Wildcats beat Northwest for first time in 12 years


Photo by Sanir Byanjankar

Senior quarterback Andrew Plotnick hands the ball to freshman running back Dylan Byrd. Northwest trailed the entire game while trying to stop the WJ offense from continuing their successful.

Despite the pouring rain, for the first time in over a decade the Wildcats were able to defeat the Northwest Jaguars. After losing 74-0 last season, WJ was able to get revenge and win 10-7.

Northwest received the ball to start the game but was unable to get anything going offensively. To end their opening drive, junior defensive back Nick Zayas was able to intercept and allow the WJ offense to step onto the field for the first time.

As a result of this interception, senior wide receiver Elijah Barringtine was able to find the endzone. This touchdown however, was called back because of holding on the offense. The Wildcats were still able to put points on the board early in the first quarter because of a field goal by senior kicker Kevin Lukash.

In the second quarter, the Jaguars were unable to respond and get a field goal of their own because of a missed kick by their kicker, Sam Mckinney. This permitted the Wildcats to go into halftime with a 3-0 lead over the Jaguars.

“There was a lot of excitement but we still had to stay focused throughout the second half and listen for adjustments any coaches had,” Zayas said.

To begin the second half, junior quarterback Charlie Blessing entered the game. As a result of the rain, the ball became harder to hold onto which led to a lot of drops by the offense. Regardless of the weather, the defense was able to stop a Northwest fourth down conversion on the WJ 15 yard-line.

All week leading up to the game we focused a lot on making tackles. We knew it was going to rain and we put our best corners, Jalen (Scott) and Daniel (Jones), on their two best players to prevent them from getting the ball.

— CJ Newman

On the following WJ drive, Blessing connected with senior wide receiver Pablo Foley and senior wide receiver Christion Wright for two first downs. Barringtine was able to find the endzone for the second time, this time without a penalty.

“It was exciting and exhilarating, but it was mostly just surreal. I’m glad we were able to get it done,” Barringtine said.

After the Wildcats led 10-0 in the fourth quarter, the Jaguars were able to respond with a touchdown of their own. Northwest got the ball for the last time with 2:01 left to play, still trailing 10-7. They were unable to make a comeback as Zayas got his second interception of the game, which allowed Blessing to take a knee to seal the game.

“It really felt great. After they drove down the field there was a lot of pressure on the defense but we played really well and were locked in the whole game,” Zayas said.

This Friday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m., WJ will face BCC (2-3), at BCC’s home stadium. This game will be a blackout for the WJ student section and the tickets are already sold out. The Barons are coming into the game after earning their first win against Wooton, 42-0. Their other win is due to a forfeit against Gaithersburg.