Varsity football crushes Whitman in homecoming victory following slow start to season

Senior quarterback Aditya Khanna drops back to pass versus Whitman on Oct. 15.

Photo courtesy AJ Grainger

Senior quarterback Aditya Khanna drops back to pass versus Whitman on Oct. 15.

The varsity football team had an impressive 35-0 win against the Walt Whitman Vikings in their homecoming game on Oct. 15. After starting the season with a strong victory against Gaithersburg, the Patriots suffered five consecutive losses to Poolseville, Clarksburg, Churchill, BCC and Seneca Valley by a combined 129 points. 

I lined up on the outside and beat the cornerback for an easy touchdown catch.”

— Jack Mehler

From the first whistle the Patriots had the Vikings on their heels. The Patriots defense started off the game with a three-and-out, forcing the Vikings to punt. Then on that drive Patriots senior quarterback Aditka Khanna threw a touchdown to senior wide receiver Jack Mehler, putting the Patriots up 7-0 early. “I lined up on the outside and beat the cornerback for an easy touchdown catch,” Mehler said. 

The dominance did not stop on either side of the ball as the Patriots took a commanding 22-0 lead after the first quarter. After one quarter, the Patriots had caused multiple turnovers and quarterback Khanna had two total touchdowns, one rushing and one through the air.  Senior running back Daniel Lee added a rushing touchdown. “When Aditya handed me the ball, the offensive line created a huge gap for me to run in for the touchdown,” Lee said.

After a slow start to the second quarter, Khanna led the Patriots down the field, resulting in a second touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Ryan McGraw. This put the Patriots ahead 28-0 late in the second quarter. The Patriots defense held the Vikings once again, leaving the halftime score at 28-0 in favor of the Patriots. “Whitman had weak cornerbacks that our offense were easily able to expose all game,” McGraw said. 

The Patriots kept their foot on the gas pedal as McGraw returned the second half kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. The ball was received by Mehler, and he lateralled it to McGraw who finished the job, giving the Patriots a massive 35-0 lead early in the third quarter. “We planned on handing the ball to whoever did not catch it and the play worked as planned,” Mehler said. 

Neither team was able to get anything going on offense for the rest of the game as the Patriot defense held the Vikings to zero points, resulting in a final score of 35-0 in favor of the Patriots. The Patriots offense played conservatively and ran the clock out for a majority of the second half with a few bursts of offense. “We came out hot and held down on defense giving us a great homecoming win,” Lee said.

The Patriots now sit with a record of 2-5, but have great momentum heading into an away match with an out-of-county opponent in Catonsville on Oct. 22. The Patriots have shown flashes of talent and hope throughout the season, but injuries and inconsistency have left the Patriots three games under 0.500 with two games left. “We have a great team who loves to compete and we are ready for our next matchup,” McGraw said.