Jags Demolish Blue Devils, Will Host Blair in Playoffs
By Kevin O’Rourke
The Northwest Jaguars came into the final regular season game knowing two things: they had already clinched a spot in the post-season and they were a little banged up. As a result, they didn’t have to play all the starters, and had the luxury of resting players that were showing the effects of a long season.
However, that didn’t mean they were going to lay off the Springbrook High School Blue Devils, who were riding a two-week win streak. Northwest set the tone of the game on the first series, forcing Springbrook to punt. A bad snap saw the ball bounce all the way to the end zone where punter Jordan Gillespie attempted to pick it up and run it out. Northwest senior linebacker Chuck Anya tackled Gillespie in the end zone and Gillespie dropped the ball, Anya jumped on the ball and was awarded a touchdown. Northwest was up 7-0.
Springbrook would be forced to punt again, and another bad snap would give the Jags a short 26 yard field to extend their lead. Senior running back E.J. Lee would run in the first of his three touchdowns from the six yard line to give the Jags and 14-0 lead with 4:15 left in the first quarter. He would punch another touchdown in from the six yard line on the Jag’s next possession, which was set up by a quarterback bootleg by Mark Pierce to move the ball down to the six-yard line.
Northwest played in the no-huddle offense which they began using in last week’s game, this makes the tempo of the Jags prolific offense a bit more dangerous, and this game was a nice tune-up as the Jags begin their playoff run next week.
In the vain of preparing for the playoffs, the Jags sat some key members of their team, while giving back-ups some valuable playing time. One of the key members of the Jaguar offense to sit out this game was wide receiver Jamar Wilson, who is resting a groin injury.
As a result of resting veterans and moving to the no-huddle offense, at times the Jags looked confused or unprepared, and on two occasions Northwest had to hustle players onto the field as Pierce was ready to begin the play. At one point, Pierce had to look over the sideline and ask for personnel.
Pierce would throw a 35 yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver David Zimmerman to extend the lead to 28-0 with 9:32 remaining in the half. The scoring drive was set up by a 30-yard E.J. Lee punt return, and a 20-yard rush by sophomore running back Khalil Owens.
Lee would later get his third touchdown on another Springbrook punt for a 65-yard return to pay dirt to extend the lead to 35-0 prior to halftime.
In the second half, Owens would get his second touchdown on a 94-yard interception of return to cap Northwest scoring at 42.
As the second seed in the 4A West division, with a 9-1 record, Northwest will host Blair High School Blazers next week. Blair has posted an 8-2 record, to make the playoffs for the first time in the program’s history. Blair solidified their playoff spot with a 41-0 victory over Whitman on Friday night. The eight-win season ties for the best in school history.
Quince Orchard 9-1, the number one seed, will host 7-3 Clarksburg next week.
Top: E.J. Lee (23) fights through the Springbrook defense to score a six-yard touchdown.
Next: E.J. Lee (23) returns a punt 30-yards setting up an Mark Pierce to David Zimmerman touchdown in the Jaguars 42-12 beating of Springbrook.
Next: Northwest's senior linebacker Chuck Anya (33) tackles Springbrook's Jordan Gillespie (4) in the endzone after a bad snap on a fourth down punt. Gillespie would fumble and Anya would recover the ball in the endzone for the Jaguars first touchdown.
Next: Mark Pierce (11) runs the ball on a bootleg to set up E.J. Lee’s second six-yard scamper into the endzone.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.