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Phil Fabrizio is an award-winning event, news and sports photographer in the Washington D.C. Metro area. He lives in North Potomac and has operated Sugarloaf Photography since 1985. He is a member of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of the Glen Echo Partnership for Arts... Read more

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A Classic Football Game, Bullis and Quince Orchard

Doc Bonner’s elbow hits the ground at the one yard falling short of score that would win the game in regulation.

On my, oh momma what a game. The teams went toe to toe into the fourth quarter and beyond in overtime too. Bullis Prep Bulldogs prevailed 42-41 as Quince Orchard went for the win at home and fell short on their two-point conversion attempt in overtime.

Three teams showed up at the Cougar Dome in Gaithersburg on Friday night. Team Bullis. Team Quince Orchard. Team Officials. The later should not have been noticed, as they were by all who were in attendance. Enough said about the later.

Bullis took advantage early as the Cougars got off to a slow offensive start.  Though I didn’t have the first half stats, the time of possession clearly favored the Bulldogs as Quince Orchard could only muster seven points off a Bulldog handoff miscue that was returned for a 60-yard touchdown by Cougar defender John Hodge. The Bulldogs controlled the line of scrimmage during the half with sweeps by running backs Bryson Shaw, Eric McKan and injured quarter back Tucker Strachan who was later replaced by Jackson Greenleaf.  The half ended 21-7, Bullis.

After halftime Quince Orchard returned to the field a different team. The Cougars tacklers swarmed and their offense led by Senior ‘Doc’ Bonner ran more efficiently.  Bullis for its part met every challenge and countered when pressed which included a third quarter 96-yard kickoff return by Ashton Allen. As the fourth quarter began what was once a very lopsided game favoring the Bulldogs unfolded like a classic matchup. Bullis held on to a tenuous 28 -21 lead.

A missed field goal in the first quarter would later come back to haunt Quince Orchard in the fourth quarter.  It was with 6:23 on the clock when Dartmouth bound ‘Doc’ Bonner crossed the goal line on an eight-yard run to make it 28-27.  Quince Orchard decided to go for two on the conversion.  Bonner fell short when his shoulders hit the ground first, short of the goal line, before the ball in his outstretched hand crossed that line.  Bullis then marched down the field to score on a 16-yard pass from Greenleaf to Isaac Aronson for what seemed a secure 35-27 lead. Facing less than three minutes on the clock, Quince Orchard took possession deep in their own territory.  Two plays and 72 yards later, Bonner connected with Brendan McGonagle to narrow the score to 35-33. He now needed to make the two-point conversion.  Bonner responded with a 2-yard conversion run that tied the game at 35 with less than two minutes left in the game.

A short Quince Orchard kick-off gave Bullis possession near their 40-yard line.  Bullis fumbled two plays later and the Cougars, now at mid field, had one last chance to pull out a win in regulation.  With 1:30 left the Cougars began moving the ball.  It was first and goal near the four yard line with about 36 seconds on the clock for the Cougars.  Two plays later Bonner appeared to score but was called down when his elbow hit the ground at the one yard line.  With only seven seconds left Qunice Orchard quickly set up and Bonner tried to spike the ball as Bulldog defenders jumped (encroachment) across the line of scrimmage incurring a penalty flag from the line judge.  As time expired and confusion reigned, the officials huddled to determine what had happened.  Eventually they ruled that Quince Orchard had not spiked the ball, but rather fumbled, then disregarded the penalty flag and sent the game into overtime.

Bullis scored first in overtime on the second play from the nine-yard line as Eric McKan bulldozed his way as Quince Orchard defensive linemen piled on trying to stop him. It was McKan’s second score of the night. The Bullis extra point was good making it 42-35 and Quince Orchard would take over at the 10-yard line for their attempt to match the score.  Bonner connected again on a pass to McGonagle who stood alone undefended in the end zone. Quince Orchard chose to go for the win at home with a two-point conversion attempt. Bullis defenders pressured Bonner who threw wide right and high towards the dark corner of the end zone well over his open target.

Bullis (4-0) survived 42-41 and pulled off an impressive win over the Cougars (3-1) on the road in Gaithersburg.  It was a MoCo Friday Night Lights Classic.

Photos below

All photos copyrighted 2017 © Phil Fabrizio | Photoloaf® for MCM


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About Phil Fabrizio

Phil Fabrizio is an event, news and sports photographer in the Washington D.C. Metro area. He lives in North Potomac and has operated Sugarloaf Photography since 1985. He is a member of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of the Glen Echo Partnership for Arts and Culture, Inc in Glen Echo. Stop by Phil's PhotoLoaf site or follow him on Twitter @Photoloaf. Find Phil's blog on MyMCMedia here.


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