Last February, three months after Quince Orchard blew a three-touchdown lead and lost to Old Mill in the Maryland 4A championship, a group of Cougar captains brought the state runner-up trophy to the first team meeting of 2012.
The trophy was put on display in the school’s weight room all winter, spring and summer — a chilling reminder of what was lost. On Friday night, the Cougars took the first step in the quest to replace it.
The Quince Orchard defense forced three critical turnovers, and D’Andre Johnson added two electrifying touchdowns as the Cougars beat Sherwood, 28-12, living up to their preseason billing as one of the best teams in the region — at least for one game.
“That’s how you win games,” said Coach David Mencarini, “you go through the highs and the lows.”
It was the first time in Mencarini’s nine years at Quince Orchard that his program had beaten Sherwood on the road — and the Cougars looked like a team with a chip on its shoulder from the start. Mencarini called six straight runs to open the game — then used an ambush-play-action pass to catch the Warriors off guard on the seventh play of the possession, as junior quarterback Mike Murtaugh hit D’Andre Johnson on a 49-yard touchdown pass.