FORT WASHINGTON — Playing without five of its starters, Germantown Academy found a way to grind out a victory on Saturday.
Seamus Knox, making key contributions on both sides of the ball for the Patriots, helped keep the wheels turning.
“It feels great, especially putting in that extra work at the end,” Knox said. “Everybody knew they needed to step up.”
Knox’s interception on the first play of the final quarter helped tilt momentum in GA’s favor the rest of the way, as the Patriots prevailed 28-21 over The Hill School at Carey Stadium.
Anthony Lara’s one-yard burst broke the 21-21 tie with 5 minutes, 22 seconds to go, as GA raised its record to 2-0.
The Patriots overcame some costly penalties as well as a 21-point comeback by Hill to come away with a satisfying win.
“I laid into them at halftime because we’ve committed three personal fouls in our scrimmages and our first two games,” Pats coach Matt Dence said. “And I don’t think it’s anything malicious – it’s just playing undisciplined. I challenged them at halftime.
“Hill is well-coached. They did a nice job. And they’re much improved since coach (Orlando) Patterson has gotten there. So we knew it was gonna be an InterAC-quality opponent coming in. So we feel good getting a win. It wasn’t perfect – when you’re up 21-0, you don’t wanna win by one score, but we’ll take a win.”
Following Knox’s interception and return, the Patriots took over at the Hill 28-yard-line.
Said Knox of the takeaway: “I went out to the flat and I saw the H-back cut in. So I decided to stop, make a pick, and run the ball back.”
GA’s offense would reach the 15 but a turnover thwarted the drive.
However, the Patriots would go ahead for good on their next possession.
GA forced a three-and-out and took over at their own 48.
Knox gained 24 yards on three carries and Lara moved them closer, capping the drive with his one-yard TD.
It was Lara’s second touchdown of the afternoon – he had a 10-yard touchdown run earlier to give GA a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.
The Patriots’ other two scores in the first half came off the arm of quarterback Tristian Machado, who threw TD passes of six (A.J. Tawsen) and 51 yards (Aaron Parks) to help build the lead to 21-0 with 5:31 left in the first half.
The Rams (0-1) cut the margin to 21-7 on a three-yard touchdown run by Kayden White, and that’s the way it would stay at the break.
Hill struck twice in less than a two-minute span in the third quarter to tie things up.
Quintin Craig caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Jake Voynar, who also uncorked a 64-yard strike to Craig moments later to even things at 21 apiece.
But GA’s defense shut things down from there.
“Everybody just buckled down, gave it a hundred percent. A lot of people were cramping but they just fought through it,” Knox said. “It’s all about being tougher in those final minutes.”
“(With the injuries), we started two freshmen on defense and two freshmen on offense,” Dence said. “So I’m really proud of them – they’re good players. We knew they were ready, and I think it’s gonna be great for those guys to get that experience.”
Machado finished 21-of-29, hitting seven different receivers for 253 yards and a pair of scores.
White rushed for 102 yards for the Rams, helping to fuel their comeback.
“We have some key pieces. We haven’t been able to put it all together,” Patterson said. “We gotta be healthy and have all 11 of our starters on the field at the same time. From there, I think we can do some special things. But until we get there and understand where we are, we’re gonna have work to do.
“(It’s about) getting better and lots of reps. It’s about attention to detail – the little things showed today. And we need to take care of those things and that helps make up the bigger picture.”
Germantown Academy 28, Hill School 21
Hill 0 7 14 0 – 21
GA 7 14 0 7 – 28
GA-A.J. Towsen 6 pass from Tristian Machado (Cole Grim kick), 1:55.
GA-Anthony Lara 10 run (Grim kick), 5:56.
GA-Aaron Parks 51 pass from Machado (Grim kick), 5:31.
H-Kayden White 3 run (Maxwell Elmore kick), 1:06.
H-Quintin Craig 16 pass from Jake Voynar (Elmore kick), 9:01.
H-Craig 64 pass from Voynar (Elmore kick), 7:11.
GA-Lara 1 run (Grim kick), 5:22.
First Downs 14 21
Rushes-yards 33-175 37-162
Passing (c-a-i) 6-14-2 21-29-0
Passing yards 126 253
Total yards 301 415
Punts 2 2
Penalties-yards 6-45 8-80
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
H: Kayden White 14-102, TD; Charles Hewitt 1-5; Zachary Zindle 5-17; Deven Vennera 1-4; Sam Soderman 10-48; Jake Voynar 2-(-1).
GA: Knox 16-87; Lara 13-41, 2 TD; Tripp Capers 5-41; Machado 3-(-7).
H: Voynar 4-7-97-2-1; Hewitt 2-7-29-0-1.
GA: Machado 21-29-253-2-0.
H: Luke Rasmussen 1-5; Craig 3-92, 2 TD; Voynar 2-29.
GA: Towsen 6-88, TD; Max Langsfeld 3-24; Parks 7-86, TD; Blaise Bailey 2-13; Aidan Zakarewicz 1-26; Stephen Tracanna 1-17; Knox 1-(-1).
GA: Knox, Zakarewicz.