LANHAM – The combination of rain, natural turf, cool temperatures, and playoff implications usually equal sloppy, tough football. DuVal and Oxon Hill did not disappoint in meeting that expectation on Nov. 7. After a long morning of rain and cooling weather, the last regular season game for the DuVal Tigers (8-1) and Oxon Hill Clippers […]
LANHAM – The combination of rain, natural turf, cool temperatures, and playoff implications usually equal sloppy, tough football. DuVal and Oxon Hill did not disappoint in meeting that expectation on Nov. 7.
After a long morning of rain and cooling weather, the last regular season game for the DuVal Tigers (8-1) and Oxon Hill Clippers (4-5) kicked off in a swift fashion and ended with a Tigers’ 22-19 win.
DuVal’s Corey Williams opened the game at the Tigers’ 20-yard-line and broke away for an emphatic 79-yard scamper to the opposing goal line. A play later, quarterback Kendall Dew-Gregory snuck the ball in for the first score of the game.
With a mindset of doing something big, Williams was excited, eager, and ready at the game’s onset. It was this excitement and eagerness that warped his mind during that first play from scrimmage.
“I was pumped up. My coach had given me a speech. My mindset going in to the game was to break one,” Williams said.
Williams was featured in a rushing tag team with junior David Dupree and the duo fought hard to pick up yardage on the ground. Both running backs eclipsed 100 yards rushing, with 160 yards for Williams and 124 yards for Dupree. The bulk of those yards came off a couple of big runs, such as Williams’ 79-yarder, and a 58-yard run by Dupree early in the second quarter. Those runs positioned the Tigers to maintain a feint lead, and they managed to capitalize on the Clippers’ mistakes.
DuVal steadily poured it on in the first half after it scored on three of its first four possessions. The scoring drives showcased mostly runs, and only four total passes were thrown in the first half by the Tigers. Alternating runs on the second and third scoring drives were executed by both Williams and Dupree. Each star running back ran for scores in the first half. Williams had a 20-yard run with just over three minutes left in the first quarter, while Dupree scored on a six-yard run after a five minute drive in the second quarter.
The boys talked of splitting the reps in practice and that was just what they did in this game.
“It’s the brotherhood. I told him me and him were going to have a big game, and we did,” Dupree said.
Dupree seemed to function as the between-the-tackle back, while Williams did a lot of his work on outside and off-tackle runs. The combination of running styles was troublesome for the Oxon Hill’s defense. DuVal coach Dameon Powell called the combination “some good backs that can tote.”
At the same time, DuVal’s defensive front was stout and disciplined. The Tigers didn’t acquire many sacks (two), but did well in forcing Oxon Hill’s quarterback DaJaun Rollins to force the ball, often times before he was set. They made running the ball an even tougher task, as the Clippers backfield of DeShawn Wright and Aaron Speight were limited to just 81 yards.
Oxon Hill had one particular standout. Daniel George, an outstanding sophomore receiver, drew eyes and appraisal all game. The talented 6-2 and 185-pound receiver played a game worth admiring. All three of the Clippers scores came from his amazing nose for the end zone. He scored on a 64-yard punt return in the second quarter, opened the second half with a 75-yard kick return, and caught four balls for 61 yards. He had an impeccable catch and run score in the fourth.
Head Coach Craig Jeffries spoke highly of his young stud.
“Daniel is a great player,” Jeffries said. “He’s an unbelievable kid. Whenever he gets the ball in his hands, he has the capability to score anytime, anywhere on the field. He played his heart out today. They keyed in on him, they knew he was our go-to-guy. But Daniel still stepped up and showed what he was capable of doing.”
Dew-Gregory, who has done well in filling in for injured All-Met star Antoine Brooks, had very few passing opportunities. Weather conditions played a big part in the decision for DuVal to run the ball.
The injured Brooks has continued to show his support for his teammates since going down a few weeks ago. He made mention of how he does nothing special to motivate them, but smile and love.
“I’m very proud, nothing else to it,” Brooks said. “They’re just playing with my initials on the back of their heads, so that kind of means something to them when they see me. I don’t say much. I just smile at them, and tell them ‘I love them,’ and they ball out.”
Because of George’s tremendous catch and run ability, the Clippers were literally 2:36 minutes from tying the game up or taking the lead. The potential upset would’ve propelled the young Oxon Hill team into the playoffs and it could’ve given them the opportunity to host a playoff game in their 3A South Division.
However, on the first play of the Clippers’ last possession, DuVal’s defensive line overpowered the Clippers’ offensive line and rushed in on Rollins. Rollins was forced to throw an errant ball, which was then picked off by senior defensive-end Moanif Kamara, thus sealing the game and Oxon Hill’s season.
Oxon Hill 0 7 6 6 – 19
DuVal 13 6 0 3 – 22
D- Kendall Dew-Gregory 1-yard TD run, 0-6 (XP Missed)
D- Corey Williams 20-yard TD run, 0-13 (XP Made)
OH- Daniel George 64-yard punt return TD, 7-13 (XP Made)
D- David Dupree 6-yard TD run, 7-19 (XP Missed)
OH- George 75-yard kick-off return TD, 13-19 (XP Blocked)
D- Etienne Agwaranyan 20-yard FG Made, 13-22
OH- DaJaun Rollins pass to George 40-yard TD catch and run, 19-22 (2-PT Fail)