Northwest football confident as it prepares for rematch against undefeated QO in state semifinal


GERMANTOWN, Md. (WDVM) – The top two high school football teams in Montgomery County will face off for the second time this season Friday, but this time, a trip to the 4A state championship is on the line.

In October, Northwest hosted Quince Orchard and suffered its only loss of the season to this point, being shutout 31-0.

“As a team, we talk about it every day saying we never want to feel that again,” Northwest sophomore quarterback Patrick Doyle said. “Just the worst feeling we’ve ever had and we want to make them feel that, how we felt.”

This week is like deja vu for the Jaguars. In 2019, Northwest lost to Quince Orchard in the regular season, beat Paint Branch in the state quarterfinals and then faced QO again in the state semifinals, beating them to advance to the state championship game. Northwest lost to Wise in the 2019 state title game.

“These guys, the senior class were sophomores, the last time they were in this position, and we beat QO over there to go to the state championship,” Northwest football head coach Travis Hawkins, who was an assistant with the 2019 team, said. “And we went down to Wise, but they felt that taste of getting there and they want to get there again.”

Last week, Northwest hung on to beat a tough Paint Branch team 33-26. Excluding the team’s win over Paint Branch and the loss to Quince Orchard, Northwest beat its opponents by an average margin of about 43 points, allowing less than five points per game. The zero point effort against Quince Orchard was the only time all season that Northwest failed to score at least 22 points.

“You want to win every game but I really think it brought us back down to earth,” Northwest senior athlete Darius Lorfils said. “We know who we really are and who we want to be. It keeps us humble and hungry. You know, that’s big about this team. We’re confident but we want to to stay level.”

Throughout the season, Lorfils and Doyle have both taken snaps at quarterback and Northwest’s offense has displayed additional facets to its game, something Hawkins says will be beneficial on Friday.

“Offensive is getting rolling, in the last two weeks, they’ve been looking really good,” Hawkins said. “And we hope to keep it up. And our defense has been subpar. But come Friday night, everybody will be ready to play.”

Quince Orchard enters Friday’s matchup 12-0. The Cougars defeated No. 8 seed Old Mill in the state quarterfinal, 41-6. A win would give Quince Orchard its first trip to the state title game since 2018. The Cougars won their third state title in school history in 2018. The Jaguars last won a state title in 2014, which was also the third in school history for them.

“Tough stretch, but you know we’ve been through this before so that’s a good thing about it,” Lorfils said. “Senior heavy, a lot of these guys were on that 2019 team. So I think it brings back a lot of that experience.”

Quince Orchard declined a request for interviews ahead of Friday’s matchup. The school told WDVM that they will not have media availability until after Friday’s game.

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