Rematch Friday Pits Both Germantown Football Teams Against Bitter Rivals in Regional Finals
One of the base ingredients to make good football is a rivalry. When two teams have a history and are evenly matched it makes for a good rivalry. Now if you want to make something truly spectacular add a healthy dose of revenge and a regional championship into the mix.
This Friday, Germantown football fans have been blessed (or cursed) with two such potentially spectacular games to choose from, as the Northwest Jaguars will face bitter rivals Quince Orchard and Seneca Valley will face longtime rivals Damascus in the regional championship games of the 4A West and 3A West divisions, respectively.
Germantown football fans have a tough question to answer. Which game are you going to attend? Germantown is the only city in the State of Maryland with two high school football teams remaining in the Maryland State tournaments.
Both teams will be on the road this Friday; Northwest will travel just four miles to Quince Orchard for the second time this season. The Jags fell to the Cougars in the first battle of the Big Cats 28-7 back on October 16. Seneca Valley, meanwhile, will travel nine miles up Route 27 to Damascus after losing 21-3 at home back on October 31.
The two-time defending 4A state champion Jags are 8-3 this season and are coming off a huge 33-21 victory over the Richard Montgomery to set up the rematch with 9-1 Quince Orchard, who blew out Blair 48-17 last week.
“Our team is very focused on the task at hand,” said Northwest Head Coach Mike Neubeiser this week. “QO is one of the top teams in the state. They are very good in all three phases of the game; offense, defense, and special teams.”
When asked what the Jags learned in their first meeting, Neubeiser played it close to the vest saying, “We learned that QO is fundamentally sound and that we needed to improve on blocking, tackling and catching the football.”
In their last meeting, the potent Quince Orchard rushing game chewed up over 300 yards and averaged over eight yards per carry against the Northwest defense. If the Jags hope to continue their journey towards a three-peat, the defense will have to find a way to shut down the QO running game.
Meanwhile, fourteen miles to the north, 9-1 Seneca Valley will have to find a way to stop Jake Funk and the 11-0 Damascus running game. Funk ran for 282 yards and average eight-yards per carry in the October 30 meeting between the 3A West powerhouses.
“We must tackle better,” said Seneca Valley Head Coach Fred Kim. “We can’t allow him to lean on us and fall for two, three, or four extra yards. And we must limit his explosive plays of 15 or more yards. We can also help ourselves by controlling the ball on offense and win time of possession. The last game they killed us in that aspect. If we can keep Damascus’s offense off the field, Funk can’t run for 262 yards.”
“This is obviously a huge game not only for us but for both programs,” said Kim. “This is the Regional Finals to get us into the final four. Both programs are looking forward to this game. We have the great fortune of having an opportunity for a rematch from earlier this year.”
Kim said the Screaming Eagles are treating this game as both a playoff game and a rivalry game. “No doubt it will be an emotional game because of everything at stake, and there is a little bit more zip because it is Damascus,” he said.