The Bullis School entered Saturday's football game against rival Landon with a gaudy scoring average of nearly 40 points a game while starting the year with a 7-0 record.
The Bulldogs lowest scoring output in 2012 was 26 points against Washington Catholic Athletic Conference team Bishop McNamara.
The Landon defense wasn't impressed, limiting the Bulldogs to one score to claim a share of the Interstate Athletic Conference title with a 12-7 victory at Bullis.
Landon can win the championship outright if it beats St. Albans on Nov. 10. If St. Albans wins, then Landon shares the title with Bullis and St. Albans.
“I can't say enough about the defense, they just made plays tonight,” Landon coach Paul Padalino said.
The Bears (6-2, 3-0 in IAC play) led 12-7 with less than 3 minutes remaining in the game when Bullis took possession. The Bulldogs (7-1, 2-1) drove down to the Bears' 28 when the drive stalled.
On fourth down, Bullis quarterback Yusef Muhammad's pass was nearly intercepted by Landon's Peter Laco. The incompletion ended Bullis' hopes of a late rally.
“We beat ourselves,” Bullis coach Pat Cilento said. “Turnovers, missed field goals, turn the ball over on the 2-yard line, penalties. I can't tell you how many penalties we had.”
The first half ended in a 0-0 tie, but it was Bullis that had the best scoring chances. While Landon couldn't get past the 50-yard line, Bullis was in Landon territory on two of three drives.
The first time ended when sophomore Benjamin Brown missed on a 29-yard field goal attempt with 8 seconds left in the first quarter.
The second ended when senior Anthony Fullum intercepted Muhammad's pass on a first-and-goal from the 5-yard line at the 2.
“It was a huge turning point,” Fullum said. “They didn't have a lot of room for the slant bubble [because of the sideline], and they had pressure, our defensive line played great. He had to throw it and it just came right to me.”
Bullis ended the scoring drought with its first drive of the second half, sophomore running back Devonte Williams scored on an 8-yard run.
Landon's defense came up with another interception on Bullis' next drive, this one returned 17 yards to the Bullis 23 by Robby Dunigan. Myles Allen scored on a 2-yard run, but the extra point attempt kick was blocked by Bullis' Steven Attah.
No matter. When Landon got the ball back, it relied on Allen to gain 40 of his 72 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown from the 3. The Bears went for the 2-point conversion, but the pass was high and incomplete.
That came with 7:33 to play, and the Landon defense had to stop Bullis' offense for two drives to get at least a share of the IAC crown.
“Seemed like they all stepped up and made plays when they had to,” said Padalino, who then went on to name each defensive player and what they had done in the game.
Landon 12, Bullis 7
Landon (6-2, 3-0) 0 0 6 6—12
Bullis (7-1, 2-1) 0 0 7 0—7
B—Devonte Williams 8 run (Benjamin Brown kick)
L—Myles Allen 2 run (kick blocked)
L—Myles Allen 3 run (pass failed)
L— Myles Allen 17-72; Charlie Ellerman 6-38; Robby Dunigan 6-31; Taylor Trumbower 1-3; Kyle Hartman 2-3; Rupp Colton 1-3; Brian MacLaury 1-(-3),
B— Devonte Williams 14-40; Yusef Muhammad 12-39; Micah Keels 2-7; Kyven Jones 3-4; Nicholas Fields 1-(-2).
L— Kyle Hartman 3 completions, 3 attempts, 0 interceptions, 0 touchdowns, 43 yards.
B— Yusef Muhammad 21-30-2-0-224.
L— Austin Petty 2-33; Myles Allen 1-10.
B— Kyven Jones 7-62; Micah Keels 6-51; Nicholas Fields 5-48; Devonte Williams 1-21; Noah Spriggs 1-21; Raekwon Reese 1-10.