & Wilson show on Friday night as the Jaguars hosted unbeaten Paint Branch in what was billed as a Northwest’s toughest test so far this season.
The test wasn’t just pass/fail. Three plays in, E.J. Lee staked the Jags to an 8-0 lead, early in the first quarter, and the test ended up being pass, pass, touchdown pass, touchdown pass. Northwest’s junior quarterback Mark Pierce threw three touchdown passes as the Jags dominated the Panthers handing Paint Branch their first loss, 49-6.
It is easy to watch the Northwest offense and be impressed with its ability to seemingly score at will, either off the arm of Pierce – 16 total touchdowns this season – or on the ground with Lee – ten total touchdowns. The Jag offense has scored at least 43 points in every game this season, forcing opponents to beat them and face a running clock.
But Northwest is not a one trick pony. This is not one very good quarterback or one good running back. Northwest is a balanced offensive team with nine different players scoring touchdowns in six games this season.
That talent was on display in the second quarter as the Jags were faced with a fourth-down, and a fake punt resulted in a 60-yard touchdown pass from Lee to Jamar Wilson. Jags led 22-0. Pierce hooked up with Brandon Williams twice for touchdowns in the first half.
Northwest’s offense can dismay and systematically dismantle a defense, with a precision passing attack on one drive and a punishing rushing attack from Lee and Kevin Proctor the next. Or just skip the drive all together and go for the big play the way it did Friday night.
Northwest went into the half with a 35-0 lead. The Panthers came out with a mindset to claw their way back into the game. Paint Branch took possession by recovering the onside kick to start the half. The Panthers, who have been finding a way to win games all year put together a drive that ended with quarterback Danon Davis-Cray scoring on a three-yard run, marking only the second time this year that an opponent has been able to cross the goal line against the Jags.
The Paint Branch Panthers were pumped to turn things around in the second half.
On the very next play from scrimmage a great block from Northwest’s junior Andrew Daniels sprung junior Martin Foray for an 60-yard touchdown on an end-around to disabuse Paint Branch of any thoughts of a comeback in the second half.
The Jaguars defense, which is easily over looked because of the prolific offense, shut down a scrappy Panthers offense in the first half, forcing two punts and two turnovers in the half. The first was a fumble recovery on the Paint Branch five yard line by senior linebacker Chuck Anya. The second stopped a promising Panther drive late in the half when Northwest senior Troy Lefeged stepped in front of a Davis-Cray pass.
Next week, the Northwest Jaguars will visit 4-2 Wootton High School on Thursday, Oct. 16. The Wootton Patriots are coming off a 34-7 beating at the hands of Clarksburg on Friday.
Top: Northwest's Martin Foray (2) takes an end-around 60 yards to the endzone to put the Jags up 41-6 in the third quarter.
Next: Northwest's Jamar Wilson (1) caught a Mark Pierce pass in the flat and took it 60 yards for his second touchdown of the night. The score capped the scoring and put the Jags up 49-6.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.