As the region schedule begins to blossom, Douglass is showing its roots planted firmly in the soil as a team capable of winning in any fashion.
The Astros improved to 2-1 in 6-AA play and 3-2 overall after holding on for 27-24 win against cross-city rival Washington at Lakewood Stadium.
Douglass built up a 21-12 advantage at the half and led 27-18 midway through the fourth quarter. Washington had the Astros skidding on their heels with a late push in the waning seconds. However, a batted down pass at the goal line confirmed the win for Douglass.
“We played poorly and we have to do better. We made the game closer than what it should’ve been. My heart was beating fast at the end. We’ll take this victory. This put in a good place in the region,” said Douglass head coach Rodney Cofield.
Running back Darryl McClellan Jr. set the tone for the host squad with a pair of touchdowns. The senior’s swift moves in the fourth quarter led him on a 55-yard sprint across the goal line. This proved to be the play of the game and served as the springboard for his team’s triumph.
“As a team, we pulled off this win. We made a lot of mistakes, but we won,” said McClellan. “I was telling our team we got to pull together. On that last touchdown, I just saw a wide-open hole and my wide receivers gave me good blocks. I broke up the sideline. Once I saw the open field, I just cut it and broke up the field.”
Washington’s second-half surge began with a fortuitous catch by Antonio Trice. Jordan Atkins’ pass bounced off a defender’s outstretched arms and landed safely in Trice’s hands for a 35-yard score. The play cut the deficit to 21-18.
Although McClellan’s long-distance touchdown extended the lead to 27-18, the Bulldogs regained composure and proceeded to march downfield. Adkins capped off a 6:03 drive with a 2-yard quarterback run to narrow the gap. The 2-point conversation attempt failed to keep the game at 27-24.
The Bulldogs had one last chance after recovering a fumble near midfield with under a minute to play. They drove down to the 23-yard line with five seconds left on the clock. However, the lack of a kicking game forced Washington to go for a winning touchdown instead of a tying field goal. Adkins’ pass in traffic was batted down a near the goal line and Douglass exhaled a sigh of victorious relief.
“The kick was too deep for a field goal. We started slow. I have to talk to my guys about starting strong,” said Washington head coach Derrick Avery. “This region loss put us behind the eight ball. We’re 0-2 in the region going into one of the toughest games in the region against Hapeville. We have to come out and do things differently to get a region win.”