It was a picture-perfect setting for the Senior Day football game at St. Albans on Saturday afternoon. The National Cathedral overlooked the sun-soaked field. The game time temperature was 66 degrees with only blue skies above. Unfortunately for St. Albans, Georgetown Prep was in town to rain on the parade. The Hoyas cruised to a 24-0 shutout victory, improving to 7-2 on the season and dropping the home Bulldogs to 4-5 on the season.
Prep put their foot on the gas immediately. After a quick 3-and-out by St. Albans, the Hoyas used their great field position to march down the field in a matter of minutes, mostly due to their star running back Colin Reynolds, who had an excellent day. He punctuated the drive with a short rushing score to put the Hoyas up 7-0 less than two minutes into the game. Before they knew it, their offense had the ball again after another 3-and-out by St. Albans. The ensuing drive was again led by Reynolds’ running game. The drive was halted near the goal line, as the Bulldog’s defense stiffened up and forced Prep to settle for a short Mason Chervenak field goal to make it 10-0.
The action-packed first quarter was highlighted by back-to-back defensive plays that had fans of both teams on an emotional roller coaster. Midway through the quarter with the Bulldogs on offense, Georgetown Prep senior Wyatt Bowman undercut the route of the St. Albans’ receiver and picked off QB Tyler Smith. It appeared as if the interception would continue the wave momentum for Prep. That changed when the offense miscommunicated on a pitch play that led to the ball ending up on the ground. It was recovered by Bulldogs’ linebacker William Moore. While the St. Albans’ offense wasn’t able to capitalize on the turnover, it halted a surging Prep offense and momentarily stopped the bleeding.
The Hoyas ripped open the wound again at the start of the second quarter. The Prep offense continued to push the ball down the field after their defense forced another punt. Bowman, who was a force on both side of the ball all day long, had a massive gain on a run play. That set up the Hoyas inside the 10-yard line, and as expected, Reynolds did the rest, punching the ball into the end zone for his second score of the day. What was the key to his game today? Reynolds’ answer was simple.
“The line. They really pulled through for me. I was able to create off of their blocks, ” he said after the game.
When it appeared that St. Albans was finally getting some momentum on their ensuing offensive drive at the end of the first half, senior CB Jayson Penn intercepted Smith, this time when the Bulldogs were in Hoya territory. At the half, Georgetown Prep was up 17-0.
Both defenses came to play in the punt-filled second half. Neither offense was able to generate any big plays for the majority of the half, and when they did, the drives stalled out. The one exception to this came early in the fourth quarter with the Hoyas still holding on to a 17-0 lead. On the play, QB Carson Whittier and senior WR Ciaran McCleary connected on a long touchdown pass that put the cherry on top of what was a decisive win for the Hoyas.
Georgetown Prep certainly had the Bulldogs’ number today, but for Prep Coach Dan Paro, the respect for St. Albans runs deep.
“We have a great deal of respect for St. Albans, as we’ve always had over the years. Anytime we’ve played here at this field we knew it was gonna be big competition,” Paro said after the game. He credited the Bulldogs for fighting back after going down early and playing hard despite being plagued by injuries.
As far as his own team goes, there were several factors that contributed to their victory. “The big thing is I think we only had one turnover,” he explained. He added, “Colin Reynolds and the offensive line took charge of the game.”
Next week, the Hoyas will look to build on their momentum against the always tough Bullis Bulldogs. This will be their final regular season game. Asked about how his team can continue the momentum, Reynolds said they key was to just prepare and lock in. “Everybody just needs to work a little harder,” he said.
As for St. Albans, they too wrap up their season on the road against Landon. They will look to finish the year at .500, which is not easy to do in their tough conference. It will be very interesting to see how everything shakes out next when all is said and done.