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Jaguars Fall to Pumas 37-15 in State Semi-Final

The Northwest Jags went into Friday’s game with a sense of hope. Hope that they would be able to come up with a bit of the Jags magic from last week’s third-straight regional-final victory over Quince Orchard. The Jags were hoping for a bit more magic to help secure a third straight bid to the Maryland 4A Championship game with a victory over Wise.

But it seems all the magic was used up to get past Quince Orchard. The 9-3 Northwest Jaguars were overmatched against the 12-0 Pumas of Dr. Henry A. Wise High School, in Upper Marlboro. The Jags played from behind all game and lost their first post-season game since 2013, by a 37-15 margin.

Wise senior running back C.J. Rainey stole all the magic and used it to run for over 200 yards against the Northwest defense. The Pumas combination of Rainey’s ability to move the ball and the Jags inability to connect on offense put an end the Northwest’s hope of a three-peat as state champs.

“Up-front they have big kids, and they did a really good job of blocking our guys,” said Northwest Head Coach Mike Neubeiser. “I am very proud of this team. We came in here with three losses. We improved a lot, every week we got a little bit better. We improved a lot from where we came from; we made too many mistakes tonight, but overall we are a better team from where we started.”

The Jags were unable to get much going on offense against a Wise defense that has not allowed more than one touchdown in a game all season. Northwest took the opening kick, and the first drive was a microcosm of the way the game with for the Jags. Senior quarterback Mark Pierce got the drive moving with a short pass to junior receiver Reggie Anderson, and a Kahlil Owens run earned a first down. But then a penalty and a sack forced a punt.