ROCKVILLE — All Juwon Farri had to do to slam the door shut on Northwest’s season opener was make one Wootton defender miss and be off to the races. However, on his last touch of the game, he not only made one would-be tackler miss, but he ran around four other defenders on his way to an incinerating 47-yard scamper, effectively icing the game by putting Northwest up by 18.
“Everyone expects this from me,” Farri said. “I always work on my craft, I always do what I need to do, and I’m getting better everyday. Today just shows how much effort I’ve been putting in to everything I’ve been doing.”
It wasn’t the perfect way to start the season, but nevertheless, No. 11 Northwest ran away with a 53-36 victory over host Wootton on the strength of Farri’s four-touchdown performance. The 5-foot-9 senior was tasked with not only running the football, but returning kickoffs, punts, and kicked PAT’s as well. On the night he ran for two touchdowns, took a 10-yard pass into the endzone, and took a kickoff 95 yards to the house right out of halftime.
For Wootton, the game was seemingly out of reach. Farri, second-year starting quarterback Chris Craddock, and the rest of the Jaguar offense could seemingly do no wrong. They scored three out of the four times they had possession of the ball — all ending by either an aforementioned Farri touchdown, or Norval Black score. The only highlight until halftime was an Alec Yassin pick-six that gave the Patriots an early 6-0 lead.
Just before halftime, senior quarterback Grant Saylor and receiver Elijah Trent hooked up for a 34-yard pass that was just a yard short of a touchdown.
In the aftermath of the Farri kick-return for a touchdown, the Wootton offense woke up out of their slumber when junior wideout Noelly Miller got hit late out of bounds and drew an unnecessary roughness penalty that added 15 yards to a Miller 16-yard catch-and-run.
The Patriots then scored on the ensuing play after a 10-yard connection between Sayer and Trent, making the score 26-14 after converting on a 2-point play. The Patriots were able to force a fumble on the Jaguars next possession, but never capitalized on that takeaway. But it didn’t take long for the Jaguars to make another mistake when they drew a false start penalty and then an illegal procedure two plays apart, forcing a 3rd-and-long that Northwest couldn’t make up.
“We were very undisciplined,” Northwest coach Mike Neubeiser said. “We had unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, we had guys who weren’t on the field when they needed to be on the field. It was embarrassing, to be honest. … We got to clean things up. We can’t just rely on our athleticism all the time, you know.”
On the next Wootton possession, Miller reeled in a 66-yard pass and took it to the house to bring the Patriots to within six, 26-20.
With the Patriots seizing all the momentum and the home crowd back into the game, a comeback for the ages seemed possible, until the following Northwest drive when Alphonso Foray scored on a back-breaking 28-yard run to make it 32-20 late in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter featured more of the same as Farri scored his last touchdown of the day, Isaiah Bishop barreled through for an 11-yard touchdown making the score 39-20. Miller stopped the bleeding with his second score of the day and converted a two-point conversion to make it 39-28, but the Jaguars continued to pile on the score, never allowing the outcome of the game to be in doubt again.