Rockville High School’s Seth Kenton and Michael Hayes saw the forecasts for this week. They knew exactly what was coming: rain. Buckets and buckets of the stuff. No matter. Barring a hurricane, they were having Friday night’s homecoming game against division rival Watkins Mill. Turns out, Rockville isn’t half bad playing on a football field that became nothing more than a 120-yard-long slip and slide, with a ball that was entirely un-grippable, and in jerseys so caked in mud it wouldn’t be a surprise if half the mothers in the stadium fled the scene at halftime to prepare the washing machines.
The Rams (4-2) rolled and slipped and dove and slid all over Watkins Mill in what quickly escalated into a 36-0 rout over the now 2-4 Wolverines.
“All week long we said ‘We will play,” Kenton said. “So we came out in the mud yesterday and we practiced in one spot on the practice field and just learned how to get our footing because it’s been a dry season so it’s definitely new and it’s definitely new for [Watkins Mill]. It worked for us.”
To most, the wet conditions would have seemed a blessing in the favor of the Wolverines. Rockville quarterback Chuck Reese had aired it out more than 40 times a game in four of the five weeks leading up to Friday. A wet football typically makes for a slippery, difficult-to-throw football. There were more drops than usual, and the spirals weren’t quite as tight, but Reese still picked apart the Wolverines’ secondary for 175 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half.
“It was amazing, just the way we came out in the first half, we came out on fire,” Reese said. “We knew we’d only get a little bit of time before it started [raining harder] like this. The rain broke for a little bit and we knew we could actually start throwing the ball, running our offense, get in our groove and that’s exactly what we did. We came out, first quarter, put up 22 and then we just rode it out the rest of the night.”
Reese’s adjustment to the less than ideal conditions only makes the problems of the Watkins Mill offense all the more evident. Eleven times the Wolverines put the ball on the ground — the majority on bumbled snaps — losing an inconceivable five fumbles. During one particularly nightmarish stretch in the first quarter, Watkins Mill fumbled the ball away on the very first play of two consecutive drives. Then, three plays into its next drive, backup quarterback Quinton Schaired fumbled the snap, picked it up, ran two yards, and fumbled again, leading to the third Rockville touchdown that followed a Watkins Mill fumble. Compounding to the woes, sophomore defensive back Jaron Woodyard was ejected for arguing with officials and starting quarterback Delonte Powell went out with a knee injury that Watson expects will keep him sidelined the rest of the season.
“Couldn’t hold onto the football,” Watson said. “Just couldn’t hold onto it. I don’t even know, I don’t even know. We just didn’t hold onto it. I don’t know why. We did so many things wrong. You’re going to play in the weather. We’re going to look at the film and see what happened, see what the cause was.”
Rockville 36, Watkins Mill 0
Rockville (4-2) 22 14 0 0 — 36
Watkins Mill (2-4) 0 0 0 0 — 0
R — Cris Maldonado 1 run (Chuck Reese pass no good)
R — Anthony Albert 5 pass from Chuck Reese (Chris Maldonado pass from Chuck Reese)
R — Cris Maldonado 5 run (Spencer Brigman pass from Chuck Reese)
R — Louison Biama 5 pass from Chuck Reese (Joey Cornwell pass from Chuck Reese)
R — Anthony Albert 32 pass from Chuck Reese (Chuck Reese pass no good)
R — Cris Maldonado 15-43; Spencer Brigman 4-14; Brandon Geddes 2-3; Jimmy Miller 1-1; Chuck Reese 2-0. WM — Quinton Schaired 20-67; Daqwan Hill 5-7; Malik Butler 2-4; Domo Leigh 4-3; Charles Walker 1-3; Owi Tsuma 1-0; Delonte Powell 6- (-) 5.
R — Chuck Reese 17-33-175-1. WM — Delonte Powell 1-3-18-0; Quinton Schaired 0-4-0-0.
R — Louison Biama 6-61; Anthony Albert 5-54; Spencer Brigman 4-49; Cris Maldonado 2-11. WM — Gradi Tshilombo 1-18.