BLADENSBURG – The Duval High School football team spoiled Bladensburg’s Homecoming celebrations with a close 14-6 victory on Oct. 19.
Tigers Head Coach David Koloski said he knew it was going to be dogfight coming to Bladensburg High School to take on the Mustangs and was proud to see his team’s performance.
“I knew Bladensburg would play hard, they have good fundamentals,” said Koloski. “I knew they were not going to roll over on their homecoming. So I expected the competitive game and that’s what we got.”
The Mustangs struggled early on the offensive end, as quarterback Tayvon Wright could not handle the snaps from center Marcelo Solano. The defense, on the other hand, was solid for Bladensburg as Junior Maduka intercepted Duval quarterback Jayden Sewell in the first quarter, setting up Wright to score the game’s opening touchdown.
Despite giving away the early score, Duval provided some offensive firepower of their own through the air with Sewell finding a way to connect with receiver Cameron McMillon on a deep bomb in the second quarter. On the ensuing play, Sewell threw the ball to Ryane Birun who made his way to the marker for a Tigers’ touchdown as Duval lead 8-6 lead at halftime.
“I think I did pretty good,” said McMillon. “I caught what I got to catch and made the big plays and that’s what we needed.”
“We gave effort,” said Birun. “We practice every day so you know practice makes perfect. I think we did good today though but its room for improvement.”
Coming out of halftime, the Tigers offense forged forward as Sewell connected with McMillon again on easy pass through the Bladensburg defense for their second touchdown.
As the Tigers led 14-6 late in the fourth quarter, the Mustangs battled to push the game to overtime. With 1:05 left on the clock, Wright linked up with Messiah Sumner on a leaping pass over a defender down the left side of the field. Mustangs Head Coach Byron Westbrook took his last timeout after Sumner’s catch with 42 seconds left in the game.
However, an overthrown pass and a tackle inside the field forced the Mustangs to spike the ball with 12 seconds remaining.
On the final play of the game, Wright tried to connect with him on a slant route to the left side of the end zone to Steven Coates. However, the Mustang receiver was unable to hold on to the pass as the Tigers extend their record to 2-5 with the victory. With the loss, Bladensburg drops to 1-6.
“I just counted on my defense to make plays,” said Koloski. “We got a lot of playmakers on our defense between DB’s, defensive line and linebackers and I was fully confident in them making plays and stopping Blade.”