Too much Funk. Damascus brought the noise and the Funk to Seneca Valley on Friday night, as the Swarmin’ Hornets defeated the Eagles 21-3 in front of a capacity crowd in Germantown. The game, which was a meeting of two undefeated teams, pitted to Montgomery County football powerhouses against each other with huge playoff implications. With the win, Damascus has all but assured themselves of home field advantage in the 3A West playoffs. And Seneca has allowed that opportunity to slip through their fingers.
It was clash of two very good, hard-hitting football teams. But in the end it came down to who had the Funk. Damascus’ senior running back carried the football 40 times for 262 yards and one touchdown. The University of Maryland commit averaged 6.6 yards per carry and allowed the Hornets to just eat up clock in the second half of a close game.
After forcing Seneca Valley punt, Damascus scored on their first possession. The score came on a 41-yard screen pass from quarterback Julian Kinard to receiver Markus Vinson. Vinson caught the ball out to Kinard’s left and sprinted to the outside and down the sideline to put Damascus up 6-0. The point-after would result in a botched snap.
The following offensive possession would see Seneca Valley struggle to find footing against a staunch Damascus defense. After converting a fourth-and-inches from their own 36-yard on a quarterback keeper by Petey Gaskins. The following snap would go over Gaskins head and Damascus would recover at the 25 yard-line.
However, the Seneca Valley defense would hold. Funk and the Hornets would drive the ball down to the four-yard line before the drive would come to an end, on fourth-and-one at Seneca Valley four. And both teams knew they were in a street-fight.
The Seneca Valley offense march up field from the four-yard line. Gaskins would hand the ball to both Adrian Feliz-Platt and Darius Golston, who bulled his way for a two first downs in the drive. However, Seneca would have to settle for three-points, opting for a 32-yard field goal off the foot of senior kicker Rey Genovez. It would be the only points Seneca would score.
Damascus would get on the board again with another pass, this one from Kinard to Joey Salisbury for eight-yards to cap a 79-yard drive. Seneca Valley would stuff a two-point conversion attempt by Jake Funk to keep the halftime score 12-3.
The second half would be Funk time. After adding a 30-yard field goal to increase the lead to 15-3, Damascus would control the ball and the pace of the game, keeping the ball on the ground and letting Funk churn out yards and chew up clock.
When Seneca Valley did possess the ball the second half, they didn’t take very good care of it. Gaskins threw two costly interceptions. Gaskins threw a deep ball to Cortez Chase-Ervin which bounced off his hands, and was deflected by the Hornets’ Markus Vinson into the hands of Tyler Hall for an interception ending a Seneca threat.
After the pick, Damascus would drive to the Seneca one-yard line, thanks in large part to a pass from Kinard to Daquan Grimes who stepped out of bounds at the one. It would be Funk who would dive over the goal-line for the touchdown.
It would be Vinson that would stop Seneca Valley’s final threat to score by diving after an overthrown Petey Gaskins pass for an interception to seal the victory.
Next week Damascus will host 6-3 Blair who blasted Einstein 41-0 on Friday. While Seneca Valley will also be on the road against 5-4 Gaithersburg. The Trojans are coming off of a 28-21 loss to Richard Montgomery.
Top: Damascus running back Jake Funk (34) dives for more yardage during Friday’s 21-3 victory over Seneca Valley.
Next: Seneca Valley’s Adrian Feliz-Platt (7) fights for more yards.
Next: Damascus receiver Markus Vinson (16) streaks down the sideline for the Swarmin’ Hornets first touchdown of the game.
Next: Hornets Jake Funk (34) struggles for some of his 262 yards as Seneca Valley’s James Chase (15) attempts to tackle him.
Next: Damascus’ Markus Vinson (16) deflected a Seneca Valley pass into the hands of teammate Tyler Hall (9) for an interception in the fourth quarter.
Next: Seneca Valley’s James Chase (15) and Zae Wright (22) combine to stop Damascus running back Jake Funk (34).
Photos by Germantown Pulse.