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Northwest's Defense Shuts Down RM to Secure 18-13 Victory

Defense might win championships, but it can win regular season games, too.

In a contest that saw neither team score in the second half, the Northwest Jaguars football team rode out a second quarter lead to defeat the Richard Montgomery Rockets 18-13 in Rockville Friday evening.

The Jaguars (6-1) struggled to stop the Rockets’ (4-3) ground attack early on, but their defense made some tweaks over the course of the evening that eventually neutralized the Rockets’ running game.

“[Richard Montgomery] made some adjustments defensively, and we made some adjustments defensively,” Northwest head coach Mike Neubeiser said. “No one scored [in the second half], right?”

The Rockets went three-and-out on the opening drive of the game, giving the explosive Jaguars offense a chance to take an early lead. They cashed in just four plays into the drive, as junior running back Isaiah Bishop ran 51 yards for the first touchdown of the game to give the Jaguars a 6-0 lead with eight minutes left in the quarter.

Richard Montgomery established some momentum in their ground game on their next possession, spearheaded by a series of strong runs by junior running back T’Kai Ayoola. It wouldn’t be enough momentum to put points on the board, as the drive eventually fizzled out after a turnover on downs at the Northwest 33-yard line.

Junior running back Ajahni Terry kept the Jags’ next drive alive with a spectacular 10-yard run on third-and-long. A few plays later, senior quarterback Jack Anders found junior wide receiver Marcus Berry for a 61-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 12-0 with 39 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Richard Montgomery offense came out much stronger in the second quarter, mixing it up with well-placed passes from senior quarterback Michael Braswell along with runs up the middle from Ayoola.

Facing a fourth-and-14 at the Northwest 35-yard line, Braswell made a crucial completion to senior wide receiver Todd Thoman along the sideline to the Northwest 13-yard line for the first down. A 12-yard Ayoola run to the 1-yard line and a Braswell quarterback sneak across the goal line finally got Richard Montgomery on the board with just under six minutes left in the half.

The Jaguars stumbled on their next drive with a quick three-and-out after three straight incompletions and were forced to punt for the first time in the game.