Football: Bump in road slows team down mid-season


Nellie Allentuck

After two seemingly convincing wins to open up the season, the football team has hit a bump in the road, dropping each of their last two games by 30 points or more. Now, at 2-2, the boys look to pick up some momentum and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Most recently, the boys took on the Richard Montgomery Rockets in a conference game at home on Sept. 23. With the Rockets coming into the game undefeated and the Patriots with just one loss, the game was set up to be a close match. “It’s always a dogfight with RM,” senior lineman Geoff Pisarra said. “No matter where either of us are coming into the game it usually ends up a tough, competitive game.”
Early on, it was a tight one. Richard Montgomery got off to a hot start, cashing in two quick touchdowns to start the game. But late in the first the Patriots answered as junior quarterback Grant Saylor connected with junior wide receiver Elijah Trent for a 22-yard score. After a missed extra-point, it was 14-6 in favor of the Rockets.
It only got uglier from there. Though the team was able to rack up one touchdown, this one also going to from Trent to Saylor for 39 yards, they were unable to stop the blazing RM offense. The Rockets easily racked up two more touchdowns making it 28-12 at half.
The second half was no better as the Rockets offense had its way on several more drives. A bright spot though for the Patriots came late in the fourth as Saylor heaved up a 53-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Noelly Miller. The boys lost the game 49-14.
Saylor ended the game completing 26 of his 49 passes, tallying 351 yards, three touchdowns and just one interception. Trent and Miller also had themselves a day. Trent finished the game with eight catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns, and Miller brought in eight more catches for 128 yards and one touchdown.
Previously the team took on a tough opponent, the Quince Orchard Cougars in an away game on Sept. 16. In recent years QO has been one of the most dominant teams in the county, and this year was no different. With the Cougars at 2-1, the boys knew it would be a tough one.
Quince Orchard took control right from the start, opening up the first quarter with three easy touchdowns and not much resistance from the Patriot defense. Though the offense started off the game with a big completion down the sideline to Miller, they couldn’t get much going either. The team fought hard but ended up losing the game 52-13.
Despite the loss, several offensive players had productive days. Saylor, matching up against one of the tougher secondaries in the league, managed to complete 18 of 35 passes for 281 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Miller and Trent stayed consistent as well. Tent caught eight balls for 120 yards, while Miller reeled in eight more for a whopping 135 yards and two touchdowns.
In the game before that the team took on Springbrook. In the days leading up to the game, radio predictions predicted that the boys would get blown out by Springbrook. “It was great motivation,” junior tight end Mike Pisarra said. “We knew that we had to make a statement and put it on them.”
The boys started the game off strong and never looked back. Defensively the boys were a brick wall, allowing just 12 points from Springbrook in the entire game. On the other side of the ball the team received production all over the place. Saylor threw four touchdowns on 259 yards, hitting a different receiver for each one. Senior wide receivers Phillip Garrett and Kevin Choi each had one, along with the usual suspects Trent and Miller each getting one. The team performed on the ground as well. Sophomore Matt Amobi had an impressive 137 yards and one touchdown on just nine carries. Senior running back Dean Spitz also contributed to the scoring, adding one touchdown.
The next game will be at Clarksburg on Sept. 30, too late to be covered in this issue.


Charlie Eichberg