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Defense, passing game pushes Francis Howell past Fort Zumwalt West

Francis Howell quarterback Quentin White fires a pass downfield on Friday night during the Vikings game at Fort Zumwalt West High School. Mike Keithly photo.

Francis Howell quarterback Quentin White fires a pass downfield on Friday night during the Vikings game at Fort Zumwalt West High School. Mike Keithly photo.

There was plenty of frustration on the Francis Howell sideline during the first half as the Vikings took on GAC South rival Fort Zumwalt West on Friday night.

The Vikings shot themselves in the foot with ill-timed penalties on several drives and led by just 11 points at half.

Thanks to the Vikings suffocating defense, Howell got rolling in the second half.

Quarterback Quentin White threw for four touchdowns, three of them to his brother Colton White, and Luke Kahle and Jack Flynn combined for 137 yards rushing as Howell rolled to a 34-3 victory at Fort Zumwalt West.

“The first half we just came out sloppy and undisciplined and you can’t do that against a tough team like Zumwalt West,” Howell coach Bryan Koch said. “In the second half offensively we quit shooting ourselves in the foot, defensively we stopped committing mental errors.”

Howell (5-0, 2-0) struck first on a 21-yard fourth down pass for a touchdown from  Quentin White to Colton White for a 7-0 lead with 7:15 left in the first quarter. Quentin White was 15 of 24 passing with four touchdowns and Colton White hauled in three balls for 51 yards with three scores.

Zumwalt West (2-3, 1-1) answered with a 37-yard field goal from Jared Green to make it 7-3 with 4:36 left in the first quarter.

Late in the first quarter, the Vikings found the end zone again as Quentin White hit Jalen Williams for a 6-yard touchdown strike for a 14-3 edge.

The Jaguars lost a great opportunity to come back with 9:49 left in the second quarter as Ethan Staskiewicz returned an interception 50 yards for what looked to be a momentum changing touchdown. But the score was wiped out by an ill-timed block in the back penalty on the Jaguars. Staskiewicz provided the ground game for the Jaguars with 103 yards on 21 carries.

Neither team was able to do anything with the ball offensively the rest of the second stanza.

Howell got down to business in the third quarter. The Vikings took their second drive 76 yards in eight plays to score, as Williams capped off the march with a 6-yard scoring run extending the lead to 21-3.

Defense a special team chipped in for the Vikings on the next series as Staskiewicz mishandled a fourth down punt snapped as was tackled by Howell’s Justin Perkins at the West 20.

Fort Zumwalt West running back Ehan Staskiewicz races around left end for yardage against Francis Howell on Friday night at Fort Zumwalt West High School. Mike Keithly photo.

Fort Zumwalt West running back Ehan Staskiewicz races around left end for yardage against Francis Howell on Friday night at Fort Zumwalt West High School. Mike Keithly photo.

 

The White brothers hooked up on the next play for a 20-yard touchdown aerial and it was 27-3 with 4:44 left in the third quarter.

Once again Howell’s defense had set the offense up and kept an opponent from giving the Vikings problems. Matt McClellan, Justin Perkins,and Ryan Perkins brought the heat with 11 tackles, 11 tackles, and 10 tackles respectively.

“The second half we came out of the locker room knowing we had to to come as a team and make it happen,” Ryan Perkins said. “Our d-line is just tearing it up for us now “Everyone is just doing their job,” Justin Perkins said.

An 11-yard  touchdown catch by Colton White, his third from brother Quentin finished out the night for the Vikings with with 29 seconds left in the third quarter.

Howell’s defense has given up just 17 points through five games this season. The Vikings strong start again this fall is rooted in that rock-solid defense that is anchored by Perkins brothers at linebacker.

“It’s pretty special to have to linebackers that are 6-3, 220 and can play like they do,” Koch said. “We are really blessed right now with really special defensive players and that defense is the backbone of our team.”

 

 

 

 

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