JV Football: Loss of 2015 stars devastate start of 2016 campaign


Unlike varsity sports, the junior varsity football players have a greater goal in mind than winning games- it’s about contributing to the varsity squad. Typically, players move between the two teams throughout the season, so a strong performance in a JV game can boost a player up to the varsity.
Last year’s JV team finished an impressive 6-2, but this year’s team will have a dramatically different look, as the biggest contributors have now graduated to varsity. Leading the team are sophomore running back/safety/kick returner Ralin Lewis, sophomore linebacker/receiver Jonathan London and freshman quarterback Larry Feldman. “They’re different teams (varsity and JV), but everybody is going 100 percent and working hard,” Lewis said. “We can go 8-0, beat Poolesville, beat Quince Orchard.”
The first game, an away match against the Poolesville Falcons, looked to be a tough task, but the Patriots stayed confident. “If we can cut down the mistakes and execute, that’s how we beat Poolesville,” Lewis said prior to the Poolesville matchup.
Instead, the Falcons routed the JV squad, winning 51-6. After the Patriot offense gained only five yards on their first possession, Poolesville rushed for a touchdown on their first offensive play and didn’t look back. The Patriots couldn’t get their ground game going, mustering only 34 rushing yards, and committed three turnovers. Tackling was also an issue, as the Falcons often eluded and broke the tackles of the Patriot defenders. The only consolation was a five-yard touchdown pass by Feldman to Lewis on the last play of the game, allowing the Patriots to avoid what would have been a shutout. “Experience was the difference,” sophomore center Andrew Fisk said. “We had a lot of first-year players. It was the first game for a lot of people.”
The Patriots’ next test was their first home game, against the team that was considered to be the weakest team on the schedule, Springbrook, on Sept 13. The game had a familiar result, as the Patriots were shut out and routed 40-0.
The first two weeks weren’t a total disaster for Patriot football. The varsity team has been on a tear, demolishing Kennedy 39-14 and Springbrook 47-12. Last year’s JV stars have played a big role, including sophomore receiver Noelly Miller, who leads the county with 219 receiving yards, and sophomore running back Matthew Amobi, who ranks 10th in the county with 187 rushing yards.
The JV boys will try for their first victory on Sept. 17 against Quince Orchard before a two-game homestand to end the month. “We’ll try to be more prepared,” Fisk said.


John Riker

Online Editor