West­lake fin­ishes sea­son with loss at Patux­ent

Wolver­ines end with 5-5 record

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @aj­ma­son301

Head­ing into Week 10 in 2015, the Patux­ent Pan­thers needed to win at West­lake just to make it in the play­offs. The Pan­thers re­sponded to the must­win sit­u­a­tion by win­ning 42-6, and just kept right on win­ning for four more weeks to claim the Class 2A state cham­pi­onship.

Hav­ing al­ready clinched a post­sea­son berth prior to this year’s reg­u­lar sea­son fi­nale against the Wolver­ines, the pres­sure Patux­ent was un­der was dif­fer­ent. The re­sult was sim­i­lar. A 49-14 win in a South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Ch­e­sa­peake Di­vi­sion con­test in Lusby.

With the win, cou­pled with Lackey’s 17-14 loss to Calvert, Patux­ent (9-1, 5-1 SMAC Ch­e­sa­peake) earned the top seed in the 2A South Re­gion play­offs. The Pan­thers will host fourth-seeded Lackey at 7 p.m. Fri­day, and will look to avenge its only loss of the sea­son, that a 3-0 set- back to the Charg­ers on a soggy Sept. 30 night. Fri­day night’s re­sults also meant that Calvert and Lackey and Patux­ent all share the SMAC Ch­esa- peake Di­vi­sion crown.

It was the sixth straight sea­son that Patux­ent earned a post­sea­son berth.

“West­lake’s a good team with a lot of ath­letes and we had to come ready to play. We didn’t want to look past them with the play­offs a week away,” said Patux­ent head coach Steve Crounse, whose of­fense has scored 40 or more points five times this sea­son. “The kids ex- ecuted well es­pe­cially in the pass­ing game and got our run­ning game go­ing to where we kept them hon­est.”

De­fen­sively, Patux­ent pres­sured Wolver­ines quar­ter­back Chad Palm- er all game long, hold­ing him to just 47 yards pass- — com­plet­ing 12 of 19 ing on four com­ple­tions. passes for 280 yards on

“They did a good job three touch­downs, while on Palmer. He is a very rush­ing for a 4-yard score. elu­sive ath­lete,” Crounse Patux­ent led 14-0 af- said. “We just got in his ter the first quar­ter and face, hur­ried his throws, pushed the lead to 28-0 made him get off his land­marks at half­time. It had a com- and tack­ling him mand­ing 35-point lead when he scram­bled. Our early in the third af­ter kids re­ally con­tained him, Crounse hooked up with so over­all it was a great se­nior wide re­ceiver Jael- ef­fort head­ing into the en Gross for a 35-yard play­offs.” touch­down to force a run-

Ju­nior start­ing quar­ter- ning clock for the rest of back Reese Crounse ac- the game. counted for four of Patux“With­out a doubt I think ent’s seven touch­downs that Jae­len is the best wide re­ceiver in the con- fer­ence and Von­nie [Wat- kins] is the best tight end in SMAC, so pass­ing is easy when you have those two guys,” said Reese Crounse, who has thrown for over 1,900 yards this sea­son. “We are just tak­ing it one game at a time and it feels good to have a play­off game at home.”

Gross had four re­cep­tions for 134 yards and two touch­downs in the game, in­clud­ing a 79-yarder to end the first quar­ter. Patux­ent sopho­more Taz­man Davis (11 car­ries, 83 yards) had a 51-yard touch­down run for the first points of the game.

“We’ve been look­ing for­ward to get back to the re­gion play­offs since the off­sea­son and we are blessed to be in po­si­tion again,” Gross said. “Reese was putting the ball on the money tonight. All I had to do is just run a good route and catch the ball.”

Patux­ent led 42-0 early in the fourth quar­ter af­ter se­nior Reyquon Holland’s 15-yard touch­down run.

West­lake (5-5, 2-4) scored twice in the fourth on a 49-yard run by AJ Jackson and a 65-yard run from se­nior Dion­dre Greer.

“We played our hearts out, Patux­ent is a very good team and are go­ing to be able to de­fend that state ti­tle and I will look for­ward to watch­ing them do that,” West­lake head coach Tony Zac­carelli said. “We have a lot of our skilled kids com­ing back next sea­son, so we are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion.”

Watkins, also the team’s de­fen­sive end, and se­nior line­backer Dwayne Smith had three sacks each in the vic­tory.

“West­lake had a very good quar­ter­back and we just locked ev­ery­thing down and kept good con­tain­ment,” Watkins said. “We are just as con­fi­dent this year as we were last year to get back to the state cham­pi­onship.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.