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Northwest Jaguar-naut Declaws Panthers


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,