Hayfield’s Brian Cobbs, center, stepped in at quarterback tonight and led the Hawks to victory.
With its starting quarterback out, Hayfield turned to senior wide receiver Brian Cobbs to run the offense tonight against West Potomac.
The Hawks did not miss a beat as Cobbs took the reins and proceeded to carve up the Wolverines on the ground and through the air, leading Hayfield 40-30 win. Cobbs finished with four passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns and a pass for a two-point conversion.
Hayfield coach Eric Henderson said he was not surprised by the performance of his star senior, emphatically stating that Cobbs is without peer in the region.
“Brian can do anything he wants on a football field,” Henderson said. “He’s the best football player in the Northern Region. The Best. And if people don’t understand that or recognize that, that’s their problem.”
The victory improves Hayfield’s record to 5-2 overall, and 3-0 in the Gunston District. West Potomac falls to 4-3 and 1-2 in the Gunston.
Cobbs, an All-Region wide receiver who has committed to play for the University of Maryland next year, is not a complete stranger to playing quarterback. He played position as a freshman and has stepped in at QB (and running back) in spots this season.
But on Friday night was forced into a full-time quarterback role as regular starter Monte Byers was forced to miss the game due to a family situation. Cobbs looked confident and was hot right out of the gate, throwing for three touchdowns to three different receivers in the first quarter as the Hawks raced to a 21-6 lead.
On his second touchdown he hit senior wide receiver JJ Pailin in stride, and Pailin then made two Wolverines miss before sprinting down the sideline for a 62-yard score.
Cobbs showed a softer touch on his third TD pass, dropping a ball in to sophomore Trevor Gleason in the corner of the end zone for a nine-yard score.
The second quarter would see Cobbs score on his fourth drive in a row, this time using his feet as he scampered for a 20-yard TD run.
As Cobbs and company raced to a big lead, Hayfield’s defense bottled up West Potomac’s big-play players. Senior defensive back Kennedy Natiahmoah helped shut down the Wolverines’ deep passes, while the Hawks defensive line and linebackers bottled up the run. West Potomac only entered the red zone once in the first half, scoring on Daiimon Cleveland’s 32-yard touchdown run.
“The defense played brilliantly until late in the third quarter,” Henderson said, noting West Potomac’s offensive firepower. “You can only contain a team like that so much.”
Cobbs slammed the door on West Potomac’s comeback hopes after the Wolverines cut the score to 33-22 with 4:45 left. Carrying the ball on all but one play, Cobbs led the Hawks on a methodical drive that ate up time and ended with Cobbs running in from two yards out with 1:45 left in the game.
Afterward, Henderson said the Hawks are playing their best ball of the season after earlier losses to South County and Robinson. H saluted the players who stepped up due to injuries to starters, and credited his assistant coaches’ effective communication with players for getting the team to a higher level.
And he also marveled at the ability of Cobbs, and what he means to the team.
“With Brian, shoot, he can do anything,” Henderson said. “We wouldn’t be where we are without Brian.”
— Rayjuon Pringle caught two touchdowns for Hayfield
— West Potomac senior tight end Zach Monson and sophomore wide receiver Donavan Eason both caught fourth-quarter touchdown passes.
— West Potomac’s Marvin Lucero and Kevin Amoako combined for a safety in the second quarter, wrapping up Cobbs in his own end zone.
Mount Vernon wins
Mount Vernon crushed Annandale 47-15 for a blowout win on homecoming. Senior slotback Darrien Newton pulled in two touchdowns from senior quaterback Tim Heltzel, while sophomore running back Jordan Reid and senior running back Josh Henry both had two touchdowns a piece.
The Majors are now 7-1 on the season, and 1-1 in the Gunston District.