By Carlos Alfaro
POTOMAC — If the headline sounds familiar, it’s because, in a repeat of last year, the Georgetown Prep Little Hoyas thrashed the Bullis Bulldogs to win the IAC Championship.
The score this time around is different, with a resounding 21-5 result, but the ending is the same as the Little Hoyas end the football season with another accolade. Last year they shared the title with the Landon Bears.
Both schools came in expecting the best from each other: The Little Hoyas came in undefeated in IAC play while the Bulldogs had one loss in the league. However, the game turned out to be anything but close.
The Bulldogs scored off of a safety after junior wide receiver Ashton Allen blocked a punt by Little Hoyas senior kicker Ultan Horrigan inside the Little Hoyas’ five-yard line, giving the Bulldogs a scant lead to start the game off.
If Bullis scored by sheer scrappiness, then Georgetown Prep went about it with flair. All of their scoring drives ended in plays that exposed the Bulldogs’ deteriorating defense and showcased their own evasive offensive corps.
The first Little Hoyas touchdown was no exception. In the second quarter, senior quarterback Peter Davin chipped a short ball to senior tight end Andrew Johnston, who then ran it for an 87-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs were caught by surprise and could not catch up to a speedy Johnston.
To counter this threat, Bullis tried to implement their own running game, which was shut down by a stubborn Georgetown Prep defense. Pleas from the crowd for more aerial plays were seemingly moot, as the Bulldogs were insistent on keeping the ball grounded.
Little Hoyas head coach Dan Paro said about his defense, “They got that resilient attitude, nothing bothers them. They were put in a lot of bad situations, and they embrace them; that’s the difference.”
After halftime, the Bulldogs had one of the clearest chances to take the lead as they were stalled at the nine-yard line. They could not get a touchdown out of the opportunity but junior kicker Gabe Nwosu made the field goal to shorten the Little Hoyas’ lead.
“Ever since the Benedictine game – it was a close game but we pulled through – ever since that game we knew no matter how bad the adversity got we would persevere,” said Johnston, referring to the close match against the Benedictine Cadets earlier in the season.
Little Hoyas senior wide receiver Emmet Scanlon countered the Bulldogs’ recent gains with a 75-yard touchdown to put his team in a more comfortable position.
Davin connected with an undefended Johnston in the red zone for Georgetown Prep’s last touchdown of the night in the third quarter and Horrigan was three-for-three on extra-point attempts, adding to the Bulldogs’ woes.
By the third Little Hoyas touchdown, the Bulldogs were visibly frustrated as helmets were thrown and words were exchanged. The fourth quarter was mercifully absent of scoring, but an intercepted end-zone pass gave away one of the Bulldogs’ chances of a late-game comeback.
“We got to get better, that’s the bottom line,” said Bulldogs head coach Pat Cilento.