The name and the game are a little different but a Bullis School football player named Jones came up big again Friday night, leading the Bulldogs to a commanding 26-3 victory against visiting Bishop McNamara.
A year ago, Kevin Jones was lighting up the scoreboard while racing his way to more than 2,000 yards for the season to lead the Bulldogs to a 9-1 record and the team's first Interstate Athletic Conference title since 1979.
Fast forward to Friday and it was Kyven Jones making many of the top plays — two touchdown receptions, nine tackles and an interception — to help Bullis improve to 5-0 on the season with IAC play set to begin Saturday against St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.).
“I'm just doing my job and doing what the coaches say,” Jones said. “If it means tackling somebody, catching a ball or making an interception, I do what I can do.”
This Jones put the Bulldogs up for good with a 21-yard screen play that he turned into a touchdown with 1:15 left in the first half for a 6-3 advantage. It followed a 32-yard field goal by McNamara's Travis Arnold less than a minute before.
He added another 21-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter to push the advantage to 19-3 and his interception halted a Mustangs drive deep inside Bullis territory in the fourth quarter. Many of his tackles cut down the much taller McNamara receivers before they could get going down the field.
“Initially, I was trying to get out of bounds [on the first touchdown] but I saw an opening and I took it [and just outraced a defender into the corner of the end zone],” Jones said. “The second touchdown — my job is to get open across the field — the quarterback made a great throw and I was open and I got a touchdown.”
Bulldogs quarterback Danny Copeland tossed both of those scoring strikes to Jones and added a 1-yard sneak 9 seconds into the third quarter and a 49-yard touchdown pass to Noah Spriggs for the final 23-point margin early in the fourth quarter.
“This is huge for our entire school, our football team, our family,” Copeland said. “It's great competition and they're a great team; it means so much to come out and beat a team as good as they are.”
The play of Copeland and Jones as well as a timely fumble recovery and return by Chukwujindu Chiazor to open the second half turned around what was an ugly first half had by both teams that was marred by fumbles and penalties.
“Mainly the reason for the rough first half was a lot of penalties that could have easily been avoided,” Copeland said. “We made some corrections and talked about what we needed to fix and we came out and fixed them really well.”
McNamara, however, never seemed to right the ship, including starting the second half with a fumble on its first play that was scooped up by Chiazor and taken to the 1-yard line. Copeland then scored for a 12-3 lead and the Mustangs never recovered.
In fact, McNamara turned the ball over four times for the game and was penalized 11 times for 70 yards — two of those miscues helped keep Bullis drives alive. One of the fumbles came on the 1-yard line with 26 seconds left in the first quarter that negated a possible touchdown for the Mustangs.
“Mistakes, turnovers, penalties, everything just came to play,” said McNamara coach Bryce Bevill, whose team dropped to 2-4 with its third straight loss. “The second half, you start off the first play with a fumble and they pick it up and take it down to the 1-yard line and then they push that in for a score.
“Now you're scrambling the entire second half and you get penalties. When you get those things happening, it kills momentum and it kills drives.”
Bullis 26, Bishop McNamara 3
McNamara (2-4) 0 3 0 0 3
Bullis (5-0) 0 6 13 7 26
MCN Travis Arnold 32 FG
Bullis Kyven Jones 21 pass from Danny Copeland (kick failed)
Bullis Danny Copeland 1 run (pass failed)
Bullis Kyven Jones 21 pass from Danny Copeland (Benjamin Brown kick)
Bullis Noah Spriggs 49 pass from Danny Copeland (Benjamin Brown kick)
McNamara Jyquan Thompson 8-29, Alfred Bannister 4-13, Adam Gillis, Jr. 6-11, Reginald Ware 2-11, Ramar Williams 4-0, Milan Collins 1-(-3).
Bullis Devonte Williams 17-55, Yusef Muhammad 2-37, Brandon Izzo 4-35, Danny Copeland 6-22, Chris Aust 4-15, J.D. Dyer 4-5, Kyven Jones 1-3.
McNamara Ramar Williams 13-30-172-1
Bullis Danny Copeland 6-12-127-0
McNamara Tavon Charles 5-83, Kevin Robbins 2-15, Jordan Martin 2-10, Jordan Crockett 2-10, Marcus Foster 1-56, Alfred Bannister 1-(-2).
Bullis Kyven Jones 5-78, Noah Spriggs 1-49.