By Joe Sageman
On Friday night, the Bulldogs beat Bishop McNamara 26-3 despite giving up a lot of size to the Mustangs on both the offensive and defensive lines. Despite McNamara's distinct size advantage and defensive line led by two Georgia Tech commits, Bullis came out running the ball, mainly with Devonte Williams ('15), who has received the lion's share of the team's carries this year.
On the ensuing drive, head coach Pat Cilento opened up the playbook. After chipping away at the stout McNamara defense with inside runs for the majority of the first half, quarterback Danny Copeland ('13) hit receiver Kyven Jones ('14) on three bubble screens that picked up good yardage. The pair connected for a 21 yard touchdown with 1:15 to go in the half. After a missed extra point, Bullis went into the locker room leading 6-3.
After a hard-fought first half, the Bulldogs pulled away right from the start of the second. On the first play from scrimmage, McNamara fumbled a hand-off, which was scooped up by defensive end Jindu Chiazor ('14) and returned all the way to the Mustangs' one-yard line. While Chiazor started out the season playing almost exclusively at offensive guard, he has rotated in with the defensive line more and more. He is now entrenched as a starter opposite fellow defensive end Peter Angeh ('13) and has brought energy and explosiveness to the defensive line.
Capitalizing on the picture perfect field position, Copeland punched the ball into the end zone on a quarterback sneak. The two-point conversion failed, bringing the score to 12-3. On the next offensive series, Bullis exploited the McNamara secondary once again as Copeland found Jones streaking across the deep middle of the field absolutely wide open for a second 21 yard touchdown. Jones had a true breakout game, making impact plays on offense and defense alike. He finished the contest with a team-high five catches, 77 receiving yards, and two touchdowns on offense. On defense, he led the team with 12 tackles, forced a McNamara fumble inside the Bullis ten-yard line, and intercepted a Ramar Williams pass.
While both teams made their share of sloppy mistakes by losing two fumbles each, it was Bullis' big-play ability that proved to be the difference in the game. Copeland has a significant experience advantage on McNamara quarterback Ramar Williams, who is just a freshman. The Bulldog secondary also was rock solid throughout the night thanks to inspired play from Tyamonee Johnson ('14), who broke up five passes from his safety spot. Fellow safety Nick Fields ('13) also showed great range in coverage, forcing McNamara to dump the ball of short. Kyven Jones and Jonathan Dyer ('13) chipped in with phenomenal tackling from their cornerback positions, highlighted by Dyer's jarring hit that knocked the football loose. McNamara was unable to come up with similar, momentum-changing plays in their defensive backfield.
Instead, Copeland kept attacking them. Early in the fourth quarter, he let go of a beautifully thrown deep ball that hit tight end Noah Spriggs ('14) in stride for a 49 yard touchdown. With a 26-3 lead in hand, Bullis began rotating in their junior varsity players, who showed some flashes of future brilliance. Most notably, quarterback Yusef Muhammad ('15) showed off remarkable speed on a 28-yard run off the left side.
Next week, Bullis (now 5-0), will begin their conference schedule when they travel to undefeated St. Stephen's & St. Agnes on Satuday, October 13.
Images courtesy of Dana Daniels