From bad-snaps leading to safeties, touchdown nullifying inadvertent whistles to a kickoff for a touchdown, Friday night’s Bethesda-Chevy Chase at Richard Montgomery high school football game had it all.
It also had a few stellar offensive performances, from the hosts’ Phil Osborn and the visitors’ Nana Yaw Amankwah-Ayeh. And fittingly, it would be Amankwah-Ayeh’s 1-yard dive over the middle with 48 seconds left in the game to give B-CC the victory, 34-33 over the hard-luck Rockets.
Amankwa-Ayeh, a hard-charging 6-foot 200-pound ball of energy, ran through the RM defense for 257 yards on 38 carries, reaching the end zone four times. Amankwah-Ayeh’s exploits were just enough to hold off the monster game of the Rockets’ wide receiver Phil Osborn, who caught 12 passes for 185 yards and two scores — one a spectacular one-handed catch for 10 yards that gave his team a 27-15 lead with 8:33 left in the third quarter. He also tallied a third touchdown on an 80-yard kickoff return in the first half.
“I’ll tell you No. 10 [Osborn], I made a point to grab him at the end [of the game],” said B-CC coach Josh Singer. “He’s a heck of a ball player and he definitely frustrated us. Every time we felt like we got something going, they found a way to get him the ball and he made it hurt.”
Osborn’s success was aided by sophomore second-string quarterback Daniel Alexander, who stepped in for starter Renzo Farfan, who sat out due to a concussion suffered last week in a 24-20 loss to Thomas S. Wootton, filled in admirably for the Rockets, completing 17 out of 34 passes for 263 yards and three scores. He also tossed two interceptions.
That was his first start [in high school],” said RM coach Josh Klotz, whose team fell to 2-7 overall and 2-3 in the Montgomery County 4A South Division. “He never started on JV, he started at cornerback for the last two weeks and did a great job. He is football smart and we didn’t take much out of the playbook. We trust him and obviously Phil Osborn made a bunch of plays for him, but Daniel also threw a bunch of great balls to other receivers. He also had a few drops [by receivers], so I was very proud of the way Daniel played.”
Singer was equally impressed with Alexander.
“I thought the quarterback did a fantastic job,” said Singer, whose team improved 3-6 overall and 2-2 in the 4A South. “If coach Klotz hadn’t come up to me and honorably talked about how his quarterback went down and that [Alexander] was starting a new guy today, I would have had no idea other than the number on the back of his jersey .”
Amankwah-Ayeh preferred not to talk about his big numbers, but instead gave credit to his teammates and coaching staff.
“The five [offensive] lineman up front, they just kept working, and kept pushing until the end,” Amankwa-Ayeh said. “They got better as the game went on, and just helped me have a good day. Our coaches kept us level for the whole game. Not too many highs or lows no matter what.”
Singer spoke glowingly of his team’s hard-nosed running game and his standout running back’s efforts.
“We saw something there with our dive [play] and [Amankwah-Ayeh] has been the guy that has kept our offense going all season, he said. “Once we knew we could get him going, the line started to make holes for him. And he ran his guts out. Our line really wore down their [defensive] line, and once we knew we got that push, we just kept feeding it to Nana.”
Wide receiver/safety Steven Kelly contributed four catches for 115 yards and a 48-yard scoring grab for the winners. He also picked off a pass from his safety spot during the third quarter.
“Steven really helped to keep us balanced,” Singer said. “With him making nice catches and [quarterback] Jack [Hanifee] throwing it, or Jeremiah Preddie and Kennan McUmber running hard before he went down with an injury, it helped us out a great deal.”
Some of the out of the ordinary happenings during the game; the Rockets took a 7-2 lead at the end of the first half, with the two points occurring on a bad snap past Alexander with his team pinned at its own 1-yard line.
With 1:45 left in the first quarter, RM’s Alex Fehlinger blocked a 22-yard field goal attempt by Hanifee and teammate Josh Dyson returned the ball 75 yards for an apparent touchdown. However, a referee inadvertently blew a whistle, thus negating the play, but giving the ball back to the Rockets.
On the next play however, the hosts would fumble the ball back to B-CC, with linebacker Marcelo McAndrew making the recovery. On the ensuing play, the Rocket’s Noah White picked off Hanifee’s pass, ending a phase of the game that resembled a back-and-forth tennis match rather than a football game.
B-CC 34, Richard Montgomery 33
Bethesda-Chevy Chase 2-13-6-13—34
Richard Montgomery 7-14-6-6—33
RM—Sebastien Vainqueur 29 pass from Daniel Alexander (Joseph Van Dyke kick)
BCC—Ball snapped out of the end zone
BCC—Steven Kelly 48 pass from Jack Hanifee (pass failed)
RM—Phil Osborn 80 kickoff return (pass failed)
BCC—Nana Yaw Amankwah-Ayeh 15 run (Hanifee kick)
RM—Phil Osborn 32 pass from Daniel Alexander (Sebastien Vainqueur pass from Daniel Alexander)
RM—Phil Osborn 4 pass from Daniel Alexander (kick failed)
BCC—Nana Yaw Amankwah-Ayeh 37 run (run failed)
RM—Sebastien Vainqueur 21 pass from Daniel Alexander (pass failed)
BCC—Nana Yaw Amankwah-Ayeh 8 run (Jack Hanifee kick)
BCC— Nana Yaw Amankwah-Ayeh 1 run (run failed)
Bethesda-Chevy Chase — Nana Yaw Amankwah-Ayeh 38-257, Jack Hanifee 10-49, Keenan McUmber 6-21, Jeremiah Preddie 2-21, Ford Price 2-9.
Richard Montgomery — Osebo Akhibe 12-34.
Bethesda-Chevy Chase — Jack Hanifee 5-9, 115 2 ; Ford Price 0-1 0 0.
Richard Montgomery — Daniel Alexander 17-34, 263 2 , Osebo Akhibe 1-1 12 0.
Bethesda-Chevy Chase — Steven Kelly 4-115, Keenan McUmber 1-2.
Richard Montgomery — Phil Osborn 12-185, Sebastien Vainqueur 6-63, Noah White, 2-27.