BALTIMORE, Md. (WUSA 9) — Northwest powered through rain, cold and slippery conditions Friday night at M&T Bank Stadium to defeat Suitland 33-16 and claim the 2013 Maryland 4A state title.
“It teaches them if you work hard, you can accomplish big things,” said Jaguars head coach Mike Neubeiser. “They worked really, really hard for it and [have] come a long way.”
The progress Neubeiser mentioned was evident in Northwest’s performance. Players were focused, composed and resilient, especially Mark Pierce, the team’s young quarterback.
With less than five minutes left in the game the sophomore threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Matt Watson that put the Jaguars up, 26-16, over the Rams.
A 10-yard touchdown run by running back E.J. Lee a few minutes later would ultimately secure Northwest’s victory. Pierce completed 12-of-22 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns in the championship game.
The Rams, who came into the championship undefeated, struggled to execute on offense and wracked up 17 penalties during the game. Although Darryl Jasper scored early in the fourth quarter, and quarterback Wesley Wolfolk made good on the ensuing two-point conversion (bringing the score to 20-16), the Rams couldn’t hold on to the momentum.
“We had some opportunities. We were not able to take advantage of … We still pushed though [and] tried to fight back, just couldn’t get it done today,” said Suitland head coach Ed Shields.
Maryland state championships continue Saturday afternoon with Douglass (Baltimore) versus Fort Hill at 12:30 and Patuxent versus Middletown at 3:30.