West Potomac Football Beats Langley in Season Opener

West Potomac Football Beats Langley in Season Opener

Wolverines amass 543 yards of offense, five different players reach end zone.

West Potomac quarterback Mark Ellis completed 22 of 29 passes for 374 yards and three touchdowns against Langley on Thursday. He also ran for a score.

West Potomac quarterback Mark Ellis completed 22 of 29 passes for 374 yards and three touchdowns against Langley on Thursday. He also ran for a score. Photo by Craig Sterbutzel.

On the first play from scrimmage of Thursday night’s game against Langley, West Potomac quarterback Mark Ellis completed a quick pass to CJ Burch for 13 yards. After two running plays, Ellis and Burch hooked up twice more, for 11 and 12 yards, respectively.

On the following play, Ellis looked to his left and lobbed a pass down field to Cory Jones, who made the catch in the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown.

West Potomac’s first drive of the 2015 season: six plays, 80 yards, 81 seconds.

And the Wolverines were just getting started.


West Potomac receiver CJ Burch caught 14 passes for 206 yards against Langley on Thursday.

The West Potomac football team amassed 543 yards of offense and five different Wolverines reached the end zone during a 41-28 victory over the Saxons at Langley High School.

“I believe we did an amazing job,” Burch said. “People were doubting us about it because [Langley] got to the playoffs [last season] and we didn’t, and we came out here and showed them what we can do.”

West Potomac took the lead for good when running back Justine Annan scored on a 10-yard run, giving the Wolverines a 28-21 advantage with 3:14 remaining in the third quarter.

West Potomac defensive back Gideon Oteng ended the ensuing Langley possession with an interception deep in Wolverine territory. West Potomac then marched 77 yards in seven plays, extending its lead to 35-21 when Ellis scored on a 1-yard keeper.

Langley quarterback Jack Anderson made it a one-score game when his 1-yard touchdown run cut the West Potomac lead to 35-28 with 7:29 left in the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines would add an insurance touchdown on their ensuing drive when sophomore running back Daiimon Cleveland scored from 1 yard with 3:51 remaining.

“Defensively, [it’s] pretty obvious, we got exposed for what it is,” Langley head coach John Howerton said. “We’ve got some good kids, they’re trying hard, but when [West Potomac] can put five or six kids out there faster than anybody you’ve got, there comes a problem.”

Shortly after West Potomac’s opening possession, a lightning delay halted play for more than an hour. Inclement weather proved to be the only means of slowing down the Wolverines.

With the Langley defense focused on taking away big plays, West Potomac went to the short passing game and moved the ball with ease. Ellis passed for 294 yards in the first half, capitalizing primarily on short-to-intermediate throws. A screen pass to Cleveland turned into a 38-yard touchdown, and a wide receiver screen to Brandan Lisenby went for a 61-yard score.

While Ellis and Burch did not connect on a deep pass, Burch did catch eight passes for 150 yards in the first half.

“We know that they don’t like to give up the deep ball,” Ellis said. “CJ is a playmaker. [We] get it in his hands wherever we can.”

Burch, a 6-foot-2 senior who has received interest from several Division I programs, finished with 14 receptions for 206 yards.

“I thought [Burch] did a great job,” West Potomac head coach Jeremiah Ross said. “He executed. He caught pretty much everything.”

Ellis, a 6-foor-4 junior left-hander, completed 22 of 29 passes for 374 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a score. Ellis completed his first eight attempts and 12 of his first 14. He was 14 of 20 in the first half.

“I thought the quarterback played very well,” Langley coach Howerton said. “He didn’t look that sharp on film but … what, was it the second half before he missed a ball?”

West Potomac turned to the ground game in the second half and found success with Annan and Cleveland. Annan, a junior, finished with 21 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown. Cleveland had 10 carries for 82 yards and a score.

Langley quarterback Anderson completed 15 of 30 passes for 204 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. The senior also rushed 13 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior running back Aaron Feldman, making his first varsity start for Langley, carried 21 times for 105 yards and a score. He also caught five passes for 34 yards.

“I thought [Feldman] played very well,” Howerton said. “He ran hard. He’s not an easy kid to tackle, he’s rugged. … I thought it was a good first varsity start for him.”

West Potomac (1-0) will host Edison (0-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11. Langley (0-1) will host Broad Run (1-0) at 7 p.m. on Friday.