With blowout victories the night of Oct. 28 in high-school football action, the Bishop O’Connell Knights and Washington-Liberty Generals gained momentum for big rivalry meetings in their final games of the regular season this coming weekend.
O’Connell (4-5) blanked host John Paul the Great, 26-0, in non-conference play and W-L (5-4, 4-1) blew out the visiting McLean Highlanders, 48-13, in a Liberty District clash.
For O’Connell, the shutout was the Knights’ first since blanking Paul VI Catholic, 30-0, in the final game of the 2017 season.
Coincidently, O’Connell hosts Paul VI (7-2, 2-1) on Saturday, Nov. 5 in the final contest this fall. After that, O’Connell and Paul VI will participate in the four-team Metro Division playoffs of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Seeds are not yet decided.
“Paul VI is having a good season and will be a handful,” O’Connell coach Ken Lucas said. “They come right at you.”
O’Connell went right at John Paul the Great early in the Oct. 28 clash, leading 16-0 at the end of the first quarter and 26-0 at halftime.
In that first period, the Knights took a 2-0 lead when defensive lineman Samson Ogunade recorded a tackle in the end zone, Aidan Munroe caught a six-yard touchdown pass from Jonathan Nguyen, Joseph Wall returned a fumble 19 yards for a TD and Tyler Fontenot kicked two extra points for the 16-0 lead.
“We came out in the first quarter and first half and got after them on defense pretty well and had some good things go well for us,” Lucas said. “Then things went on from there.”
In the second quarter, Nguyen scored on a two-yard run and Fontenot booted an extra point and 45-yard field goal. There was no scoring in the second half.
Nguyen was 11 of 21 passing for 110 yards. Monroe had five catches for 38 yards, Colin Harris caught three for 26, Cameron Lee had two for 47 and Josiah Rose and Frank Johnson each had one catch. Jake Cunnife had 47 yards rushing to lead O’Connell, Douglas O’Donnell ran for 31 and Nguyen for eight.
On defense, Ogunade had two sacks and broke up a pass, Kellen McConnell had seven tackles with a sack, Jai Thompson had six tackles and three sacks, Zach Harrison made six tackles with two sacks, Lee had three sacks, and Nathan Harrison had three tackles and one sack.
For Washington-Liberty in its win, Ryan Jones was 13 of 18 passing for 293 yards and threw four touchdown passes, two to Jackson Nowinski, who had six catches for 133 yards. JoJo Sovula (three catches 74 yards) and Anthony Louis (two catches 66 yards) and had TD catches.
Louis was W-L’s leading rusher with 91 yards and a touchdown. Sovula ran for 23. Anthony Ceballos Medina made seven extra points.
On defense, Elijah Hughes had a 35-yard fumble return for a TD and he made nine tackles (two for losses) and deflected one pass. Also on defense for W-L, Sean Guffey had nine tackles (two for losses), forced a fumble and recovered a fumble; Ryan Boyd made six tackles (one for a loss) and had an interception); and David Harris had six tackles, including three for losses and 1.5 sacks and he forced a fumble.
Washington-Lee ends the regular season Nov. 5 with a home game against the Yorktown Patriots (6-3, 3-2) in an all-Arlington and district clash. With a win, W-L could earn a share of the district title, win the crown outright depending on the result of other games and earn a region playoff berth.
Yorktown had a bye this past weekend and did not play.
* The Wakefield Warriors fell to 0-10, 0-6 with a 63-0 loss to the host Marshall Statesmen in Liberty District action Oct. 28.
For Wakefield, Michael Hutchison had 58 yards rushing and Andre Walton had 28 yards. Bryant Curz-Lemus completed four passes for 53 yards with Cameron Fields having two catches for 34 yards, and Jordan Hickman and Cameron Piehota-Abbott one each.