In honor of lost friend, Northwest pushes past Churchill
10/8/2018 8:42 AM

For a while Friday night against Churchill, the Northwest football team couldn’t get out of its own way.

Quarterback Jack Anders found wide receiver Andrew Howard wide open on the left side of the field for what appeared to be a 54-yard touchdown that would have given Northwest the lead. Instead, a penalty at the line of scrimmage nullified the play, and the Jaguars ended up punting.

On their next drive, Marcus Berry seemed to break off a kickoff return for a touchdown, but a penalty for a block in the back negated the score.

Finally, though, Northwest broke through. Howard scored on a mirror play to his earlier would-be touchdown, catching a 33-yard pass from Anders in the end zone with 6:29 remaining to put his team in the lead.

“I was pretty frustrated after the first play, but I knew we had to get back out there and do it again,” Howard said. “I knew we could do it again.”

The No. 16 Jaguars (5-1) took control of the game from there for a 40-28 win against the Bulldogs (5-1).

Northwest faced an emotional week at school. Senior Josh Snyder, 17, died Wednesday in a car crash on Interstate 270 in Montgomery County, and many of the players counted him as a friend. He had played on the junior varsity team for a season, and he often attended varsity games.

“It’s tough, tough for us to deal with,” Northwest Coach Mike Neubeiser said. “We care about Josh a lot, and we wanted to play for Josh. I just told them to stay focused and know that he’s with us.”

AJ Woods told himself before the game he would score in Josh’s honor.

“We played the game for Josh, and we know he was looking down on us as we played tonight,” Woods said.

The senior scored on the first play from scrimmage, turning a jet sweep into a 66-yard touchdown.

Northwest went up 28-7, then allowed 21 unanswered points to Churchill and faced a tie game early in the third quarter. Still, the team kept pushing forward.

“We knew Josh. He was a great friend to everybody, the whole school,” Howard said. “He wouldn’t want us to sit down and be upset. He would want us to keep pushing, and that’s what we did for him.”

Howard finished with five catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Anders was 16-for-23 passing for 283 yards and four touchdowns.

By: Kate Yanchulis (Washington Post) 

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