For War­riors, pa­tience is a vic­tory

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - SHER­WOOD 16, NORTH­WEST 13 BY DIL­LON MUL­LAN dil­lon.mul­lan@wash­

Sher­wood se­nior quar­ter­back Shawn Bliss is pa­tient. As a sopho­more, he watched from the side­line as a trans­fer came in and took over the start­ing-quar­ter­back role he thought would be his. Fri­day, he waited anx­iously as the big­gest game of his ca­reer against two-time de­fend­ing state cham­pion North­west was post­poned 24 hours. Satur­day night at Gaithers­burg, he and his War­riors team­mates waited out a mo­men­tum-swing­ing surge by the No. 13 Jaguars span­ning ei­ther side of half­time and held on for a 16-13 vic­tory.

“I wanted to play last night. I was ready to go. It would have been nice to have our home field with our power run­ning game in­stead of here on this turf,” said Bliss, who com­pleted 10 of 16 passes for 96 yards. “We cir­cled this game on our cal­en­dars right away. They’re the two-time de­fend­ing state cham­pi­ons. We wanted to come out and make a state­ment, show peo­ple what we are made of.”

On the game’s first drive, Bliss found an open Mar­cus Simms, who shook off two North­west de­fen­sive backs on his way to a 29-yard touch­down. Simms made another im­pres­sive in­di­vid­ual ef­fort less than a minute be­fore half­time. The se­nior re­acted quickly to a tipped deep ball launched by North­west quar­ter back Mark Pierce and slalomed through as warm of charg­ing Jaguars for a 60-yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn that set up a field goal.

On the en­su­ing kick­off, Sher­wood (5-0) squibbed a kick to North­west’s Martin Foray, who broke to the out­side and down the side­line. Seventy-six yards later, the se­nior was backpedal­ing into the end zone.

North­west(3-2) then made the proper ad­just­ments at half­time to get its of­fense rolling. The Jaguars took the ball to start the sec­ond half, and Pierce found fresh­man Ju­won Farri on on a swing pass for a 13-yard touch­down and a 13-10 lead.

“As lead­ers we told ev­ery­one to move on, we got time, we just got to move on and make plays,” said Sher­wood ju­nior run­ning back Travis Levy, who had 28 car­ries for 115 yards. “We knew we could run it right down their throats.”

The War­riors started at their 41-yard line to open the fourth quar­ter, and Levy capped an 11play drive with the game-win­ning touch­down from three yards out. As North­west des­per­ately drove in the fi­nal min­utes, Simms’s sec­ond in­ter­cep­tion of the day sealed the vic­tory.

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