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.”
The Cougars have captured 13 consecutive first-round playoff victories but haven’t beaten Northwest in the postseason since 2012.
Quince Orchard (10-1) also won this year’s regular season battle between the two programs, 38-29.
Against Einstein, Quince Orchard raced out to a 55-0 halftime advantage, highlighted by Doc Bonner’s 87-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brendan McGonagle.
Only a junior, McGonagle has emerged as one of the county’s most dynamic wide receivers. McGonagle, who has scored nine touchdowns this season, finished with three receptions for 113 yards against Einstein (7-4).
Marquez Cooper, a sophomore who is among the leading rushers in the county, finished with 54 yards on seven carries and scored a pair of touchdowns to help spur the offense.
“Marquez Cooper was running his tail off tonight,” said Bonner. “He’s a hard runner.”
Tre Wade, a junior running back who finished with three carries for 14 yards, also scored a touchdown against the Titans.
Bonner gave credit to his offensive linemen including Mike Fierstein, Logan Moyer, Alec Burdette, Jack Williamson, Mark Echiverria and Ramsey Richey.
“The offense doesn’t work without them,” he said. “I really appreciate them. Those are my guys.”
Quince Orchard scored on their opening possession of the second half when junior fullback Daniel Mayoni ran into the end zone from nine yards out to give the Cougars a 62-0 lead with 6:02 remaining in the third quarter.
The Cougars’ defense was spectacular after intermission, harassing Einstein quarterback Daryl Wills throughout the second half.
Toddreis Baltimore, a sophomore defensive back, intercepted Wills with 7:15 remaining in the fourth quarter to halt an Einstein drive.
Tyler Terry, Steven Williams, Devonte Paige, Desmond Johnson, Aaron Greene, Ronnell Dennis, Nahiem Howell, John Hodges, Seckret Murphy and Derwin led the Cougars’ stout defensive effort.
“They’re a great group of guys,” said Bonner. “Hungry for the ball, ready to fly to the ball at all times. I’m proud of them though.”
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