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H.D. Woodson Wins Third-Straight Football Title

James Wright | 11/26/2010, 11:08 p.m.
Ward 5 Council member Harry Thomas, Jr., left, DCIAA Executive Director Marcus Ellis, center, and D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray presented game trophies to H.D. Woodson Warriors QB Terron Buchanan, left, and DE DeJon Wilson at the conclusion of the 41st Annual Turkey Bowl at Eastern High School in Northeast on Thu., Nov. 25. H.D. Woodson defeated Dunbar 44-12. Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

The H.D. Woodson Warriors used their potent defense to win its third consecutive District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association title by beating the Dunbar High School Crimson Tide, 44-12, on Thu., Nov. 25 at Eastern High School's stadium in Northeast.

Dunbar won the right to play H.D. Woodson for the varsity football championship after Ballou was eliminated because an investigation found that the Southeast school had used an ineligible player in the playoffs. H.D. Woodson Warriors coach Greg Fuller commended the efforts of his student-athletes despite the distractions of the controversy.

"The kids played well under tough circumstances," Fuller said. "It was tough preparing for either Ballou or Dunbar but we did what we had to do to prepare and to win."
The first quarter of the game was scoreless.

In the second quarter, H.D. Woodson got on the scoreboard with a three-yard run into the end zone by junior quarterback Terron Buchanan.
A few minutes later, Dunbar senior running back Rasheed Johnson slipped by several H.D. Woodson defenders for a touchdown, to the relief of many Crimson Tide fans, making the score, 6-6 with six minutes left until halftime.{gallery}extras/turkey-bowl-2010{/gallery}

In what would be the first of three interceptions for the Warriors, junior defensive back Theodore Boone ticked off a pass from sophomore Dunbar quarterback Lamel Matthews and ran for 16 yards to make the score, 12-6, in favor of H.D. Woodson with 3 minutes 42 seconds left in the first half. The Warriors two-point conversion was successful for 14 points.

That was the only two-point conversion that was successful for either team in the game.

Dunbar came back with two seconds left in the first half, with a 16-yard pass from Matthews to Dunbar sophomore James Warren for a score of, 14-12, heading into halftime.

Dunbar would not score again.

In the middle part of the third quarter, Warriors senior wide receiver Kenny Crawley caught a 14-yard pass from Buchanan, to make the score, 20-12, and the H.D. Woodson team and its fans were feeling confident. The defining moment of the game came with 2 minutes, 31 seconds left in the third quarter when senior defensive back Ian Jackson of H.D. Woodson intercepted a Matthews' pass and ran 86 yards for a touchdown.

"When Ian ran in for that touchdown, I knew we were going to win the game," DeJon Wilson, a senior defensive lineman/tight end, said of the then 26-12 score.

In the fourth quarter, the Warriors piled on points with senior tight end/linebacker Darrius Redman catching a 14-yard pass from Buchanan; senior wide receiver Aboye Aromire recovering a fumble by Dunbar's Matthews and running 34 yards for a score and Wilson intercepting a pass from Matthews and sprinting 35 yards to the end zone.

Wilson said that team unity was the key to winning the championship.

"Earlier in the season, the seniors came to together and said that this was our time," he said.

"We wanted to three-peat as Turkey Bowl champions and we knew it was on us to do it. We did it because hard work beats talent every time and we just proved that."