Varsity football wins homecoming game against Clarksburg after slow start to season


Photo by Tyler Buzzy

The Patriots’ varsity football team collides with Poolesville during the first home game of the season.

After starting the season with close losses to Gaithersburg and Poolesville, the varsity football team bounced back to win 33-23 in the homecoming game on Sept. 16. 

The first game of the season was held at Gaithersburg on Sept. 2. Early in the game, senior captain Ryan McGraw had a big play to drive the offense down the field, but the team could not capitalize. The game was a defensive battle, with the final score being 13-0 Gaithersburg. 

The next week held the school’s home opener against Poolesville. The team got off to a rough start with an early deep passing touchdown scored by Poolesville. The offense then led a promising drive, but did not capitalize for points.  After trading defensive stops, Poolesville had an interception returned for a touchdown. After strong defense by both teams for the next couple possessions, Poolesville kicked a field goal before halftime to give them a 16-0 lead. 

After halftime, junior captain Matthew Repie threw a deep bomb to McGraw to score both their first points and touchdown of the season. Repie and McGraw connected again on the two-point conversion to cut Poolesville’s lead down to eight, making the game a one-possession difference. “It felt great to put some points on the board but we knew that there was still a lot of game left to play and we needed to stay focused,” McGraw said. 

After the touchdown, the defense played well for both sides, resulting in no more points in the third quarter. This defensive trend continued as the score remained 16-8 until the last possession of the game. Poolesville scored a touchdown with less than three minutes remaining, sealing the defeat of the team. “Although we lost this game, I was still happy we were able to score points and remain competitive with a good team for pretty much the entire game,” senior captain Chris Castelli said. 

Finally it was time for the homecoming game, and fans were excited. The stands were packed and the team looked to face their weakest opponent yet, Clarksburg. The game started out the worst way it could with Clarksburg returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. This was the start of a trend of poor special teams play. “It was annoying to have them score so early like that, but we know we could not let that distract us,” Repie said. 

After trading defensive stops, Repie and McGraw connected for their second touchdown of the season. After a missed extra point, Clarksburg was still up by one. The team got another stop on defense and started to experiment with the run game. Junior Matthew Cortez ran all over Clarksburg with help from the offensive line, allowing him to score the second touchdown of the game, and take the teams first lead of the season. 

Trying to get back into the game, Clarksburg was running a pass heavy offense and testing the team’s cornerbacks. Junior Daniel Kim took advantage of this by intercepting the ball and returning it for a touchdown. The team has a two-possession lead and looked like it might get its first win. 

Disaster struck as the team was punting the ball to Clarksburg, and the punt was taken and returned for a touchdown. The team quickly rebounded with a rushing touchdown of their own, scored by senior Jude Anya. Shortly after, McGraw scored his second touchdown of the game to give the team a commanding lead. Clarksburg went on to block a punt for a touchdown, but it was to no avail. The team won 33-23 winning the first game of the season, and starting a promising trend. 

Looking at the future, the Patriots will face off at Churchill on Friday, looking to get their second win of the season.