Northwest’s Outstanding Season Falls Short After Loss in State Championship


Sam Holstine

Northwest High School Football players stand on the sideline during the 2019 Maryland 4A State Championship game in Annapolis, MD

Sam Holstine, Michael Schmidt, and

Sam Holstine
Northwest High School varsity football team meets in the gym before leaving for the Maryland 4A State Championship game in annapolis
Sam Holstine
Northwest High School Football players stand on the sideline during the 2019 Maryland 4A State Championship game in Annapolis, MD

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For the first time since 2014, the Northwest High School Jaguars football team reached the state championship. The Jaguars came into the season with high aspirations and goals, believing they had a solid chance at a return to the states. Fourteen weeks later, the Jags reached their goal.

Northwest played against Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. high school at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on December 6. As fans had been hoping for, the state championship got off to an extremely competitive start.
Both teams had big defensive stops throughout the first half.  They went into the locker room tied at 14.
Wise’s touchdowns were results of long, well-played drives, consisting of a mix of passes and
runs. Northwest’s two scores were quite the opposite, both on big passing plays towards the
beginning of their respective drives. Northwest fans went nuts when Ryan Beach took 66-yard pass-and-run into the endzone.
Special teams didn’t disappoint either, Northwest blocked Wise’s field goal attempt as time ran out in the first half to keep the game tied going into halftime.
The second half was a different story. The Wise defense stiffened up and was able to hold off the
dangerous Northwest offense.
On the other side of the ball, the Wise offense found their rhythm, specifically on the run game. Their crew of dangerous runners  who were able to penetrate Northwest’s defense, consistently getting first downs. They also added a few big passing plays too. The offense kept the pressure on the Northwest defense and lifted pressure off their own defense. With
this stiff defense and strong offense, Wise was able to put up 21 points in the second half.  Jags fell to Wise 35 to 14.
The Northwest High School Football Team had an outstanding season.
Soaring high, the Jaguars they rode a seven-game win streak, with only one
game being decided by under twenty points.
The Jaguars went through a new level of adversity  this season that helped structure this championship-caliber team. Coaches say a loss to rival Quince Orchard High School (QOHS) in the second to last week of the regular season humbled
the Jaguars.   It lead them into realizing that they weren’t invincible. Suffering a loss didn’t mean
the end of the season, and the team knew this, as they took the loss as a source and a way for them to
find ways to improve themselves.  Running backs Coach Dane Fisher, echoed that that belief, “I think that loss was the best thing that’s ever happened to us.”   Fisher added about the loss to QOHS, “Taking that loss humbled us, it gave us
places to work on, things specifically to work on, and it allowed us to understand that we are not
 Northwest’s new outlook showed as the team rolled into the playoffs and even got their revenge, defeating QO in the state semis at Quince Orchard.
Another source of adversity for the Jaguars to overcome this year was the addition of several
players from outside schools. This year, the Jaguars had several transfers coming over to the
program, such as Ryan Beach, Joseph Bruno, Aaron Beckwith, and Dominique Perry. While
some may believe the transition to a new program could be shaky, all new players fit right into
place with the program and were huge parts of the team’s success this year. From the start, the
transfer players became more than just teammates with the others, but brothers too. It’s a
standard rule of thumb when being part of a team, but this team truly was a family and always
enjoyed being together.  This definitely added to their success both on and off the field.
One element of the season that was always there and truly meant a lot to the team was the fans.
Every week, home or away, the fans showed up to support the team. Despite any harsh weather
conditions, the Northwest faithful showed up to support their team. Despite the loss to QO in
the regular season, Jag Nation showed up again in the playoffs, filling the away team
section of the stands. The team fed off the support and energy provided by the fans. Consistent
fan support is one of the little things that truly meant a lot to the team. The players, and even the
coaches, fed off their energy.  “The Northwest faithful are the best here and meant the world to the team,” Coach
Fisher said. The fans made all the special moments even more special. Throwing up the white
powder and flooding the field after the playoff win at QOHS made the season more memorable
and special for everyone.
Despite an ending that the team and fans had not been wishing for, the Northwest High School
Football Team still had an outstanding season, full of highlights and excitement. The team and  students are more than excited to see how they perform next season. The outstanding 2019 season will hopefully lead into an even greater 2020 season for the Northwest Football program