By Joe Sageman
The Bullis varsity football team had their way with a porous St. Stephen's defense all afternoon en route to a 61-14 victory. The Bulldogs racked up an eye-popping 458 rushing yards, and seven players had 37 or more yards on the ground. The offense was relentless and executed in true team fashion. Three different Bulldogs saw extensive action at quarterback, and seven different Bulldogs logged rushing attempts. Bullis' first IAC victory of the season proved to be quite costly, though.
While they did not throw punches, they were ejected for running onto the field after the fight had started. Coaches argued that the players only ran onto the field because of a change from the kickoff team to the defensive unit, but Micah Keels ('15), Yusef Muhammad ('15), and Rashaad Wise ('14) were not allowed to return. Their ejections also cloud their availability for next week's contest, which is especially concerning for Muhammad, who has now been thrust into the spotlight as the team's starting quarterback as the Bulldogs attempt to complete an undefeated season.
In Alexandria, the team jumped out to an early lead, unveiling a no-huddle offense and marching straight down the field on a drive capped off by a 22-yard touchdown catch by Nick Fields ('13). Copeland and Fields connected for a second touchdown late in the first quarter. Fields led the team with five receptions for 85 yards and two scores, not including a fumble recovery in the end zone for a third touchdown.
In the second quarter, Copeland found tight end Noah Spriggs ('14) for a seven-yard score and also ran for a touchdown at the goal line. After exiting with an injury, Muhammad had a long run called back by a penalty and proceeded to throw an interception. St. Stephen's capitalized on the turnover with a touchdown pass in the waning seconds of the first half and - for the first time in the game - showed signs of life.
However, Bullis quickly squashed any potential Saints comeback effort. Early in the third quarter, Jonathan Dyer ('13) weaved his way through the St. Stephen's secondary on his way to a brilliant 40-yard touchdown run. Two minutes later, tailback Devonte Williams ('13) scored from 12 yards out. After a few rough weeks, Williams found his rhythm again, busting out for 150 rushing yards on 15 carries.
Bullis' running game was absolutely unstoppable this afternoon. As a team, the Bulldogs topped 12 yards per attempt, which was a big reason why Bullis was able to score so much even with their top two quarterbacks out of the game by the third quarter. Following Muhammad's ejection, Kyven Jones ('14) took snaps from under center. Jones has emerged as a do-it-all player for Bullis this season, and came up big once again today. As a starting cornerback, Jones intercepted his second pass of the season against the Saints. He is third on the team in receiving yards and also returns punts and kickoffs. Against St. Stephen's, he showcased his playmaking abililty on a routine quarterback draw that he took 48 yards to the house. He has now scored touchdowns in three different ways this year (rushing, receiving, punt return).
For the most part, though, Jones handed off to his stable of running backs. Late in the third quarter, fullback Chris Aust ('14) took his lone carry 40 yards to the end zone. Just as he crossed the goal line, a defender poked the ball out, and Fields pounced on the loose ball to get credit for the touchdown. On Bullis' ensuing offensive possession, Williams burst through the Saints defense for a 42 yard score.
Bullis remains unbeaten as they look forward to traveling to St. Albans next week. So far this season, they have beaten their opponents by an average margin of 32 points per game, but they figure to face tougher tests in teams like Georgetown Prep and Landon. They will also have to overcome the loss of their starting quarterback. While the team is fortunate to have an ultra-talented replacement in Muhammad, whether or not the Bulldogs will be able to replace Copeland's leadership and experience will be the most pressing question facing the team over the season's remaining month.
10:30 1st - N. Fields 22-yd TD pass from D. Copeland (B. Brown kick); 7-0 Bullis
0:47 1st - N. Fields 9-yd TD pass from D. Copeland (B. Brown kick); 14-0 Bullis
11:26 2nd - N. Spriggs 7-yd pass from D. Copeland (B. Brown kick); 21-0 Bullis
7:30 2nd - D. Copeland 1-yd TD run (B. Brown kick); 28-0 Bullis
0:35 2nd - S. Gallaham 15-yd TD pass from I. Seisay (B. Habliston kick); 28-7 Bullis
6:16 3rd - J. Dyer 40-yd TD run (kick failed); 34-7 Bullis
4:20 3rd - D. Williams 12-yd TD run (pass failed); 40-7 Bullis
4:08 3rd - D. Manora 90-yd kickoff return TD (B. Habliston kick); 40-14 Bullis
2:02 3rd - N. Fields fumble recovery in end zone (B. Brown kick); 47-14 Bullis
11:22 4th - D. Williams 42-yd run (B. Brown kick); 54-14 Bullis
1:11 4th - K. Jones 48-yd run (B. Brown kick); 61-14 Bullis
Images courtesy of Tina Zibragos