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Reloaded Jags Outlast Gaithersburg and Mother Nature

In a game that, at times, felt like a war of attrition due to a plethora of penalties, as well as a lightning delay which halted play for more than an hour, Northwest defeated Gaithersburg 27-0 to begin its march toward a third-straight state title.

From the first series in the game, senior linebacker Caleb Gills made sure that the Gaithersburg Trojans understood that he was going to be the man to stop them. In the first series, Gills stopped Gaithersburg’s senior quarterback Carlin Bason for a loss and broke into the backfield to rush a pass that fell incomplete forcing the Trojans to punt.

“Caleb Gills was everywhere on defense all game,” said Northwest Head Coach Mike Neubeiser after the game. “He was relentless. He kept coming every single play and never gave up. He was in their backfield all night long. Defensively he was so physical and aggressive. Offensively he did a tremendous job blocking. Those are things that people don’t notice. He did a really good job.”

In what was indicative of the night, the Jags Ibrahim Konate returned the punt all the way down to the Gaithersburg 32 yard line, but a holding call brought the ball all the way back to the Northwest 36. Both teams would suffer from numerous penalties in the game, in which both teams showed promise for the season, but also displayed some rust.

The Jags high-powered offense showed some signs of rust against an improved Gaithersburg team. The Jags came out throwing, and Mark Pierce connected on his first three passes to three different receivers, one to sophomore Alphonso Foray, one to Gills, and a third to junior Reggie Anderson. It seemed like the Jags were rolling, but the next two passes missed the mark, and the Jags had to punt.

The Jags and Trojans would trade punts again in the first quarter until Pierce would hit Alphonso Foray on a screen pass. Foray would weave through defenders for a 43-yard touchdown to give Northwest a 7-0 lead after the J.J. Funez kick.

Northwest would score again with 2:38 remaining in the second quarter as junior running back Khalil Owens would run the ball in from the four-yard line to extend the lead to 14-0. Northwest would take that lead into halftime.