SILVER SPRING-- Bethesda-Chevy Chase head football coach Rich Noland wanted to run the ball in Week 2 against Paint Branch. He also knew that the Panthers were going to make that pretty tough. It only took a few snaps to tell his team to go to the air.
Said Noland, "We went to Plan B pretty quickly."
Maybe they should go to Plan B more often.
Senior quarterback Kasey Cotting led the Barons to a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Paint Branch, 22-18, in Silver Spring on Week 2. Cotting threw two of his three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, including the game-winner to senior DeAndre Cooper in the game's final minute.
"I'm not really known for my throwing," said Cotting (21/40, 335 yards, 2 TD's, 2 INT's). "But tonight I'm pretty impressed with myself."
"I was very happy with the play calling," he added with a smile.
The Panthers (1-1) came out of the gates on the offensive, scoring on back-to-back possessions to open the game. A 19-yard touchdown strike from junior quarterback David Smith to receiver Michael Bryan, and a four yard run up the gut from tailback Bene't Willis (2 TD's), gave Paint Branch an early 12-0 lead. But miscues and penalties stalled their progress in the second quarter.
It seemed that the Panthers had fixed their issues at halftime, marching down the field to start the second half with another touchdown from Willis, and expanding their lead to 18-7. But the Barons (2-0) wouldn't go away that quietly.
"We're simply not good enough this year to overcome missed opportunities," Paint Branch head coach Mike Nesmith said. "We let them hang around, and, in the end and they made plays."
Cotting found his favorite target, Cooper (10 catches, 189 yards, 3 TD's), for an 11-yard touchdown with 7 minutes, 33 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to five at 18-13. That score would remain unchanged until the game's final minute, when, backed up against its own end zone remaining, Paint Branch intentionally took a safety on fourth down. After the ensuing free kick, B-CC had to go 47 yards in 42 seconds to win the game.
Six plays later Cooper was walking into the end zone untouched.
"We've been teaching and saying all week that we need to get some respect and the only way we get respect is go out each week and play hard. Tonight we played our tails off," said Noland. "This is the biggest win we've had in a long long time. I can't be more proud of these guys."
Both schools face even bigger challenges in Week 3. Paint Branch will travel to #1 Sherwood, while B-CC is hosting Northwest. Both games will be played on Thursday, Sept. 15.