No. 8 Howard is blanked, 48-0, by streaking Wise
Pumas QB Laws accounts for six TDs, four passing
Black Friday was a dark day for the Howard football team.
Taking on host Henry A. Wise in a Class 4A state semifinal, the No. 8 Lions never stood a chance. Pumas quarterback Jabari Laws accounted for six total touchdowns — including four passing — to lead his team to a 48-0 victory and a trip to its second straight state championship game.
The victory is Wise’s 27th straight and its seventh shutout of the year.
“I guess it was sort of the same thing as last year — a lot of mismatches individually, up front and secondary-wise,” said Pumas coach DeLawn Parrish, whose team beat Howard, 55-6, in last year’s state championship game. “Weknew they couldn’t block us up front; they couldn’t cover us. It was almost like the scheme that helped [Howard] get here hurt them against us. They spread it out and were playing athlete versus athlete, and we had a lot of mismatches.”
Howard coach Bruce Strunk said last year’s defeat in the title game hurt the Lions in that his team lost confidence when the Pumas scored early on quick drives.
“I think last year’s game haunted us a little bit and our heads went down a little early,” he said. “They have speed everywhere and any mistake you make they can score. I’m really proud of our kids; we’re a pretty young team.”
Wise (13-0) entered the game averaging more than 45 points per game while allowing less than six, and it showed why against a Howard team (11-2) that came in giving up less than eight points per game. It’s the first time the Lions have been shut out since Nov. 11, 2011, in a 29-0 regional semifinal loss to River Hill.