Sherwood Warriors 38- Magruder Colonels 6
September 24, 2010
Marc Thomas was a bit concerned coming into this week’s matchup between two bitter rivals. His Sherwood Warriors (4-0) came out flat the previous week against the Paint Branch Panthers and Thomas knew well that was not an option coming in to crowded Magruder Stadium to meet the Magruder Colonels (2-2) in a physical grudge match.
“Last week I felt like we weren’t prepared and we weren’t ready to go right at the beginning of the game,” he said. “I think this week we got it. The key was game preparation and come out firing right away.”
And Thomas’s Stormin’ Warriors certainly did come out with some opening firepower. The Colonels received the opening kickoff and ran merely five plays before junior quarterback Garland Owens pass intended for junior Marcus Moore was intercepted by Sherwood junior Jamal Merritt and returned to the Colonel 43-yard-line.
“I just knew I had to make a play,” said Merritt. “The coaches were preaching it all week in practice. Last week we let them have a little bit too much on offense and that we weren’t playing how we should play. We knew we had to start making plays early and not let them get too many big plays and generate some turnovers.”
After merely three plays, Sherwood cashed in on the Magruder mishap when senior runningback Dylan Hubbard scored from one-yard out, his first of two touchdowns of the game. The theme of Colonel turnovers would continue throughout a first half that saw the Warriors score five times and the Colonels turn the ball over four times. After Merritt’s interception Sherwood blocked a punt, tackled Magruder punter Sean Remini for a 14-yard-loss after a bad snap on fourth-and-17 and then forced Owens to cough the ball up at the Magruder 28-yard-line.
“That’s exactly what we wanted to do,” Thomas said. “Try and get a turnover and of course try and take it down and score. The offense did well. The defense did well; just really a complete effort the whole first half.”
With Magruder trailing by 38 entering the fourth quarter, Sherwood reserves began to enter the game. The Colonels, however, did not quit and after a Sherwood fumble they took over at the Warrior eight-yard-line. Magruder capitalized and scored when Owens rolled to his left and found receiver Matt Miller open in the flat from five-yards out. But it was too little too late for the Colonels as they watched the slowly clock tick down towards zero.
After three knees from Warrior third-string quarterback Casey Theologus the McDonald’s Bowl, as the game was called under former Sherwood head coach Al Thomas, was in the books, with Sherwood winning it without much struggle.
Up next for these two teams: Sherwood travels to Gaithersburg for a clash of the unbeatens with the Trojans and Magruder is left to lick its wounds until it travels to Watkins Mill.