Quince Orchard High School defensive lineman Adam McLean has noticed opponents increasingly running away from his side of the field.
He takes pride in that, but it also frustrates him to constantly chase the action rather than participate.
So, facing a cut block that kept him from the backfield and seeing the ballcarrier a few feet to his right, McLean knew he had a rare opportunity. McLean lunged over the blocker and reached with his long arms to tackle the running back for a short loss.
“Any time I see the ballcarrier or I'm just in the vicinity of the ballcarrier, I'm just trying to make a play,” McLean said.
McLean added a fourth-down sack later the game and No. 1 Quince Orchard beat Bethesda-Chevy Chase 49-0 Saturday at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring. The game was played there so it could be played on artifical turf instead of a muddy field.
Quince Orchard has posted three straight shutouts, held its opponent scoreless for the last 15 quarters and allowed just 13 points all season. Only Class 1A's Forestville, which has surrendered 12 points but has yet to play its Week 6 game (Monday at Surrattsville), has allowed fewer points among Maryland's public-school teams.
McLean — whose scholarships offers include Florida State University, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Mississippi, North Carolina State, Boston College, Michigan State, Iowa and Maryland — has certainly helped Quince Orchard's defensive dominance.
“Adam is a good player,” Quince Orchard coach Dave Mencarini said. “But I don't know if he's worth running away from all the time”
That's because Mencarini has so much faith in his entire defense.
John Ten Eyck, in particular stepped up opposite McLean on Saturday. After rotating in as a backup last season, Ten Eyck is starting at defensive end, and his sack on the game's second play set a tone for Quince Orchard holding Bethesda-Chevy Chase to just two total rushing yards.
“This is John's chance, and he's made the most of it,” Mencarini said. “I'm proud of him.”
Offensively, Quince Orchard cruised, as well.
Kevin Joppy ran for three touchdowns. Mike Murtaugh threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Preston Bampoe-Addo, earning running clock late in the first half, and ran for another score. Kyle Green added a fourth-quarter touchdown run that gave Quince Orchard points on all seven of its possessions before taking a knee to end the game.
Quince Orchard (6-0) is now 23-0 against 4A South teams since moving into the region in 2011, winning by an average score of 43-5.
“We did what we needed to do,” Ten Eyck said. “We set ourselves apart from the other teams in Montgomery County by not letting them get close to us. We're at the top, and that's how it's going to be.”
Quince Orchard has eliminated Bethesda-Chevy Chase in the playoffs the last two seasons. Now, Quince Orchard might have dealt a crucial blow to Bethesda-Chevy Chase's hopes of extending its already-program-long postseason streak to three seasons.
“I was a little disappointed, not with the outcome, but with the effort,” Bethesda-Chevy Chase coach Josh Singer said. “We had a great week of practice, preparing for this game. Unfortunately, we didn't do the things that we were doing in practice that could have made this a competitive game.”
Bethesda-Chevy Chase (2-4, 20 playoff points) is now eighth in the 4A West Region, though Singer is optimistic. He views Quince Orchard, Gaithersburg and Northwest as the clear class of the region thus far, leaving one playoff berth up for grabs.
“As far as that fourth spot is concerned, anything can happen,” Singer said.
Quince Orchard 49, Bethesda-Chevy Chase 0
Quince Orchard (6-0) 13 22 7 7 — 49
Bethesda-Chevy Chase (2-4) 0 0 0 0 — 0
QO — Kevin Joppy 32 run (Troy Porter kick)
QO — Mike Murtaugh 1 run (kick failed)
QO — Shawn Barlow 17 run (Kevin Joppy run)
QO — Kevin Joppy 1 run (Troy Porter kick)
QO — Preston Bampoe-Addo 60 pass from Mike Murtaugh (Troy Porter kick)
QO — Kevin Joppy 12 run (Troy Porter kick)
QO — Kyle Green 3 run (Troy Porter kick)
Quince Orchard — Kevin Joppy 10-82, Shawn Barlow 7-59, Kyle Green 10-46, Mike Murtaugh 4-14, Henry Canova 1-5.
Bethesda-Chevy Chase — Nana Amankwah-Ayeh 7-12, Marcelo McAndrew 2-7, Somto Ndubisi 1-1, Keenan McUmber 1-(-1), Jordan Miller 4-(-2), Jack Hanifee 9-(-15).
Quince Orchard — Mike Murtaugh 11-15-231-0.
Bethesda-Chevy Chase — Jack Hanifee 7-9-105-0.
Quince Orchard — Preston Bampoe-Addo 2-68, Kevin Joppy 3-62, Malcolm Brown 3-60, Greg Williams 1-22, Tobin Pagley 1-10, Shawn Barlow 1-9.
Bethesda-Chevy Chase — Steven Kelly 5-99, Nana Amankwah-Ayeh 2-6.