The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Wildcats fight off Panthers, Patriots in striking triumphs

Sophomore Dylan Byrd attempts an end zone catch. Byrd rushed for 173 yards with one touchdown against Paint Branch.

Senior quarterback Charlie Blessing receives the snap and drops back into the collapsing pocket, taking steps forward and surveys the line hoping for a hole to break through. With the Wildcats all tied up at 7-7 very deep into the 3rd quarter, this was Blessing’s moment to push the Cats ahead and secure a one possession lead. Blessing maneuvered his way through the offensive line and found some daylight. The commander of the offense then bolted down the middle of the field as he reached the end zone for the 15-yard score.

The Cats stepped up to the challenge on Thursday, Sept. 21 as football improved to 4-0. They battled, coming up with the 22-7 victory against the Paint Branch Panthers. The Wildcats continue to impress as they have proved week in week out that they are indeed a threat in the 4A North division.

“I just tried to stay positive, I credit staying loose [as] I played golf growing up and sometimes you have a bad shot and if you dwell on that bad shot you aren’t going to play well. I learned whenever something bad happens to smile and laugh about it because it keeps you loose,” Blessing said.

The defense set the tone from the beginning to end of this game. As standout defenders, senior Dylan Minnick and junior Sean Mpanga led the rest of the crew in stopping the Panthers’ productive offense.

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“Our scout team offense really gave us a good look, by the time we played them on Thursday we were ready,” junior Sean Mpanga said.

The anchor of the defense, Minnick had the following to say on the Wildcats impressive defensive showing.

“One of the most important parts of our team is that we rely on stability. With us working as a unit and performing to the best of our abilities, it increases our chances of winning,” Minnick said.

The effective game ending run and the Cats’ spectacular defensive showing were the major highlights of this much anticipated matchup, as the Cats grabbed an important victory against a great contending team in Paint Branch. The win sent a message to the rest of the division, emphasizing that this Wildcats team should be seen with great caution to opponents.

The Wildcats traveled to Wootton on Thursday, Sept. 28, where they extended their win streak to five games with a 20-3 victory over the Patriots, giving the Wildcats their best start to a season in school history. The Wildcats (5-0) will host the Blair Blazers (2-2) next Friday, October 7, for their Homecoming game.

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Mateus Bouquet, Print Sports Editor
Junior Mateus Bouquet is extremely excited to get started in his first year with the Pitch as a Sports Editor. Along with writing for the pitch, Mateus is a huge football fan and his weekly mood is based on how the Commanders played.
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