Tuesday, March 11, 2014 5:45 AM
Published on: Thursday, November 14, 2013
By Brandy L. Simms
BETHESDA – Paint Branch seniors Gaston Cooper and Javonn Curry have developed good chemistry together on the gridiron throughout the course of the 2013 campaign.
In Saturday’s 35-34 victory over Gaithersburg, Cooper, a quarterback, and Curry, a wide receiver, connected for four touchdowns to help Paint Branch (9-1) earn the top seed in the 4A North Region playoffs.
“I just knew that I was going to have to count on him and depend on him to make a lot of plays for me this game,” said Cooper, who also scored on a nine-yard run in the third quarter.
Cooper finished 20-of-32 for 274 yards and four scores through the air and rushed for 36 yards on eleven carries.
Paint Branch had to rally from a 14-0 deficit in the first half after Gaithersburg quarterback Nick DeCarlo connected with wide receivers Will Tearney and Ariel Martinez to take a two touchdown lead.
However, Cooper and Curry hooked up for three consecutive scores to help the Panthers take a 21-14 lead at halftime.
Curry, who scored on receptions of 5, 27, 7 and 58 yards, finished with 12 catches for 196 yards. The four touchdown performance marked a career-high for the Paint Branch wide receiver.
Meanwhile, DeCarlo accounted for five touchdowns including four scoring strikes. He also scored on a one-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Tearney caught seven passes for a career-high 202 yards and scored three touchdowns in the loss.
“I had to step up for my team and that’s what I did,” said Tearney. “Me and my quarterback, Nick DeCarlo.”
The top-seeded Panthers will host No. 4 seed Sherwood (7-3) on Friday night in Burtonsville. Third-seeded Gaithersburg (8-2) will travel to Germantown to play No. 2 Northwest (8-2) in a 4A West Region semifinal matchup.