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Quince Orchard Cougars defeat Northwest Jags, become 4A West regional champs

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QO beats NW 4A W regional champs 1The Quince Orchard Cougars celebrate their victory over the Northwest Jaguars to become the 4A West regional champs. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  GAITHERSBURG — In a battle of two rivals, the Quince Orchard Cougars nabbed the 4A West regional championship title after dispatching the Northwest Jaguars 31-20.

The game heated up an otherwise frigid Friday night, and showed how each team prepared for this game.

“Ultimately they capitalized on some mistakes we made. We made too many mistakes, got penalties that were huge penalties and they capitalized and we didn’t. We made a few too many mistakes in the end,” said Jaguars head coach Mike Neubeiser.

The Cougars were coming off of a victory high after annihilating the Einstein Titans 62-0 last week, while the Jaguars arrived to this game through sheer willpower.

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QO Cougars demolish Einstein Titans 62-0, advance to 4A West championship game

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QO Cougars vs. Einstein Titans

GAITHERSBURG – The Quince Orchard defense rose to the occasion last week against Einstein.

The Cougars registered a 62-0 victory over the Titans to advance to the 4A West Region championship game Friday against Northwest.

“It’s a big deal,” said Quince Orchard senior defensive back Aaron Derwin. “We’re looking forward to going on to play Northwest again and we’re looking forward to break that streak of losing here in the playoffs.”

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Quince Orchard Cougars victorious against Northwest Jaguars, 38-29

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QO vs. NW FB 10 27 17 2Northwest's Niko Berns (50) and Donnell Bannister (4) tackle Quince Orchard's Marquez Cooper (15). PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  GAITHERSBURG – Quince Orchard senior defensive back Aaron Derwin came up big Friday night at the Cougar Dome.

Derwin intercepted Northwest quarterback Chris Craddock’s pass in the waning moments to preserve the Cougars’ 38-29 home victory over the Jaguars.

“He played extremely well tonight,” said Quince Orchard head coach John Kelley. “He put himself into position to make plays.”

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Highlights in local sports feature football standouts in high school and college

DJ MooreMaryland wide receiver DJ Moore gets loose from Northwestern linebacker Paddy Fisher. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  Maryland junior wide receiver DJ Moore was a bright spot in the Terrapins’ 32-21 loss to Northwestern Saturday in College Park.
Moore, a Philadelphia native, became just the seventh player in school history to record 200 yards in a game, registering 210 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
“He’s been that way pretty much every week,” said Maryland head coach DJ Durkin. “He’s a really talented guy that plays hard. He runs good routes and has good ball skills. We do a lot to get him the ball and design it that way and he always answers the call.”

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Paint Branch winning streak ends with QO victory, 45-8

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QO Beats Paint Branch FB 10 7 17Quince Orchard quarterback Kendell "Doc" Bonner (10) gains ground on a run. The Cougars would go on to break the Paint Branch Panthers winning streak with a 45-8 victory.        PHOTO BY MARK POETKERGAITHERSBURG – Paint Branch is undefeated no more.

In a battle of top Montgomery County public school football programs, the Quince Orchard Cougars defeated the Paint Branch Panthers Friday night at the Cougar Dome, 45-8.

“They’re a good football team and I think our kids wanted to come out and prove that we’re a good football team, too,” said Quince Orchard head coach John Kelley.

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Bullis victorious against Quince Orchard in overtime, 42-41

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Bullis vs. QO 9 22 2017Quince Orchard’s Aaron Derwin (5) gets spun around while being tackled by Bullis’ Jason Hersh (22). PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  GAITHERSBURG – Bullis junior Eric McKan ran wild Friday night at the Cougar Dome.

The talented running back helped lead the Bulldogs to a 42-41 overtime road victory against the Cougars.

“He could hit hard, that’s for sure,” said Quince Orchard junior linebacker Johnny Hodges, who returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. “He was like a rock.”

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QO Cougars rise to the challenge, defeating Blair 34-7

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JGS 0777 1QO running back Marquez Cooper (15) is brought down by Blair defensive tackle Oly Okumbi (57). PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  After comfortably beating the B-CC Barons at home to kick off the season, the Quince Orchard Cougars faced a much stiffer challenge as they went on the road to face the Blair Blazers. But it was a challenge that the Cougars would yet again pass with flying colors, winning the game 34-7.

The opening minutes of the game were a struggle for both teams, as the first few drives for each team all ended in punts. Penalties were an issue for both teams in the early going. The Blazers’ defensive front, led by junior Oly Okumbi, stymied the Cougars rushing attack early on. Both QO quarterback Doc Bonner and running back Marquez Cooper struggled to find open holes to burst through.

The Blazers strong defense play would be rewarded, as Blair would draw first blood. On QO’s opening drive of the second quarter, the Blazers forced a Cougars punt. Johnny Hodges, the Cougars star linebacker, was sent out to punt the ball away. However, Hodges had trouble with the snap, and the Blazers pounced on the ball. Prince Bonsu returned the recovered fumble to the end zone for a Blair touchdown, and after the extra point, Blair led 7-0.

But the game turned steeply downhill for the Blazers after their opening touchdown, as Bonner and the Cougars would completely take the game over. On the ensuing QO drive, Bonner finally was able to run the ball effectively, and single-handedly carried his team down the field. Bonner would muscle his way into the end zone, and the Cougars tied the game up at seven.

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QO throttles B-CC football in season opener

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Inside of a raucous Cougar Dome, the Quince Orchard Cougars decisively did away with the B-CC Barons, winning 55-7.

B-CC started with the ball, and had a 23-yard carry from Manny Lee on the first play of the game. But this play would by no means be an omen of what was to come. The Cougar defense locked down the Barons and quickly forced a punt.

A big punt return and two long runs from QO running back Marquez Cooper set the Cougars up at the Barons' !!three yard line!!. From there, star Cougars quarterback Doc Bonner kept the ball on an option play, beat the Barons defenders to the edge and got into the end zone, giving QO a 7-0 lead.

QO used a similar formula to continue to build up its lead in the first half. The Cougars ran the ball often, and ran the ball well. It was a balanced rushing attack between Cooper, Tre Wade and Aaron Derwin. Wade and Cooper scored on the next two QO drives, respectively, making the score 21-0.

Bonner threw the ball only a few times during the game, but when he did, his accuracy was pinpoint. He followed up the three rushing scores by finding receiver Brendan McGonagle in stride on a slant toward the Barons sideline for a catch-and-run touchdown. QO found the end zone again immediately, recovering a Barons fumbled handoff for a touchdown. Following the scoop-and-score, the Cougars held a commanding 35-0 lead.

B-CC found the end zone for the first and only time in the game as sophomore quarterback Joe Koenigs connected with Jack Robinson deep downfield out of the slot. Robinson made the catch and streaked to the end zone for an 80-yard touchdown. 

QO scored two more times in the first half, the first a Bonner 14-yard rush and the second a 58-yard punt return. QO led 48-7 at the half. 

The Cougars scored one their opening possession of the second half on a Cooper TD rush. QO led 55-7. QO used a running clock for the remainder of the game, leaving the score unchanged as the Cougars won, 55-7. 

The Cougars rushing attack was key to the big day on offense, but the defense did an equally stellar job stopping the B-CC offense. The Barons almost exclusively ran the ball in Koenigs’ first varsity start, but the QO front seven, led by John Hodges, was nearly impenetrable.

“I think our front seven is pretty good,” QO head coach John Kelley said after the game. “I think they did a good job tonight, especially with all of [B-CC’s] option stuff. Our guys were in the right spot.”

Kelley was also very pleased that his team scored in all three phases: offense, defense and special teams. 

Next week, QO has a big game against 2016 playoff squad Blair on the road. The Barons will face Rockville at Walter Johnson high school (B-CC’s home field for the 2017 season).

 

@mdc_99

 

 

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Q.O. grad heads to Dallas Cowboys

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Former Quince Orchard standout Darnell Leslie has signed a free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys.

Leslie, a former All-Sentinel defensive lineman, went undrafted after a stellar career at Monmouth University. He participated in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie minicamp in early May.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Leslie, a former Monmouth defensive end who signed with Dallas on his 23rd birthday last month. “The Cowboys are a top-rate organization, and I am excited to get started with them. The first day we arrived, we had a lot of paperwork to fill out and physicals. Right when we woke up on the second day, we got straight to film, got our playbooks and then out to the walkthrough with practice in the evening. It helped to be with the Buccaneers the week before to get my nerves out of the way. They also run a similar defense because [Cowboys Defensive Coordinator] Rod Marinelli was at Tampa Bay, so the concepts are similar.”

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Churchill boys blow past Quince Orchard in LAX regionals

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xChurchill vs QO LAX 1b 201700517Churchill's Merrick Willeford wins another faceoff against Quince Orchard.                        PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  GAITHERSBURG—The MPSSAA Boys Lacrosse Regional Finals at Gaithersburg High School on Wednesday evening matched County powerhouses with identical 16-1 records, the Churchill Bulldogs and the Quince Orchard Cougars, with the Bulldogs scoring a convincing 16-4 victory.

“Churchill was a very good team. They played very hard. It doesn’t diminish that our guys set a school record for wins in a season. We’ve had a great group of guys…But hats off to Jeff, his coaching staff and players who came out and played very well”, said Cougars head coach David Gonzalez.

Bulldogs head coach Jeff Fritz said, “…We thought it was going to be a close-knit game but our kids came out, played very well, executed the game plan.”

Bulldogs senior goalie Alex Crombie explained the difference between tonight’s win and last Monday’s win of the Whitman Vikings, saying, “Offensively, the start tonight was the antithesis of what Monday was. We clicked immediately…that’s not to say we didn’t come out with a lot of energy. We did…”

Bulldogs senior attacker Spencer Knife (2 goals) said of the keys to tonight’s game, “Doing the small things right. The whole year we’ve had issues doing the little things right. We kind of have the big picture…scooping through ground balls. Getting to the right spots on clears. The little X’s and O’s stuff. So, focus on the small things. The key components fell into place.”

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