Bullis Knocks Off Roosevelt, 28-8

POTOMAC, MD- In a physical battle from the opening snap, the Bullis Bulldogs outlasted the Roosevelt Rough Riders on a beautiful September night in the DMV.  Roosevelt, still seeking their first victory of the year, was able to compete with Bullis for much of the game, but the Bulldogs’ persistent offense and timely defense proved too much for them to handle in a 28-8 Bullis win. 

On Bullis’s first drive, they marched down the field with ease, and it looked like they were about to punch it in for the score.  A dart throw from quarterback Cameron Giley to senior receiver Khari Walker got the Bulldogs down to the 1-yard line. In a shocking turn of events, the Rough Riders defense came up with a massive stop, forcing a Bullis fumble and halting what would’ve been a long touchdown drive. On the defensive side of the ball, Walker made sure the drive would at least yield some points for the Bulldogs.  Starting from their own own 1-yard line after the fumble, the Roosevelt quarterback hit his man on a pass caught inside the end zone.  Before the receiver could make a move, the Bulldogs’ defense closed in on him, with Walker making the tackle that brought him down for the safety.  It was 2-0 Bullis. 

It didn’t take long for Roosevelt to respond, as they marched down the field shortly thereafter and took an 8-2 lead on a touchdown pass from quarterback Jayden Ford from just inside the 15-yard line. This was followed by a 2-point conversion. Those would be the only points they scored all night, although their defense did everything they could to keep them in the game. 

Midway through the second quarter, the Bulldogs were putting together a solid drive, which featured several chunk plays in the passing game. The crowd roared as Walker took a pass from around midfield and bolted all the way to the 20-yard line. It was there that the Roosevelt defense stiffened up. After a close call on a pass to the end zone that was nearly reeled in for a miraculous catch, the Bulldogs were forced to attempt a 37-yard field goal, which sailed wide left.  It appeared that heavy-favorite Bullis was in for a dogfight against a winless Roosevelt team. 

Then, the Bulldog’s started to bite back. After a quick possession by Roosevelt, Bullis took the ball with great field possession. It didn’t take long for them to reach the end zone. The offense was using both an efficient running game from Cedric Kouemi and Gio Fernandez, as well as a strong passing game from Cameron Giley that the Rough Riders defense had little answer for. As the crowd fed off the PA announcer’s increasingly repetitive “First down Bulldogs!”, the players on the field were beginning to feed off the energy of the crowd. The drive culminated in a 4-yard rushing touchdown for Kouemi, giving Bullis a 1-point lead.

They were not done there. The defense, having already contributed to the team’s point-total with a first quarter safety, forced a fast 3-and-out. On the Roosevelt punt, the punter bobbled the snap.  In a panic, he picked up the ball and attempted to make a desperation throw as the ferocious Bullis defense closed in on him for what would be another safety.  He barely got the throw off, but was immediately dinged for an intentional grounding penalty, which resulted in the safety he did everything to avoid. The Bullis defense had their second safety of the game to make it an 11-8 game. After the Rough Rider’s offense again quickly fizzled out on the ensuing drive, Bullis drove the ball down the field yet again. Kicker Evan Price redeemed himself in the closing minutes of the first half, kicking a 28-yard field goal to give Bullis a 14-8 lead heading into the half.  

Throughout much of the rest of the game, the Roosevelt defense did everything they could to keep it a close game, making several stops in the third quarter that kept the score at 14-8.  It looked as if the Bullis offense had stalled out. The only problem was that the Rough Rider’s offense just couldn’t capitalize on any of those stops. After three quarters, the score remained the same.

The breaking point for the Roosevelt defense came in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. Starting on their opponent’s 39-yard line, Giley threw up a beautiful ball to wide receiver Jackson Maher that got them down to the 15.  This would ultimately set the stage for  a 5-yard rushing touchdown from Gio Fernandez to put the Bulldogs up 21-8.  Fernandez finished with 2 touchdowns and 38 yards on 9 carries. Bullis would add another rushing score in the closing minutes of the game to go up 28-8. A fight broke out with around two minutes remaining, prompting the refs to send both teams off before the clock officially hit 0:00.

Giley finished 17/34 for 245 yards on the day.  Receiver Brooks Martin also contributed heavily to the offense despite not scoring, making six catches for 115 yards.  On the defense, Lucas Banks led the way with four tackles ( including three tackles for a loss) and two sacks. Bullis will look to build on their win next weekend against Virginia Academy.

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