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Two impressive showings = one great matchup

Upon looking back at last weekend’s D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association semifinals, one thing seems pretty certain: the Turkey Bowl is going to one heck of a game.

It was hard to tell which team looked more impressive. Ballou was pretty much unstoppable in its 43-7 victory over Wilson; H.D. Woodson, meantime, playing a tougher opponent, really had its way with Dunbar, beating the Crimson Tide, 26-7, and keeping Dunbar out of the Turkey Bowl for the first time since 1997. Take those performances, coupled with Ballou’s narrow 14-8 victory over the Warriors on Oct. 16, and it’s hard to imagine the Turkey Bowl not being a very even matchup.

Both teams, however, proved a tried-and-true axiom held by several DCIAA coaches: the teams with the best line play usually win. Ballou’s line has been fabulous all season, and the Knights just continued that against Wilson. Junior quarterback Delonte Edwards, who has improved dramatically from last season, completed nine straight passes at one point in the first half, and connected with five different receivers on 12 completions for 159 yards. When the Knights went to the ground, senior running back Eric Shaw had plenty of room to run (127 yards, two touchdowns).

Woodson, meantime, showed it was susceptible to a strong pass rush against teams like Friendship Collegiate and Ballou in the regular season. Against Dunbar, Woodson’s line got a great push off the snap, gave quarterback Ricardo Young plenty of time to find receivers (often Alonzo Russell, who picked apart Dunbar’s secondary with seven cathes for 146 yards and two touchdowns), and also opened huge holes for running back Dejohn Evans, none bigger than the seam on the left side on the game’s third play from scrimmage, which Evans took 54 yards for the game’s first touchdown. Evans rushed for 113 yards, and five of his 15 carries earned first downs.

By Alan Goldenbach  |  November 17, 2009; 12:13 AM ET
Categories:  Ballou , DCIAA football , H.D. Woodson  
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