Coming home from a thrilling come from behind win over once unbeaten Paint Branch ruining their homecoming last week, Northwest wanted to make sure that the same didn’t happened to them Friday night when they hosted Wootton for their homecoming game. Led by a high-octane offense, Northwest ensured that wouldn’t happen to them as they defeated star wide receiver Trevon Diggs and the Wotton HS 39-17 on a cold Friday night.
In front of a packed stadium, Northwest took little time to get the ball rolling as senior
quarterback Josh Gills led the offense down the field with ease as he capped off the drive with a 23-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter to put them up 7-0. Not too long
after, Northwest sophomore quarterback Mark Pierce came in with an immediate impact as he fired an 8-yard touchdown pass to junior wide out Aaron Bieldman to put the Jaguars up 14-0. The Wootton Patriots finally answered back in the second quarter as junior Sam Ellis hit his
favorite target sophomore wide receiver Trevon Diggs for a 6-yard touchdown pass to bring Wootton within 14-7.
Just when Wootton believed they were back in the game, Gills took the ensuing kickoff and
darted 86 yards down the field for an electrifying touchdown which was assisted by a jaw dropping block by junior Jamar Wilson that sent the Wootton defender flying. Northwest junior running back E.J. Lee capped off the scoring for the Jags scoring from 2 yards out while Wootton senior kicker Eric Shumacher closed out the scoring before halftime drilling a 33-yard field
goal to make the score 28-10.
After halftime, the scoring spree slowed down a bit but not before Gills reached the end zone twice by catching a touchdown from Pierce and then putting the nail in the coffin with a 33-yard
touchdown run to put the Jaguars up for good 39-17 after Wootton senior fullback Jake
Koplan plunged in from 2 yards out. Josh Gills led the Northwest offense with a combined 130 total yards of offense and four touchdowns on his final homecoming game while Pierce turned in another display of efficiency completing 12 of 14 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns while E.J. Lee chipped in 116 yards total offense and a touchdown. Wootton quarterback Sam Ellis collected another 300 yard passing game, which is his fourth this year, completing 20 of 44 passes and a touchdown while wide outs Diggs and senior Jibri Woods eclipsed 100 yards receiving each in the loss. Although Northwest is riding a three game winning streak and high scoring offense, head coach Mike Neubeiser still wants to see improvement as the Jaguars get closer to the playoffs stating” I was happy with our offensive performance but disappointed that we gave up 2 TD’s on defense. We had some costly mental errors in special teams as well. The biggest thing we need to improve on is getting off of the field on defense when we have the opponent in 3rd or 4th & long.” Neubeiser did go on to speak very highly of Gills overall performance
saying” I am pleasantly surprised with Josh Gills’ improvement this year. He was a very good football player last year but he has been more decisive in his decision-making as a runner and had been more aggressive as well.” “His passing has really improved the last couple of weeks also to the point where he is a true dual threat qb.” The future looks bright for Northwest seeing that quarterback Mark Pierce is only a sophomore and he is showing great poise and leadership but even he sees room for improvement adding” If you don’t strive to be perfect, you will never be successful. We have a lot to work on and have to focus on next week.” Wootton looks to get back to in the win column as they take on Richard Montgomery Friday while Northwest looks to extend its winning streak to four as they take on another rival in Clarksburg at home.
Story by Dominique Butler