Jaguars Win Second Straight State Title
By Kevin O’Rourke
There are three things which most championship games need. A big defensive stop, a game winning drive, and a championship winning drive. Last night, at M&T Bank Stadium the Northwest Jaguars displayed all of these during their victory over the Old Mill High School Patriots.
Northwest’s big defensive stop came at the tail end of the first-half. Both teams would trade touchdowns in the first quarter. Old Mill got the scoring started on their opening drive with a long run by senior receiver James Venerable. Northwest would counter on their first play scrimmage with a 75-yard pass from junior quarterback Mark Pierce to senior wide receiver Jamar Wilson, who ran under Pierce’s ball and ran away from the defense to put Northwest on the board.
The second quarter would see both teams trading touchdowns. Pierce would scamper 11-yards to put Northwest up 14-6, with the addition of a two-point conversion pass to Brendan Williams. Old Mill would answer with a touchdown pass from junior quarterback David Marrocco to senior running back Donovan Franklin, and two-point conversion of their own to even the score at 14-14.
After a bad punt set Northwest up at the Old Mill 35-yard line, senior running back E.J. Lee burst up the middle for the first of his two touchdowns on the first play from scrimmage. The two-point pass attempt would be called out-of-bounds. Jags lead 20-14.
The Jags big defensive stop would come on the next Old Mill drive. Old Mill would mount a balanced running and passing drive, highlighted by a big run by Franklin and a long pass from Marrocco to senior Brady Ludwig. The pass to Ludwig put the Patriots on Jags 15 yard line, but illegal motion penalty would push them back to the twenty. The Jag defense would step up pressuring Marrocco on two plays to throw incomplete to the endzone. Finally, on third and long Marrocco hit senior receiver Craig Winder, but Northwest’s leading tackler and senior linebacker Chuck Anya would force him out of bounds short of the first down marker. The Patriots were forced to settle for a field goal with seven seconds remaining in the first half.