Waldorf, MD – As the leaves turn from a green to a yellowish red, and the temperatures begin to dip into the 40s at night, the high school football playoffs are approaching. With that, every game turns into the most important one of the season.
Nothing was different as county rivals Westlake and Thomas Stone faced off against each other Friday, Oct. 16.
Westlake received the ball to start the game, and pieced together a few first downs before Stone’s defense turned them away, and forced a turnover on downs. Afterwards, both teams exchanged punts. Westlake’s punt coverage team downed their punt inside the 10 yard line for Stone. However several inside runs led to a gashing hole off the right side off of the line. Quarterback Jon Harris found it, and took advantage of it, running for 39 yards before being chased down from behind.
Unfortunately for Stone, they couldn’t do anything after the big run, and they turned the ball over on downs. On the Wolverines’ first play, they fumbled a hand-off, and Spencer Davis recovered it for Stone. He rumbled his way down inside the 5 of Westlake before being dragged down. Two plays later, Lewis put points on the board with a 1 yard sneak over his left guard and into the endzone. Stone’s extra point was good, and with 7:54 left in the half, it was 7-0 Stone. It would stay that way until halftime as each team turned it over on downs, and fumbled once. The only break from that chain was when Westlake’s ‘Hail Mary’ pass fell incomplete to end the half.
Stone received the ball to begin the half, and promptly fumbled it away to Westlake. Westlake made them pay as 3 plays later, Shaikh Carmichael ran it in from 11 yards with 7:53 left in the third quarter to tie the game at 7. The score stayed that way through the end of the third quarter as Stone embarked on a long drive, ending the quarter a half yard away from the end zone. Harris ran his second score of the game in from a yard on the first play of the fourth quarter, and put Stone up 14-7. However, after another exchange of punts, Westlake had the ball on the Stone 49 with 6 minutes left, and drove down into the red zone again. This time, on a fourth and 2 from the Stone 10 yard line, Damon Pleasants ran it in for a 10 yard score. The Cougars stopped him short of the two pointer, but the damage was done. Stone’ s lead had been trimmed to one with 2:50 left. Stone recovered the ensuing onside kick, and looked to wrap the game up. But, after one play, Hassan Marshall fumbled it away to the Wolverines. They took over on the 50 down by a point with 2:03 left in the game. With 39 seconds left, they were faced with a fourth and 15 from the 44 of Stone. On this play, quarterback Chad Palmer rolled out to his left, shook off a Stone defender, and threw it into the air for his surest receiver, Jalen Elliott, who caught the ball over two Stone defenders to give the Wolverines their first lead of the game 19-14 with 29 seconds on the board.
Stone had a chance, but Lewis fumbled the ball before being leveled on the game’s final play.
Palmer led the Wolverines in passing with 141 yards through the air. The Wolverines improve to 6-1, and will face La Plata next Friday night. For Stone, Harris led the way with 65 yards rushing and the two scores. The Cougars fall to 5-2, and will play Calvert next week.