The Trilogy: No. 7 Wise and No. 13 Quince Orchard set to clash again

For the third straight year, Quince Orchard and Wise meet again in the state tournament. Photo illustration by Mike Cornejo, courtesy of

What: No. 7 Wise (11-1) at No. 13 Quince Orchard (12-1) for a trip to the 4A title game vs. the winner of Mervo-North Point

When: Friday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. (gates open at 6)

Where: The Cougar Dome at Quince Orchard High School spread: Quince Orchard by 4 (58 percent chance of winning)

Series record: Wise leads 3-0

Quince Orchard offense/defense: 43.3 points per game, 5.5 points allowed per game

Wise offense/defense: 38.0 points per game, 6.5 points allowed per game

Michael Cornejo on Twitter

Tale of the Tape between QO? & Wise?… Stats, history, weather, more… #mocofb⚜ #FridayMotivation


2019 Quinton Williams, Wise (Morgan State commit): 94 of 154 (61.0 percent) for 1,740 yards (158.2 per game, 18.5 per completion), 18 touchdowns and four interceptions … 128.2 quarterback rating … 63 carries for 633 yards (57.6 per game, 10.1 per carry) and 12 touchdowns … 30 total touchdowns in 11 games

2021 Brian Plummer, Quince Orchard: 67 of 91 (73.6 percent) for 1,049 yards (87.4 per game, 15.7 per completion), 11 touchdowns and one interception … 146.5 quarterback rating … 18 carries for 85 yards (7.1 per game, 4.7 per carry) and one touchdown … 12 total touchdowns in 12 games


Running backs

2020 Marquez Cooper, Quince Orchard: 191 carries for 1,688 yards (140.6 per game, 8.8 per carry) and 35 total touchdowns … six receptions for 117 yards (9.75 per game, 19.5 per reception)

2019 Brandon Bell, Wise: 151 carries for 993 yards (90.3 per game, 6.6 per carry) and 17 touchdowns … 14 receptions for 176 yards (16.0 per game, 12.6 per reception)



2019 Isaiah Hazel, Wise (West Virginia commit): 25 receptions for 406 yards (36.9 per game, 16.2 per reception) and five touchdowns … two carries for 37 yards (3.7 per game, 18.5 per carry) and one touchdown

2021 Jalil Farooq, Wise (4-star recruit): 22 receptions for 578 yards (52.5 per game, 26.3 per reception) and seven touchdowns … four carries for 79 yards (7.2 per game, 19.8 per carry)

2019 Chris Webb, Quince Orchard: 20 receptions for 226 yards (18.8 per game, 11.3 per reception) and three touchdowns … 15 carries for 161 yards (13.4 per game, 10.7 per carry) and two touchdowns

2020 Anthony Morales, Wise: 20 receptions for 305 yards (27.7 per game, 15.3 per reception) and four touchdowns … 27 carries for 215 yards (19.5 per game, 8.0 per carry) and three touchdowns

2019 Brendan McGonagle, Quince Orchard: 14 receptions for 211 yards (17.6 per game, 15.1 per reception) and two touchdowns


Defensive leaders

Quince Orchard

2019 LB Johnny Hodges: three-year varsity starter

2019 DB Aaron Green: committed to the University of Delaware

2019 DB Naheim Howell: three-year varsity starter


2019 LB Kelvin Scott Jr.: team-leading 85 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks, three forced fumbles

2019 DB Isaiah Hazel (West Virginia commit): three interceptions, one pass defended, 3.0 sacks, 42 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss

2019 DE Nigel Johnson: team-leading 13 sacks, 43 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss, one interception


The Lowdown: For the third year in a row, QO-Wise clash in the state tournament. In 2016 and 2017, it was in the 4A state title game, but this time around, Mervo’s upset over Paint Branch forces The Trilogy to happen a week earlier, with the Cougars playing host. Wise smashed QO in the 2016 title game, 42-7, and pulled away last year to claim its third straight 4A title, 38-20. The Pumas lead the series 3-0 and are set to play their first road playoff game since 2013. Another win Friday puts Wise in the driver’s seat for a state record-tying fourth straight title, along with Urbana and Fort Hill. QO, meanwhile, thinks this is the perfect setting to dethrone Wise: at home, in front of the boisterous Red Army, on a grass field, with the motivation of playing for a fallen teammate, Tyler Terry, who unexpectedly died earlier in the year. Terry was a Class of 2018 grad and was set to play Division I college football at Monmouth. As far as talent goes, Wise has clearly had the upper hand over the previous two meetings, but many believe this is QO’s best shot, on paper at least. Last week it was Damascus-Oakdale. This week it’s QO-Wise. As a high school football fan, these matchups don’t get much better. Whoever wins will likely hoist the trophy next week at Navy-Marines Corps Memorial Stadium.


Quince Orchard

Reason for optimism: Since Day 1, this team has had a feeling of destiny. These Cougars may be the most motivated and driven team in the state, playing for fallen teammate Tyler Terry, a Class of 2018 grad who died unexpectedly earlier in the year. In his honor, QO’s practice jerseys are No. 6 and all accomplishments from this season, whatever is in store, are dedicated to Terry. At this point, though, it’s state title or bust. The Cougars, behind a fierce offensive line and trusty tailback Marquez Cooper, want this one bad.

Reason for concern: I keep thinking back to QO’s 22-14 loss to Bullis, where it surrendered over 200 yards on the ground, failed to rush for over 100 itself, and only gained six yards passing on four attempts. Those numbers would probably lead to a three-score loss on Friday, against a Wise team whose caliber is on the same level as Bullis. QO has ridden Cooper (140 yards per game) all season. But can they incorporate Brian Plummer, the sophomore under center, against Wise’s stifling secondary led by 4-star recruits Isaiah Hazel (West Virginia commit) and Jalil Farooq?


Reason for optimism: We saw it last week in the Damascus-Oakdale game: the Hornets, while gunning toward their fourth straight title, were desperately trying to hang on to their 53-game win streak, which was the longest nationally. If Wise was undefeated to this point, they’d have that mark, but the early season loss to Calvert Hall has allowed these Pumas to refocus perspective on the big prize: Winning a fourth straight title. Many players, including 3-star quarterback Quinton Williams and 4-star athlete Isaiah Hazel, know how to win these games.

Reason for concern: The Pumas haven’t established a productive ground attack in big games. Versus Calvert Hall, it mustered just 21 yards rushing and last week in the 22-12 win over Flowers, tailbacks Brandon Bell and Anthony Morales gained just 57 yards on 17 carries. Williams, however, ran for 102 and a touchdown on 10 scrambles, but he’s the quarterback. Additionally, this is easily the biggest road game Wise has played in over this four-year run. The dormant bermudagrass field could throw them a curveball, too. Adaptability and the trenches will be crucial for these Pumas on Friday.