Northwest 7-3 to Play RM in Playoffs; Seneca Misses Postseason Despite 8-2 Record
On Friday night, Northwest rolled over Wootton 53-18, with a dominating performance led a defense that had four interceptions for touchdowns, while Seneca Valley also closed out its season with a 25-13 victory over Gaithersburg. The Northwest Jags finish the regular season 7-3 in the 4A West, while the Seneca Valley Screaming Eagles finished with a record of 8-2 in the 3A West. The Jags are the third seed in the 4A North playoffs, and the Eagles did not make the playoffs.
The victory over Wootton secured a playoff spot for Northwest; they will face second-seeded Richard Montgomery, who finished the season 9-1, the only loss a 46-13 defeat at the hands of the Jags on Oct. 14.
However, on Friday night the Jags weren’t thinking about the playoffs, they were focused on the Wootton Patriots. The Jags got the scoring started with a 60-yard run by Juwon Farri to go up 6-0, and on the next possession, Khalil Owens scored on 25-yard run. The Owens’ run was set up by a 20-yard pass from Chris Craddock which flew through the hands of one receiver and into the waiting hands of Norval Black. Northwest led 12-0. Owens would score a second rushing touchdown later in the game.
Faced with a 12-point deficit early, Wootton turned to their quarterback Grant Saylor and the passing game, which had allowed the Patriots to move the ball early. The Jags’ Owens would grab a Grant Saylor pass and return it 18-yards for a touchdown. It was the first of four pick-sixes for the Northwest defense. Senior linebacker would have two pick-sixes. The first was a 67-yard return and the second was s 77-yard return for a touchdown.
The victory over Wootton coupled with the Blair loss to Damascus on Friday moved the Jags from the fourth seed to the third seed and set up the first round rematch at Richard Montgomery.
While the Jags were having a pick-six party, the Screamin’ Eagles were battling in hopes of landing the fourth spot in the 3A West playoffs. With just two losses, Seneca needed to beat Gaithersburg and needed help from teams in Frederick County to get a spot in the playoffs.
The Eagles took care of business with a 25-13 victory over the Trojans. Seneca led 12-7 at halftime on touchdowns by senior quarterback Zack Robinson and a rushing touchdown from senior Adrian Feliz-Platt, who would score two more to give the Eagles the victory.
Adrian Platt ends his Seneca Valley career scoring 42 touchdowns his senior year.
However, the 8-2 Screaming Eagles will not make the playoffs. They miss the playoffs by two-tenths of a point in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association standings to Linganore. The Linganore Lancers with a record of 7-3 finished with 84.20 points, and Seneca Valley accumulated 84.00 points. Linganore received an extra .20 of a point because they played defeated Indian River High School. Indian River High School is in Delaware and the Delaware high school football season has only played nine games by the end of the Maryland state high school season. Linganore beat Indian River 61-0. Indian River has only won two games all season, but based on the MPSSAA rules, Linganore gets 2.2 bonus points from those two Indian Head victories.
Forget that Seneca Valley has a better record, 8-2, compared to Linganore’s 7-3. Or, the Seneca’s margin of victory this season is 30 points, while Linganore’s margin of victory is just 19 points. Also, the MPSSAA doesn’t take into account that Seneca Valley’s schedule includes three 4A schools, while two of Linganore’s three losses are to 2A schools (Middletown and Wakersville). Linganore’s victory over an out of state team gives them the .2 points to make the playoffs.
Two years ago, Seneca Valley missed the playoffs by a mere tenth of a point to Urbana High School, because of the same unfair points system. It is a system that rewards teams for playing lesser opponents from out of state.
Meanwhile, another Montgomery County team in the 3A South will make the postseason with a losing record. Rockville will play in the playoffs with a record of 4-6. Seneca Valley beat Rockville 42-13 on Sept. 23. Also, making the playoffs in the 3A South are the Blake Bengals, with a record of 6-4, Seneca Valley defeated them 42-14 back on Oct. 21.
Seneca Valley has a better record than three of the four teams making the postseason from the 3A South. Indeed, in the entire 3A division in Maryland, only three teams in the state have a better record than Seneca Valley, Damascus and Oxon Hill are 10-0, and Milford Mill is 9-1. Seneca Valley has the same record as five other teams in the playoffs statewide. There are seven schools with worse records than Seneca Valley playing in the postseason.
There are reports that Seneca Valley, Poolesville, and Damascus could move down to the 2A West beginning next season, and it could mean the end of the Battle of Germantown. Seneca Valley must play Damascus and Northwest every season, and those two games, if they are losses prevent the team from going into the postseason. Who could blame Seneca Valley for not continuing to schedule Northwest, when they could play a lesser opponent and easily make the playoffs ever year?
The Kings Trophy Game could become a thing of the past. If that happens, all of Germantown loses.
Top: Northwest’s Khalil Owens’ (4) breaks a 25-yard touchdown run early in Friday’s victory over Wootton.
Next: Northwest’s quarterback Chris Craddock (12) rolls out to pass during Friday’s game at Wootton.
Next: Seneca Valley’s senior running back Adrian Feliz-Platt (7) carries for one of his three touchdowns in Friday’s victory over Gaithersburg.
Next: Seneca Valley defeated Gaithersburg 25-12 on Friday night.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.
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