By Quentin Brown ('19) and Diego Motta ('19)
Imagine a stadium packed to the brim, the roar of the crowd shaking the arena as the two teams get ready for the opening kickoff. The famed Quince Orchard student section, known as the Red Army, engulf their half of the stadium, ready for what’s supposed to be a great game.
The Bullis student section looks tiny in comparison, but what they lack for in numbers they make up in spirit, refusing to let their chants be drowned out by the Red Army. The players are just as excited as the students, both teams confident in their abilities. “I don’t really have any concerns” says starting defensive tackle and Bullis team captain, Dalton Lewis ('18). “We’re going to be better than them upfront” Lewis went on to say, making it clear that the focus was on physicality. When asked about the student section, and how it would affect the game, Dalton stated that he’s “not worried about it” and that “it’s football, it all sounds the same down on the field… it’s no different then having cheerleaders on the sideline”. The other linemen expressed similar sentiments, offensive tackle Elliot Chavis ('18) stating that “We’re more physical… their line is big and slow, we just got to do our job and do our technique right”
However despite the confidence in their ability to be more physical than the other team up front, every player I spoke to seemed to share the same worries about the Quince Orchard Quarterback; Kendell ‘doc’ Bonner. They all agreed that they needed to stop his run, and plug the holes to prevent explosive plays from Quince Orchards offense. The Bulldogs went into the game with a clear game plan in mind, and it’d help them to know how to counter QO before the game even started.
With an unsuccessful kick return, Bullis’ defense holds Quince Orchard’s offense to a quick drive and is forced to punt early after three ineffective plays. Bullis sees that they must get a lead early on in the game and do just that. Bullis’ opening drive results in a touchdown from Bryson Shaw ('19) with 6:37 left in the first quarter and immediately signals to the noisy Red Army to quiet down. Quince Orchard takes the field with a great sense of urgency and drives the ball inside the ten yard line. The drive is then ruined from a penalty that pushes the offense back on 3rd and goal. Not being able to get it back, they try a field goal on 4th and goal and is way off the mark. Bullis’ next offensive drive seemed to be going as successful as their last until a fumble occurred that was then recovered by Johnny Hodges and taken 70 yards for a touchdown with 11:12 left in the second quarter. After a devastating turnover, the Bulldogs immediately answer with a touchdown of their own to make it 14-7 with 6:13 left in the second quarter. The Cougars offense takes the field once again and results in a fumble that is caused by #5 Jovone Campbell ('19) and is recovered by Bullis’ stifling defense. The Bulldog offense takes advantage of Quince Orchard’s turnover and manages to score a 55 yard touchdown by Bryson Shaw ('19) to make it a two possession game with 1:56 left in the first half.
Quince Orchard bullies the Bullis defense on their opening 3rd quarter drive, the Bulldogs look worn down and out of gas as Quince Orchard run right over them for a touchdown. You can tell the team is deflated, but a 96 yard kick return by Ashton Allen ('20) reinvigorates the Bulldogs and inspires them to get right back into the game. However Quince Orchard was able to answer right away, muscling their way through the lackluster, Bullis defense and into the endzone. Quince Orchard would tie the game up in the middle of the 4th quarter, and Bullis struggles to hold onto the ball, their backs simply too small to be running in the middle like that repeatedly. Unable to hold their blocks, the QB sneak fails and the option becomes predictable, leading to a Bullis 4th down. They go for it and Isaac Aronson ('20) makes a huge catch for the Bulldogs, making the score 35-27 after Bullis gets a 2 point conversion with less than 2 minutes on the clock. The game should of been over there, however; the defensive backfield absolutely collapsed, and left a Quince Orchard receiver wide open and lead to a touchdown that made the game 35-35, with the two point conversion. The Bulldogs got the ball back with a chance to win the game late in the 4th quarter, however they fumbled the ball and gave it back to Quince Orchard, who went on to put together a worrying drive to the red zone. All seemed lost for the Bulldogs, but thanks to Israel Greenleaf ('19) and Sevin Beasley ('19) Quince Orchard messed up the spike, so the clock kept running and sent the game into OT. The Bulldogs got the ball first, Erik McKan ('19) scored the final touchdown, running into the endzone with defenders hanging off of him. The score becomes 42-35, and Quince Orchard gets the ball for a chance to tie it. They score off of an 8 yard pass, and go for two. Dalton Lewis ('18) comes up big, absolutely destroying Doc Bonner and forcing an incomplete pass, leading to a Bullis victory.
As soon as the game is over, the fans and players immediately storm the field cheering and jumping around. Soon after, the Bullis students begin to recite the lyrics to the Bullis Alma Mater as the once loud Red Army is exiting the stands in silence after a devastating 41-42 loss.