Wildcats wave Barons goodbye

Luke Liden

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Photo courtesy of Eugene Borissow

Junior wide receiver Christion Wright channels his inner Randy Moss to make the catch in the end zone over the BCC defender. WJ trailed by a touchdown until Wright’s touchdown which changed the momentum of the game greatly.

After a regular season matchup that truly went down to the wire, everyone was excited when they found out WJ football was slated to face off against BCC in the first round of the playoffs. Like the first time they met, the energy and excitement generated from the rivalry between schools created an electric environment.

WJ matched up with BCC just three days prior to the football game during the boys soccer regional playoffs and suffered a heartbreaking loss in the closing minutes of extra time.

“I speak for everyone at WJ when I say I’m super proud of the soccer team. The loss was pretty disappointing but we’re looking to win on Friday and keep the playoff runs at WJ going,” senior right guard Alex Allmon said prior to the game.

WJ football ended the season on a strong note with a huge 27-8 win against Wootton and looked to take that strong energy into the first round of the playoffs. Although the team has battled multiple injuries throughout the season, they still found a way to round up and take down the rival school.

“Missing a couple people hurts any week, but with playoffs here, it matters even more. Luckily some people played through more minor injuries and we ended up having most of the roster available,” junior wide receiver Pablo Foley said.

The game started off slow with WJ trailing 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, but quickly picked up. After senior quarterback Will Gardner and junior receiver Christion Wright connected for one of the most exciting touchdowns of the season to tie the game, the energy in the Wildcats play was rejuvenated.

Gardner ran in a touchdown to close the first half and the special teams unit forced two fumbled kicks recovered for touchdowns to start the second half. The Wildcats had a commanding 28-7 lead, but BCC didn’t go down without a fight. The Barons broke free for a couple of long runs to the endzone putting the game at 28-20 with time running out. With only seconds remaining and the ball in the Baron’s hands, senior defensive back Arnold Johnson came up with the interception that sealed BCC’s fate.

“We didn’t expect an easy game out here but we’re always looking to secure the win. Onto the next week,” sophomore tight end Reid Wisniewski said.

The visiting section of the bleachers was full with WJ students and absolutely exploded once the victory was in WJ’s hands.

“I love beating BCC, the hype of the rivalry made the biggest game of our season even bigger,” senior JP Rakis said.

After the game, the extent of the hatred between schools was seen with fights breaking out in the parking lot and the vandalism of WJ’s team buses committed by BCC students.

“We have a game to prepare for this Friday, we’re not worried about whatever problems they have with us,” Wright said.

WJ’s round one victory puts them up against Quince Orchard in round two. QO has a notoriously strong football program and finished the season as the #1 team in Montgomery County. WJ’s first encounter with QO resulted in an extremely tight first half before QO pulled away from WJ and won the game. With that said, WJ is coming off of a huge win against a rival team making it safe to say that the energy levels of the team are elevated beyond where they were last time they faced QO.

The playoffs haven’t disappointed through week one and WJ looks to continue their run tonight with their game at QO.