Football: Winters Mill denied 3-0 again by Poolesville

Winters Mill football coach Matt Miller talks about his team's loss to Poolesville and the performance of Grayson Lehr.

Poolesville football coach Dave Murray was prepared for an aerial attack Friday night against Winters Mill with its spread offense and standout quarterback Alex Barnes.

And that's just what he got from the hosts.


But Poolesville survived it and used two touchdown passes from his own quarterback, junior Ethan Gaddis, en route to a 21-10 victory.

"They throw the ball a lot more than the teams we are used to playing," Murray said.

The Poolesville defense forced three turnovers, including two interceptions. Defensive back Charlie Brill returned an interception for a touchdown to spark the Falcons in the final quarter. Poolesville senior defensive tackle Thomas Oram recorded three sacks and has five in his last two games.

"In close games and against good teams, you can't turn the ball over," said Winters Mill coach Matt Miller, whose team has lost to Poolesville three straight years.

Or, perhaps, go scoreless in a half and expect to win.

Winters Mill (2-1) led 10-7 early in the third quarter as Alex Carr booted a 27-yard field goal early in the third quarter, but the rest of the game belonged to Poolesville.

That score was set up by defensive end Casey Rowe, who recovered a fumble.

Poolesville responded two plays later to go ahead for good.

Gaddis threw a dump-off-pass to running back Connell Oberman and he outraced two defenders to the end zone for a 72-yard score to make it 13-10 with 8:25 remaining in the third quarter.

Winters Mill senior defensive end Grayson Lehr had a stretch to remember after that touchdown. He recorded his third sack of the game when he decked Gaddis on consecutive plays.

Then Lehr blocked a punt.

Unfortunately for Winters Mill, a Troy Blessing 85-yard punt return for a touchdown was called back because of a personal foul call. Another huge play — Brill's 10-yard interception return for a score that gave Poolesville a 20-10 cushion — came with 3:29 remaining.

Winters Mill moved down to the Poolesville’s 42 on its first drive, but Barnes’ pass on 4th-and-7 fell incomplete to Casey Rowe. Poolesville experienced a three-and-out on its first series thanks in large part to Lear’s sack of Gaddis.

On the Falcons’ second drive, they fumbled, linebacker Hirschel Nambiar recovered it at the Winters Mill 48 and Poolesville capitalized. The visitors needed only five plays to score and Gaddis hit wide receiver Sam Garrett on a slant for a 6-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.

Winters Mill answered on its next drive and moved 60 yards in five plays.

Barnes found wide receiver Cole Sabad in the left corner of the end zone for a 17-yard score with 9:09 remaining.

Alex Carr's extra point made it 7-7 — the halftime score.

Winters Mill threatened to score against late in the second quarter as the team moved down to the Poolesville 17, but the drive ended when defensive end Ryan Kasten intercepted Barnes.

The Falcons were going for a 3-0 start for the second year in a row, only to be denied by Poolesville once again. They begin county play next Friday with a road game at Liberty.


Winters Mill 0 7 3 0 — 10

Poolesville 0 7 7 7 — 21


P-Sam Garrett 6 pass from Ethan Gaddis (Xavier Kresslein kick)

WM-Cole Sabad 20 pass from Alex Barnes (Alex Carr kick)

WM-Alex Carr 27 field goal

P-Connell Oberman 72 from Gaddis (Kresslein kick)

P-Interception return for touchdoqwn (Kresslein kick)

Winters Mill coach Matt Miller on the sidelines during the first half of the Falcons' game against Poolesville in Westminster Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.
Winters Mill coach Matt Miller on the sidelines during the first half of the Falcons' game against Poolesville in Westminster Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Dylan Slagle / Staff Photo)