The last time Northwest played Richard Montgomery, the Jags handed the Rockets their first and only loss of the season. The combination of four passing touchdowns from Northwest’s Chris Craddock and outstanding special teams play led to the 43-13 victory and grounded the Rockets.
On Friday night in Rockville, the two teams met again but with different results. The Richard Montgomery, a team that hadn’t won a playoff game in recent memory, defeated the Jags 28-13, using a combination of big offensive plays and a defense which stopped Northwest on five fourth-down attempts.
The Jags got the scoring started early, as Juwon Farri blasted a 60-yard touchdown run less than one minute into the contest to put the Jags up 7-0 after the kick by Luke Patterson.
But the Rockets would answer quickly on their first possession, as senior running back Tyler Hebron would dive into the endzone from four-yards out to tie the game at 7-7 early.
With both teams getting into the endzone early, the game seemed to settle, and both defenses went to work. The Jags would stop a Rockets drive after Khalil Owens intercepted a Spencer Silverstein pass. However, Northwest could not convert and was stopped on fourth down.
Failure to convert on fourth down would become a recurring theme for the Jags in the game. The Rockets were able to end Jaguars drives on fourth down on five separate occasions.
Northwest would get the ball back on a defensive play by junior DB Luke Patterson would force Richard Montgomery to punt. The Jags would take over on their own nine-yard-line. Two plays later Farri, the junior running back, would take off on his second long scoring run of the game — a 96-yard touchdown to put the Jags back on top 13-7 with 7:33 remaining the in the first half. The extra-point attempt would be blocked by the Rockets.
However, Northwest would not hold the lead for long. It would be the senior running back, Hebron who would find daylight and run for a 70-yard touchdown to give the Rockets their first lead of the game, 14-13 after the kick by Juver Diaz. The Rockets would take a one-point lead into halftime.
Richard Montgomery had won the coin toss but deferred to the second half, which allowed them the opportunity to start with the ball and extend their slim lead. And that is exactly what they did. The Rockets started at their own 27 and few plays and 11-yards later Hebron scored his third long touchdown of the game, a 62-yard run from the RM 38-yard line. The kick was good, and the Rockets led 21-13 with 9:55 left in the game.
The Jags’ Farri would run back the ensuing kickoff to close to mid-field giving Northwest good field position to get in the endzone. But, the Rockets defense would continue to stop Northwest. The Rockets would sack the Jags junior quarterback Chris Craddock on back-to-back plays to force a punt. The teams would continue to trade punts until the Jags were able to drive into Rockets territory.
The Jags had first down and the ball inside the Rockets 30-yard-line, but two drops by Northwest receivers and a screen pass to Farri only gained a few yards, brought up a fourth down. The sixth big fourth-down of the game. The Jags would call on senior running back Khalil Owens who powered up the middle to the RM 14-yard-line and first down with 7:27 remaining in the game.
Richard Montgomery would sack Craddock on first down. The Rockets senior defensive back Greg Heredia would break up a pass in the end zone on second down. On third down, Owens would again power the Jags to a first down up the middle to the five-yard line.
An offsides penalty on Richard Montgomery would move the ball to the two-and-half yard line. And on first and goal, the Rockets would come up with the biggest defensive play of the season. The Jags junior quarterback Chris Craddock would lose the ball on the handoff exchange during a read-option play. The Rockets would recover the fumble on their own two-yard line ending the Northwest threat.
Richard Montgomery took over at their own two-yard line with 5:34 remaining in the game. The Rockets would turn to Hebron, who had already burned the Jags for three touchdowns. Hebron would steadily move the ball up the field from the two-yard line, eating up chunks of yardage and huge chunks of time.
Tyler Hebron would carry the ball eight times on the drive and move the ball from the five-yard-line to the Northwest 28-yard-line. Northwest would take a personal foul penalty on a run by Kristopher Ricks, which moved the ball to down to the 13-yard-line.
Two plays later, Richard Montgomery would score on an eight-yard quarterback sneak by Silverstein to cement the Rockets first playoff victory 28-13, and knock the Jags out of the playoffs.
The Rockets will travel to Darnestown next week to face Quince Orchard, who defeated Blair 35-7 on Friday night. The Jags finish their season at 7-4.
In other Montgomery County high school playoff news, unbeaten Sherwood was knocked out of the playoffs by Mervo 30-20 in an upset, and the Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets defeated Linganore 21-7, to remain unbeaten. The Damascus winning streak extends to 25 games. They will host in the 3A West Regional Finals against Oakdale next week. Oakdale beat Tuscarora 40-28 on Friday night.
Top: Northwest’s junior running back Juwon Farri (8) had scored both of the Jags’ touchdowns in Friday night’s first-round playoff loss to Richard Montgomery.
Next: Northwest senior Austin Riel (11) attempts to knock down a pass by Richard Montgomery quarterback, junior Spencer Silverstein (14).
Photos by Mark Poetker for Germantown Pulse.