PHS football makes history with first win over Watkins Mill
PHS varsity football had a memorable season this year. On Friday, October 20, the Falcons fought their way to a win against Watkins Mill in an overtime game, pulling out a stunning 48-41 defeat.
After losing to the wolverines last year by only 1 point, they stormed onto the field ready to come back and avenge their loss. Head Coach Dave Murray said this win had a lot to do with their mindset coming into the game.
“Every time you lose a game, especially by a point, you put a little extra intensity into practice,” Murray said.
During the first half of the game, the two teams traded scoring drives. However, near the end of the second quarter, Watkins Mill scored two touchdowns, giving the Wolverines a 14-point lead at halftime.
“We were kind of concerned, especially since they would have the ball for kickoff after halftime, [giving them the chance of a three touchdown lead],” said Coach Murray, “but we made some defensive adjustments, and were able to get the ball back quickly.”
After the Falcons got the ball in the third quarter, they grappled for the lead and scored multiple times but each time, the wolverines came back. By the end of the fourth quarter, the game had come down to the wire. It was tied up at 41-41, sending the players into overtime, and bringing the crowd’s energy even higher. The falcons had the ball first in overtime, and WR senior Sam Garrett scored the touchdown they needed. There was only one thing left to do: the defense was skillfully able to hold Watkins Mill from any touchdowns, tackling the wolverines and breaking up each play just short of reaching the endzone. Coach Murray attributes the turnaround more to the players’ mentality than their strategy.
“I thought it was cool because we didn’t do anything crazy strategy wise,” Murray said. “The kids just really believed and were really passionate, and bought into myself and the other coaches’ energy.”
According to Murray, the team has a tightly-knit bond and family-like dynamic. Many of the players attest to the motivation they provide for one another as a source of their victories.
Senior Christian Fuhrmann, who plays tight end, stated, “Our coaches really motivated us at halftime and got us believing we were still in it.”
When asked about the best moment of the game, Coach Murray settled on the second-to-last defensive play in the final, thrilling minutes of the game. The falcons had just scored, and now it was time for their defense to hold the wolverines.
On third down sophomore Colin Hemingway “sacked their quarterback, and it really took the wind out of them. It was a huge play,” Murray said.
After this breakthrough tackle, the falcons surged to victory. The players celebrated their win and streamed onto the field in a wave of black and gold. The game was a record-breaking success, erasing past struggles as for the first time in decades, PHS football defeated Watkins Mill.