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Whitman pounds Paint Branch

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Published on: Thursday, November 08, 2012

By Christa Puccio

SILVER SPRING – Whitman ended their season on a positive note with a convincing victory over Paint Branch Friday, 27-7.

“We ended up 5-5, but we ended on a really positive note,” said Whitman Head Coach Jim Kuhn.  “The last part of the season we came along and played very well.  I’m very happy getting that we got momentum going at the end of the season and it’s a good end of the season for us.”

Running back Zac Morton scored all four touchdowns for Whitman.  Morton scored the first touchdown of the game with a 15-yard carry five minutes and 20 seconds into the first quarter.  Whitman Kicker Zachary Snyder missed the extra point.

Just a minute and 56 seconds into the second quarter Morton carried in a three-yard touchdown to extend Whitman’s lead to 12-0.  Whitman was unable to complete the two-point conversion.

With one minute and 19 seconds remaining in the first half, Paint Branch had the ball on Whitman’s two-yard line on a fourth and goal.  Paint Branch Quarterback Gaston Cooper threw an interception to Morton in the end zone who returned the ball all the way to the Panther’s 22-yard line with 1:01 left in the half.  

With 40.1 seconds remaining in the first half on a second and goal on the seven-yard line, a high snapped tipped off Whitman Quarterback Kevin McGowan’s fingertips and into the hands of Morton, who ran the ball in for his third touchdown of the game.   McGowan faked the ball to Morton and passed to Whitman Tight End Joe Granger for a two-point conversion, pushing the team’s lead out to 20-0 at the end of the first half.

In the third quarter, Paint Branch had the ball on the 14-yard line on a third down.  Cooper handed the ball off to Johnny Littlejohn who then fumbled.  Granger came out of the dog pile on top on the 15-yard line for a Whitman first down. Morton then caught a 9.5 yard touchdown pass on a third down for the final score for Whitman.  Snyder hit the extra point and brought the score to 27-0.

“[Morton is] outstanding,” said Kuhn.  “He just really came on at the end of the season and really just gelled.  Everything worked for him and everything clicked for him.  He’s an outstanding athlete, outstanding running back,and just all around football player and I’m really happy he’s coming back for next year.”

Paint Branch did get up on the scoreboard late in the game when Thomas Lucas carried the ball in for a 67-yard touchdown off a punt return with two minutes and one second left in the game.  Panthers’ Sam Stewart hit the extra point to end the game 27-7.

“We were down a little bit in the middle of the season, but we came out and we showed out in the last stretch and I want to thank the seniors for everything,” said Morton.

After Morton’s performance, Kuhn said he thinks Morton will be captain for Whitman’s 2013 season.  “He’s somebody you want leading the younger kids forward,” said Kuhn.

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