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Screamin’ Eagles Tame the Wolverines, 42-14

The Watkins Mill Wolverines came into Saturday’s meeting with Seneca Valley riding two blowout wins, last Friday the Mill shutout Bethesda-Chevy Chase 48-0, and the week before the ‘Rines earned a 35-7 victory over Magruder. Seneca Valley was still stinging from the 31-6 loss to cross-town rivals Northwest. Watkins Mill has not beaten Seneca Valley in the 12-year history of the school.

With Seneca Valley playing a quasi-home game at Gaithersburg High School, the Wolverines had to feel like this was the year that a victory over the Eagles was possible.

Seneca put those hope to the test early with a five-play drive ending in a one-yard touchdown run by Semaj Meannu to put the Eagles on top 7-0. Meannu would run for 150 yards, and three touchdowns in the game as Seneca Valley continued its 12-year winning streak over Watkins Mill. The Eagles won 42-14.

However, the Wolverines and senior quarterback Markel Grant would answer back early in the second quarter with a 26-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7.

The Eagles came right back with another drive and touchdown. This time through the air. Seneca drove to the Watkins Mill 10-yard line and senior quarterback Michael Kapneck connected with fellow senior Manasseh Joaquin at the three-yard line. Joaquin would pound his way into the endzone regain the lead 14-7. Joaquin would also convert the extra point. Kapneck would finish the game six-for-12 in the air, for 92-yards passing.

Just before halftime, the ‘Rines and Grant — who ended the game 18 for 34 for 188 yards in the air — would drive down to the Seneca six-yard line. Watkins Mill was knocking on the door, but Seneca’s defense would step as Harold Dotson intercepted a Grant pass in the endzone to end the scoring threat. Dotson ended the game with three interceptions, while junior Mohammed Jollah picked off Grant once.

Dotson said the Eagles defensive safeties worked staying deep in practice and keying on Grant because of his ability to run the ball. Grant ran for 88 yards.

“I knew we were going to have to step it up defensively,” said Dotson about his three interceptions, “especially with the quarterback that they have, Markel Grant. We just wanted to contain him. Once we stopped him that’s how we wrapped up this ball game.” Dotson also had two catches for 25 yards apiece. “We were hungry to get back on the winning side after last week. We won’t let that happen again.”

In the third quarter, the Eagles would find the endzone again as Meannu would string together three long runs to put Seneca at the one-yard line where Kapneck would score on a quarterback keeper to increase the lead to 21-7.

Seneca Valley would capitalize on two more Dotson interception as Meannu would get his second and third touchdowns to extend the lead to 35-7. Both teams would score again late in the fourth quarter, Seneca would find