Senior running back Jai Carson rushed for two touchdowns to help lift the H.D. Woodson Warriors over the Ballou Knights, 20-12, in the DCIAA Stars semi-final matchup on Nov. 16 in Washington, D.C.
It wasn’t an easy game for the top-ranked Warriors, as both teams struggled with turnovers and sacks throughout the first half. Woodson junior quarterback Rashad Cooper could not connect with his receivers in the red zone, and the game was scoreless at halftime.
“Our thing is to play power football,” said Woodson coach Steve Scott. “We had to make a few adjustments because those guys didn’t back down. They played hard football just like we did.”
Carson scored the first points of the afternoon with a rushing touchdown midway through the third quarter. Woodson’s offense finally found its rhythm, but the real action didn’t begin until the final quarter.
The Warriors opened the fourth quarter with a drive that ended with Cooper scoring on the quarterback keeper. Ballou junior quarterback Tirri Jones responded with a sensational pass to senior receiver Dionte Johnson for a 49-yard touchdown reception.
With less than eight minutes left in the game, Woodson senior D’Andre Payne was the main force in a long drive that culminated with another touchdown by Carson to give the Warriors a 14-point lead. It also ran significant time off the clock, and the Knights weren’t able to come back, despite a rushing touchdown from junior tight end Williams Richardson.
“This time of year is win or go home. I’ll take an ugly win any day over a good loss,” said Scott.
H.D. Woodson will play Wilson in the 44th Annual DCIAA Safeway Turkey Bowl on Nov. 28 in Washington, D.C.