GAITHERSBURG — As the first round 2017 4A West playoffs unfolded on the Quince Orchard sideline, all you could hear from players and coaches was finishing quickly, imposing their will, acting like professionals — although they don’t get paid like one –and carrying themselves with class.
“Good win!” Quince Orchard coach John Kelley said after his Cougars trounced visiting Einstein, 62-0. “We’re 1-0”
Contributions in the 62-point win came in all three phases of the game. Quarterback Doc Bonner and the offense scored five times, while the defense accounted for four touchdowns, led by defensive back Aaron Derwin. The Cougars were confident throughout the game, even getting visibly annoyed when the Titans were yelling and whooping on the field after making plays. The defending 4A West regional champs were aware of how much they outclassed Einstein and only wanted the game to get over with quickly.
On the cold night November night, Quince Orchard imposed its will early and often on the Titans. It happened in the first series of the game when the Cougars defense ripped the ball out of Ricky Thomas’ hands and ran it back 51 yards for the first touchdown of the evening. It happened again when Doc Bonner delivered a beautiful on-the-dime 87-yard bomb into the hands of Brenden McGonagle to give the Cougars a 35-0 lead. Derwin got in on the act with his own pick-six, and then immediately afterward, took a punt return to the house for a 14-point swing and gave his Cougars a 49-0 lead.
“All week we’ve just been looking forward to this game,” Derwin said. “Just making sure everyone is focused and dialed in to everything they need to do to win the game.”
With the game well in hand by halftime, and the running clock being utilized, the only thing on the Cougars’ mind is who they’re going to play next week in the regional championship. The other 4A West matchup was between Northwest and Richard Montgomery, which Northwest won, 10-7.
In the postgame huddle, Kelley immediately alluded to the three previous seasons where they got eliminated by the Jaguars: 2013, 2014, and 2015 were all seasons that QO beat Northwest in the regular season but just couldn’t get the job done in the postseason. Last year, however, the Cougars got over the hump and out of the region and finished runner-up in the 4A final.
Quince Orchard will play in its 13th straight region championship next Friday against its arch nemesis from Germantown.
“They think [Quince Orchard] is their [freaking] field in the playoffs, just because their Northwest,” Kelley began to tell his players. “I’m telling you right now, I cannot [freaking] wait for next week.”