Blair Blazes Northwest in Comeback Victory
After last week’s emotional victory over cross-town rival Seneca Valley to win the King’s Trophy, Northwest faced a challenge on Friday against an unbeaten Montgomery Blair team. The Blazers came to Germantown and pressured the Jags through the air resulting in a 40-36 come-from-behind fourth-quarter victory over Northwest.
The Jaguars started strong, with senior running back Kahlil Owens, dominating the first four plays of the game. He covered 65 yards for a touchdown during the Jags’ opening drive of the game. The drive ended when Owens took the ball the final four yards to the endzone behind senior lineman Cole Cheripko. The Jags were up 7-0.
Blair came to The Black Hole with two wins under their belts, a 35-0 shutout of Northwood on opening weekend, and a 42-12 victory over BCC last week. Northwest would be the first real test for the Blazers who finished last season with a 6-4 in the regular season to make the playoffs but lost to Quince Orchard. Last year, the Blazers were facing the Jags with the exact same record with victories over the same teams, but last year in the third week Northwest beat them 58-23.
But that was last year.
This year senior quarterback Desmond Colby would throw four touchdowns in the Blazers fourth-quarter victory, but it didn’t start well for Blair. The Blazers got on the board early after, what could have a disastrous opening drive. After moving the ball into Northwest territory, Colby’s pass was intercepted by junior Tyrese Johnson, and it looked to many like Northwest was ready to roll the Blazers. But, Johnson would lose the handle on the ball, and Blair’s Matt Stiff would recover the fumble. The Blazers recovered and would resume their drive. Ending with Colby’s first touchdown pass of the night. Game tied at 7-7.
Blair would score again as senior running back Eric Zokouri would score the first two touchdowns to put the Blazers up 14-7 with 9:20 left in the first half.
Northwest would not go easy. Jags quarterback Chris Craddock found Khalil Owens for a 53-yard pass to set up Owens’ second touchdown of the game, a three-yard run to even the score at 14-apiece with 6:13 left in the half.
The Blazers Colby would answer less than 30-seconds later, finding senior fullback Anthony Aquino over the middle for a 36-yard touchdown pass to put Blair back on top 21-14 with 5:52 remaining in the half.
The Jags would answer with a 17-yard touchdown run by junior Juwon Farri to tie the game 21-21 with 3:10 remaining in the half, but the Blazers were not done. Colby would throw a screen pass on third and eight, to Eric Zokouri, who scampered 60 yards to put the Blazers up 28-21 with 1:16 left in the half.
After trading turnovers in the third quarter, including Tyrese Johnson’s second interception of the game on a long pass from Colby to the endzone, the Jags would score and take the lead. After each team failed to convert, the Jags would score on a quarterback keeper by Chris Craddock, and take the lead on a two-point conversion run by Khalil Owens. The Jags were up 29-28 with 4:21 remaining in the third quarter.
A missed Blair field goal would set the Jags up for another scoring drive as the third quarter ended. Craddock would orchestrate a drive that ended with Owens in the endzone for his third touchdown of the game extending the Jag lead to 36-28 with 11:41 left in the game.
The Blair quarterback would get his third touchdown of the game on a rollout pass to his right. Colby would find senior receiver Ponce DeLeon for a seven-yard touchdown. The two point conversion would be broken up by Northwest’s Tyrese Johnson to maintain a Northwest lead 36-34 with 10:36 left in the game.
DeLeon would come up big on the other side of the ball as he stuffed Owens at the line of scrimmage on fourth down to force the Jags to turn the ball over on downs. It would prove to be a huge play as it would lead to the Blazer’s taking the lead.
The Blazer’s Colby would get his fourth touchdown pass on a 35-yard strike to senior receiver Cliff Carter in the corner of the endzone. The score would give the Blazer a 40-36 lead with 4:20 remaining in the game. The Blazer’s defense was able to force the Jags into a fourth-and-one, but the Jags’ pass would be incomplete. Blair would secure the victory with a first down and time ticking down.
The Blazers remain unbeaten this year and will travel to winless Churchill next week. Churchill is coming off a 56-22 home loss to Seneca Valley on Friday.
The Jags, now 2-1, will hope to get back on track as they travel to face 2-1 Walt Whitman next Friday. Whitman is coming off a 29-23 victory over Einstein on Friday. The Vikings lost, 21-3, to Landon last week, but beat Paint Branch 27-7 in the opening weekend.
Top: Northwest senior Khalil Owens (4) scored three touchdowns and a two-point conversion in Friday’s game against Blair.
Next: The Jags’ Tyrese Johnson (14) had two interceptions and a fumble recovery during Friday’s game against Blair.
Photos by Mark Poetker for Germantown Pulse.