Northwest (Germantown, Md.)
football coach Mike Neubeiser will long cherish last Friday's stunning
35-21 upset of previously unbeaten Quince Orchard (Gaithersburg, Md.)
before a standing-room-only crowd.
"That was the biggest win for
our program, because Quince Orchard has such a
great program," said Neubeiser, who had been an
assistant at three schools. "We are trying to get to their level."
Now 7-2 for the year, the Jaguars' big effort enabled Neubeiser to be named Capital One Bank Washington, D.C. Coach of the Week.
"It feels great and is nice for our program," he said.
was the first to concede, "Definitely, we felt we were the underdog,
but the kids embraced that. A big advantage is that all the kids knew
The schools are five miles apart and some of the players
were teammates in youth leagues.
"Our kids executed the passing
game really well," he said. "The biggest difference was our offensive line. They
had their best execution of the year."
Senior left tackle Brandon Hungerford
(5-11, 225) was the leader on that offensive line, but there were heroes galore.
Sophomore quarterback Mark Pierce
(6-0, 175) — a first-year starter — was outstanding on a huge stage. He
completed 19 of 29 passes for 331 yards and four touchdowns. Two seniors
shared in the pass-catching honors. Joshua Gills
(5-10, 175) snared six passes for 72 yards and two touchdowns, while Matt Watson
(6-2, 165) gained 113 yards and also scored twice on three catches.
Defensively, Neubeiser noted that linebacker Rasheed Gillis
(6-0, 205) "was in their backfield the whole game. On the very first play he had a sack." He also mentioned that junior safety Troy Lefeged
"had some big pass breakups."
is a 1990 graduate of Gathersburg (Md.) High School where he played
linebacker and left tackle and made All-State after being named captain
and leading his team in tackles as a senior. He also placed second in
the discus at the state track & field meet.
He was a starting linebacker off and on for three years at Wake Forest University before graduating in 1995.
attributes his love for coaching to his uncle, Fred Joyce, who was a
legendary coach at Gaithersburg and is a member of the Maryland Hall of
After 13 years as an assistant coach, Neubeiser left the
profession for two years, However, three years ago the head job opened
at Northwest and now he's back in it for the long haul.