BLADENSBURG – After suspending their football program last year due to a low turnout to summer workouts and the safety of inexperienced players, Bladensburg High School returned to their gridiron on Sept. 7 for its first varsity home game since 2017 against Northwestern High School.
Unfortunately, the Mustangs were completely dominated on both sides by Northwestern as the Wildcats won 46-0.
“It always tough the first week,” said Wildcats Head Coach Bryan Pierre. “We didn’t get a lot of film on them so we just wanted to minimize our mistakes. We just wanted to come out with more offense and that was pretty much it.”
The Wildcats (1-0) started on the defensive end with an early interception by Robert Taylor. It would be the start of Taylor’s impressive game. After picking off Bladensburg’s quarterback Tashawn Ambrose on the first drive, he forced and recovered a fumble on Bladensburg’s running back Denzel Williams and made a touchdown reception that put Northwestern up 24-0 before the half.
“We was mainly focusing on stamina and staying with the game plan,” said Taylor. “We knew their defensive ends like to play out so we planned to come through the middle and it was wide open. We didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves and we came out second half full speed and finished the game.”
Northwestern quarterback Marco Cole showed off his passing abilities throughout the game. His hot start began with a touchdown pass to Emil Medina to put the first points on the board. Wildcats running back Jason Abbey followed with a rushing touchdown to extend their lead to 16-0 with 8 minutes left in the second quarter.
Abbey received help from his entire offensive line, especially Alex Desir who did a good job leading both offensive and defensive lines.
Meanwhile, the Mustangs (0-1) could not find a way to surpass the Wildcats defense. Northwestern forced multiple fumbles and even disrupted their punt returns.
Defensive back Dagostino Saintal joined Taylor in earning an interception of his seconds before halftime as Bladensburg attempted a touchdown pass. He attempted to run it back for a touchdown but was stopped a few yards shy of the end zone.
Coming on the half, Bladensburg came out of the locker room full of energy as they forced a fumble on a Wildcat run. However, the Mustangs still could not put points on the board on the Wildcats defense.
Late in the third quarter, Saintal, who his teammates call “Odell,” made a highlight catch over a Bladensburg defender for another Northwestern touchdown.
“I really give all thanks to my quarterback,” said Saintal. “He just put it in perfect position and I just made the play.”
Wildcats junior slot receiver Rayquon Antonia put the finishing touches on the game with a rushing touchdown run to end the game as game officials stopped the contest at the end of the third quarter.
Next week, the Wildcats will take on Bowie High School on Sept. 13. While celebrating the win, Pierre reminded his team that they cannot take the Bulldogs lightly.
“We gotta get together in the film room, they are good, they like to throw the ball so we gotta cover,” said Pierre. “They’re a fantastic football team, we just have to take it one game at a time.”