Darrien Newton was enjoying a breakout junior season in 2016 when, in the season’s eighth game, he made a cut and felt pain in his left knee. An MRI revealed torn meniscus. Not only did the speedy wide receiver miss the rest of the football season, he was unable to suit up for the Mount Vernon basketball team, where he played point guard and shooting guard.
The road to recovery was long. It took more than half a year for the knee to fully heal. Even then, when Newton put on his pads for the beginning of practice last month, he had some mental hurdles to overcome.
“Initially my knee felt very strong but I didn’t have confidence in making hard cuts,” Newton said. “So I was going easy at the beginning.”
But with each passing week, Newton said, his confidence has grown. And now there is little question that he is back atop the perch as one of the Washington area’s biggest offensive threats. Newton caught 10 passes for a school-record 257 yards and three touchdowns – all at least 60 yards – as the Majors beat Falls Church, 34-16, this past Friday to improve to 3-0.
Newton, who hopes to attend Army West Point – his father, Daryl, retired after 22 years as an army medic and his older brother, Daryl Jr., was recently commissioned — has been a big reason for Mount Vernon’s success. For his efforts, Newton was named the Military Bowl Touchdown Club High School Football Player of the Week, powered by Under Armour.
“He had 1,800 yards of total offense last year,” Majors Coach Monty Fritts said. “His goal this year is 2,500 yards. I think he is going to do it. He’s obviously doing well when he has 257 yards receiving in one game.”
Other players considered for the Week 2 Player of the Week were:
Meade’s Odion Okojie intercepted a pass and recovered two fumbles, returning one 50 yards for a touchdown, to lead a defensive effort that forced seven turnovers in a 47-26 win over Arundel, the Mustangs’ first win in the battle for the Mears Cup victory in 15 years.
Ballou QB Terronta Buchanan completed 4 of 7 passes for 107 yards and three touchdowns and rushed four times for 83 yards and another score in a 41-6 win over Cardozo.
Oakdale LB Maurio Goings had two sacks, an interception and two more tackles for loss in a 53-6 win over Bladensburg.
Wootton QB Grant Saylor completed 24 of 34 passes for 408 yards and four touchdowns as the Patriots beat Churchill, 39-32. Elijah Trent had 10 catches for 182 yards and three touchdowns.
Madison RB Casey Koshuta rushed 37 times for 176 yards and two touchdowns and threw a 16-yard touchdown pass on a trick play in a 38-16 win over West Potomac.
Eleanor Roosevelt QB Jaden Faulkner rushed 23 times for 203 yards and three touchdowns, including scoring runs of 45 and 49 yards in the fourth quarter as the Raiders beat Pallotti, 30-15.
Freedom-Woodbridge RB A.J. Felton rushed for four touchdowns and returned a kickoff 85 yards for another score in a 58-7 win over Lake Taylor.
Bullis WR-DB Bryson Shaw caught an 80-yard touchdown pass, returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown and rushed five times for 32 yards in a 33-9 win over Fork Union.
Northern QB Reese Crounse passed for 335 yards and two touchdowns in a 36-7 win over his former school, Patuxent.