Woodberry Forest defeats Bullis in an Overtime thriller
POTOMAC, MD -- The Bullis School Bulldogs and Woodberry Forest School Tigers combined for 111 points and 1,093 total yards in a classic Friday Night Lights shootout.
As a former defensive player, it was hard watching both teams score at will, but overall it was very entertaining, easily the best game of the weekend that was filled with blowouts.
This could possible be the game of year.
“I feel like I have survivors guilt”, coach Clint Alexander said after his team 66-65 overtime victory. “[Bullis] got some amazing players, they're very well coached. I told our boys it's the Prep League champs vs. the IAC champs, and that's what it was”
"It was like playing backyard football" said Bullis quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr.
Both teams played very well offensively, but the Tigers made the biggest play of the game when they stopped Bullis from converting a 2-point conversion attempt in overtime.
Coach Pat Cliento didn't want to send out his freshman kicker, who had already missed two extra-point attempts during the game. Instead he called for a simple run play but Damani Neal bobbled the hand-off, giving the Tigers an opportunity to stop him in the backfield.
The Tigers scored on each of their possessions, led by senior quarterback Lindell Stone. Stone, a 3-star Pro-style QB according to 24/7 Sports, played phenomenal in this game. He threw for 5 TDS and completed 64% of his passes. I was really impressed with Stone because he answered every time Bullis tried to throw something at him.
Running back Evan Rivere finished with 27 carries 159 yards and 3 touchdowns.
On the Tigers final possession of regulation, they converted two 4th downs; a 4th & 6 and 4th & 3. As the clock kept ticking, the Bullis defense showed no signs of slowing the Tigers, coach Cliento eventually shouted to his defense “Let them score!” which would put the Tigers up 59-51 with 1:37 remaining in the game.
Initially, I thought it was a bad idea, but once I thought about how this game went, and who he had at quarterback, I realized it was a risky but smart tactic.
Future Terp, Dwayne Haskins Jr., led the Bulldogs down the field from their own 29-yard line to tie the ball game at 59. I can't think of a more polished quarterback that I have seen play in the state of Maryland. Like, Stone, Haskins was unstoppable. He threw for 442 yard and 7 TDS, also a rushing touchdown.
“He's unbelievable”, coach Cilento said. “He just make play after play, he does a great job. He's an amazing guy on and off the field.
The one thing I love about Haskins is his leadership and confidence. During timeouts, he would walk up to the defense huddle and tell them “get me the ball back and I'm going to score”.
The defense did get him the ball back but it was because they allowed a touchdown, Haskins never flinched or lost his composure. When Bullis needed a touchdown, he answered. He connected with Damani Neal 15 times for 163 yards and 4 touchdowns, one of which being the game tying touchdown at the end of regulation.
Bullis easily has one of the best offenses in the state. Not sure if there are too many teams that will be able to stop them but they struggle to stop other teams. The Bulldogs are now 0-2 and have allowed 101 points after facing two no-huddle offenses.
Many of Bullis starters, play both sides of the ball which is a remedy for disaster when facing a no-huddle offense. By the third quarter, Bullis defenders started cramping at a rapid rate, and with only 35 players, it left them with limited options for replacements. They fought hard but couldn't make the one play they needed to win the game.
Photo cred: James Sneed/Fan-I Sports