Quince Orchard High School's football players said they went back to the basics after dropping their first game of the season last week. It paid off in a perfectly executed first half against Thomas S. Wootton on Friday.
Led by senior quarterback Mike Murtaugh's five-touchdown performance, the Cougars (9-1) shut out the Patriots (5-5) and capped off their regular season with a 40-0 road victory in Rockville.
“We came here an angry football team. We wanted to redeem ourselves,” Murtaugh said.
The victory positions the Cougars atop the 4A West Region.
“It shows what kind of team we really are,” Quince Orchard coach Dave Mencarini said.
The Cougars scored all 40 of their points in the first half, including 27 in the first quarter. Murtaugh completed five of six passes in the first half, four of which were touchdowns.
“I just throw the ball up, and the receivers catch it. I give the credit to them and the offensive line. They do the work and I just throw the ball up,” Murtaugh said. Senior receiver Elliot Davis caught three passes for 49 yards and two touchdowns.
Quince Orchard running back Shawn Barlow rushed for 125 yards on 20 carries. The speedy sophomore ran for a 34-yard touchdown on the team's second offensive play from scrimmage. He added another 36-yard run the following drive, which got the team deep in Wootton territory. Murtaugh capped off that drive with an 8-yard pass to Greg Williams.
Murtaugh's 3-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter gave the Cougars a comfortable 40-0 lead heading into halftime. Aided by a running clock, the team cruised from there.
The defense forced three interceptions, a fumble and several three-and-outs. Wootton quarterback Sam Ellis was kept out of the end zone after passing for 547 yards and six touchdowns last week against Rockville.
“You can't ask for anything more,” said Quince Orchard linebacker Lamonte Armstrong. “We prepared, did our best and got the outcome.”
Armstrong said the team lacked focus in the practices leading up to the Northwest game. This week's practices had a different feel, he said.
“We had to come in here with confidence, come out with that swagger we usually have,” Armstrong said.
Quince Orchard will host Clarksburg on Friday in Gaithersburg to open the 4A West Region playoffs.
“We're going to play with a chip on our shoulder and we're excited about the opportunity to be in the playoffs,” Mencarini said.
Quince Orchard 40, Thomas S. Wootton 0
Quince Orchard (9-1) 27 13 0 0 — 40
Thomas S. Wootton (5-5) 0 0 0 0 — 0
QO — Shawn Barlow 34 run (Troy Porter kick)
QO — Greg Williams 8 pass from Mike Murtaugh (Troy Porter kick)
QO — Elliott Davis 6 pass from Mike Murtaugh (kick failed)
QO — Elliott Davis 11 pass from Mike Murtaugh (Troy Porter kick)
QO — Mike Murtaugh 3 run (Troy Porter kick)
QO — Malcolm Brown 18 pass from Mike Murtaugh (kick failed)
Quince Orchard — Shawn Barlow 20-125, Mike Murtaugh 3-17, Kyle Green 4-2, Jose Cruz 3-(-2).
Wootton — Bryan Castillo 7-20, Jibri Woods 1-13, Jake Koplan 1-4, Sam Ellis 5-(-12).
Quince Orchard — Mike Murtaugh 6-11-93-0, Malcolm Brown 1-1-2-0
Wootton — Sam Ellis 12-33-92-2, Trevon Diggs 1-2-11-1.
Quince Orchard — Elliott Davis 3-49, Malcolm Brown 1-18, Preston Bampoe-Addo 1-18, Greg Williams 1-8.
Wootton — Trevon Diggs 6-46, Jibri Woods 4-33, Kwame Frimpong 2-26, Bryan Castillo 1-0.