Some high school football teams wish they could produce 200 yards of offense during the course of a game.
The Bullis School had about that much yardage called back in penalties during Saturday’s important Interstate Athletic Conference game at Episcopal High in Virginia. It wasn’t a big deal as the Bulldogs just tacked on another 482 yards in a dominant 54-22 win that clinched their second IAC title in three years.
“You know, we started slow, we’ve been starting slow,” Bullis coach Pat Cilento said. “We had some big plays called back, beat ourselves in the first quarter, first half. But when we stopped making dumb penalties, we started executing.”
Bullis (8-1) was called for 13 penalties — 105 yards worth — in the first half but the Bulldogs were able to rely on their defense to keep Episcopal off the board until the offense settled in. Entering Saturday’s game, the Bullis defense had only allowed three points to IAC opponents.
“Our defense has been great all year,” Cilento said. “The guys have done a great job, they play fast and they move to the ball. They do a great job flying to the ball. [Strong defense] gives us more opportunities on offense and we executed [Saturday].”
Sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins put on a show, something Cilento said he knew he was capable of but hasn’t needed to do yet this fall. Haskins completed 11-of-19 pass attempts for 266 yards and four touchdowns. Each of those scoring receptions was caught by a different player: Jonathan Holland, Jeremy Epstein, Ben Brown and Devonte Williams. Williams added three more touchdowns on the ground off 157 rushing yards, proving Cilento’s point that the playmaker can score almost at will.
“I’ve been waiting all year to do what I did [Saturday], to show how good my players are and how they make me better,” Haskins said. “Pretty much my man Devonte just takes over games for me and I haven’t had to do much, then we’d be up by so much I would sit [during the second half of games]. It was nice to be able to do this and get the title back that we missed last year.”
After holding Episcopal (5-3) scoreless in its game-opening possession — Tyamonnee Johnson grabbed an interception on a long pass on fourth down — Bullis scored on its first series with Haskins’ 9-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Epstein. The Maroon had third-and-goal on the 1-yard line on its next drive, but a lunging sack for a loss of three yards by Chris Aust forced Episcopal to opt for the field goal. The first quarter ended with Bullis up 7-0.
It was a 19-0 second quarter in Bullis’ advantage that really changed the complexion of the contest. A 21-7 third quarter put the game out of reach. Episcopal finished with only 213 yards of offense and Cilento said the Bulldogs’ ability to stifle the Maroon’s offense from the start of Saturday’s game set the tone for the afternoon.
“[Episcopal] has got a great football team,” Cilento said. “What happened was I think we jumped out on them early, we have a good defense, and when you run an offense like that and you can’t get anywhere, can’t get a first down, it kind of took it out of them I think.”
Bullis 54, Episcopal 22
Bullis (8-1) 7 19 21 7 — 54
Episcopal (5-3) 3 0 7 6 — 22
B — Jeremy Epstein 9 pass from Dwayne Haskins (Ben Brown kick)
E — Duncan Trau 20 field goal
B — Devonte Williams 20 run (kick failed)
B — Jonathan Holland 21 pass from Dwayne Haskins (run failed)
B — Ben Brown 51 pass from Dwayne Haskins (Ben Brown kick)
E — Brian Chase 90 punt return (Duncan Trau kick)
B — Devonte Williams 5 pass from Dwayne Haskins (Ben Brown kick)
E — Blake Barefoot 13 pass from Will Hollister (Duncan Trau kick)
B — Devonte Williams 5 run (Ben Brown kick)
B — Devonte Williams 16 run (Ben Brown kick)
B — Brian Latham 12 run (Ben Brown kick)
E — Eric Smith 35 run
Bullis — Devonte Williams 20-157; Brian Latham 7-51.
Episcopal — Eric Smith 15-106
Bullis — Dwayne Haskins 11-19-266-0.
Episcopal — Will Hollister 6-15-67-2.
Bullis — Jonathan Holland 4-130; Ben Brown 1-51; Damani Neal 1-34; Jeremy Epstein 2-24.