For Warriors, patience is a victory
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.